Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang has been left off South Korea’s roster for the World Baseball Classic while he remains subject to a criminal investigation into allegations that he fled the scene after crashing a car into a guardrail while driving under the influence of alcohol.
The decision by South Korea manager Kim In-sik came after police in capital Seoul sent the case to the prosecution with a recommendation that he should be indicted. Prosecutors will also investigate Kang’s friend, who after the crash in December falsely told police he was behind the wheel.
Kang (pronounced Gahng) signed a four-year, USD11 million deal with the Pirates in 2015 after Pittsburgh paid his Korean club, the Nexen Heroes, $5 million to negotiate with the slugger.
He hit 21 home runs and 62 RBIs in 103 games in 2016, but his second season in the majors also included an incident in Chicago in June when a 23-year-old woman alleged she was assaulted by Kang at a hotel. The woman’s name has not been released and Kang has not been charged.
Kim (pronounced Ghim), who has been reluctant to take on players with history of off-field issues, also had a decision to make on St. Louis Cardinals reliever Seung Hwan Oh, who was fined by a South Korean court last year for breaking gambling laws by betting large sums at a casino in Macau in 2014. AP