Jung Ho Kang gets year suspension from Korean Baseball Organization

The hammer has come down on Jung Ho Kang, as he will be suspended for a year by the Korean Baseball Organization due to his DUI arrests.

Last week, former Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang indicated that he was looking to resume his career in the Korean Baseball Organization. It was an understandable move; Kang had been a star in the KBO before coming stateside, and major league offers were not forthcoming. It was time to head home.

The problem was that Kang’s future was uncertain, even in the KBO. He had been arrested three times for DUI, with his most recent arrest causing visa issues that essentially cost Kang two seasons. Those arrests were likely to cause Kang time in the KBO as well, as he was facing a three year suspension.

His representatives had been arguing for a reduced suspension, claiming that since his third arrest came while a member of the Pirates, it should not count against him in Korea. The KBO agreed to an extent, as Kang has been suspended for one year and will have to perform 300 hours of community service before being reinstated.

That suspension does not begin immediately however. Kang has to be removed from the voluntarily retired list and join a team. In theory, the Kiwoom Heroes still own his rights even though he had been posted by the team following the 2014 season.

Kang had looked like a solid piece for the Pirates before losing those two seasons. From 2015 through 2016, he had posted a .273/.355/.483 batting line, hitting 36 homers and 43 doubles in 837 plate appearances. After that missed time, Kang was not close to the same player, producing a meager .174/.225/.393 batting line in his final 191 major league plate appearances.

While Kang is not likely to be a part of a major league franchise again, he can still resurrect his career in Korea. He had been a star there previously, a power hitting shortstop with excellent speed and sterling defense. Even though the league has changed since his heyday with the Heroes, Kang may be able to recapture some of his previous glory.

Jung Ho Kang now knows what awaits him in his quest to return to the Korean Baseball Organization. Perhaps, in a year’s time, he will be back on the diamond.