South Korean court upholds prison sentence for Pittsburgh Pirates' Jung Ho Kang

By The Sports Xchange   |   May 18, 2017 at 4:05 PM
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There is no baseball in the immediate future of Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang.

The 30-year-old Kang appealed a suspended prison sentence but his drunken driving conviction was upheld in a South Korean court.

Based on the ruling, Kang is highly unlikely to return to the Pirates this season.

The Seoul Central District Court dismissed Kang's appeal of a suspended two-year prison sentence over charges of fleeing the scene after crashing into the guardrail while driving drunk, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Kang appealed to have the punishment reduced to a large fine.

"We are aware of the ruling this morning in Jung Ho's legal proceedings in South Korea, however, it is premature to comment on the impact, if any, it will have on his ability to secure permission to travel to the United States under a work visa," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said. "We will continue to work with Jung Ho and his representatives as he works through that process."

Kang spent eight years playing professional baseball in Korea.

Last season, Kang had 21 home runs and 62 RBIs in his second season with the Pirates, who signed him to a four-year, $11 million contract in 2015.

Prior history worked against Kang in his appeal. He was previously fined on drunk driving-related charges in 2009 and 2011.

Attorneys for Kang said visa issues borne of the sentence could be a "death sentence" for his baseball career.

The Pirates placed Kang on the restricted list.

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