Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung-ho Kang missed all of 2017 after visa issued related to his third DUI arrest prevented him from returning to the United States. While on the comeback trail, Kang spoke to reporters Wednesday, saying he’s given up alcohol after his latest arrest, according to Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
In December 2016, Kang was arrested for his third DUI after attempting to flee the scene of an accident. He was caught by police shortly after the incident.
Because it was Kang’s third DUI arrest, he was unable to obtain a work visa. He missed the entire 2017 season with the Pirates. Then, in April 2018, it was announced that Kang’s work visa had finally been granted.
No more alcohol
During his interview with reporters Wednesday, Kang said he would not consume “a drop of alcohol moving forward.” He said he made that decision after his third arrest. Kang has a personal driver now.
He said he’s comfortable being around alcohol, but is trying to keep himself out of those situations as well.
What is Kang doing now?
The 31-year-old is playing in the Pirates’ minor-league system. In 19 plate appearances in the low minors, he’s hitting .462. He’s expected to be promoted to Triple-A soon.
Did the Pirates know about Kang’s history with alcohol?
They did not. Kang admitted he kept his first two DUI arrests private from both the Pirates and the team he played for in Korea. He said he regretted keeping those arrests from both clubs.
Sexual assault investigation
As a member of the Pirates in 2016, Kang was investigated for sexual assault after a woman alleged he drugged her and then sexually assaulted her. That investigation is unresolved. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says police have tried to reach out to the woman, but have been unable to contact her.
Last year in Pittsburgh
Kang is currently in the last year of his contract with the Pirates. He has a .273/.355/.483 career line with the team over two seasons in the majors. Kang has not played in a major-league game since 2016.
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