Pirates’ Kang gets suspended prison term


SEOUL – A South Korean court has handed Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang a suspended two-year prison sentence for fleeing the scene after crashing a car into a guardrail while driving under the influence of alcohol.

The sentence handed down Friday by the Seoul Central District Court was a heavier punishment than the 15 million won (US$13,000) fine prosecutors had sought, but still clears the 29-year-old Kang (pronounced Gahng) to join the Pirates for the new baseball season.

“I am sorry, and I am repenting a lot,” Kang told reporters after the ruling.

Kang was twice previously fined on drunk driving-related charges in 2009 and 2011.

He is in the third year of a four-year contract he signed with Pittsburgh in 2015 after a stellar eight-year career in South Korean professional baseball.

The Pirates have yet to say when they expect Kang to rejoin the team or whether he will be suspended. Kang was left off South Korea’s roster for the World Baseball Classic which starts next week.