Ho Ho Not a Merry Christmas for Kang and Park

While they were teammates in Korea they were called the Ho brothers because of their same last name, even though they are not related. Jung-Ho Kang was the first to go the United States to play in the major leagues. He had a successful first couple years but things have not been going so well lately. Byung-Ho Park followed him to the major leagues a year later and found major league pitching and the game a little more challenging than the Korean version.

It has not been a Happy Holidays for these two Korean superstars. Jung-Ho Kang, who was hoping to get his swing back after missing all of last year because of visa issues, was released by the Aguilas Cibaenas. The Dominican team did not have a lot of time to wait for him to start hitting. After 31 games into the season Kang was hitting just .143 with a .219 OBA and a .202 slugging percentage. In the competitive Dominican Winter league the Aguilas is .5 games behind the leading Cibao Gigantes. They needed a bat in their lineup to generate offense, not an automatic out who has trouble making contact (31 whiffs in 91 at bats). Even after his last 10 games his slugging average stood at .194. He was hitting just .125 against right handed pitching.

Kang sat out last season after his third drunk driving conviction in Korea. He was unable to get a work visa to come to the United States based on his last conviction, a hit and run which resulted in a felony conviction. He was also suspected in a sexual assault case in a hotel room in Chicago that has remained unresolved, possibly because of his time out of the country.

For Byung-Ho Park the news is not quite as bad. He signed a contract with the Nexen Heroes for about $1.4 million. The bad news is that he may have to forfeit his contract with the Twins for $6.5 million, $12 million for the next two years. In order to finalize his one year contract with the Heroes details of his remaining contract with the Twins must still be ironed out.

For the Twins he was playing in the minor leagues. His first year in the major leagues he hit just .191 with 80 whiffs in 62 games. The power appeared with his 12 homeruns but there was just too much swing and miss in his swing. Last year he did not see the major leagues, hitting just .253 with only 14 homeruns and a .415 slugging percentage in AAA. That is not what the Twins were looking for when they paid him his big contract four year multi million dollar contract.

If Jung-Ho Park can not get his work visa to come to the United States finalized the Nexen Heroes could sign him to a one year contact and the two Ho brothers could be reunited, though not in a fashion they were hoping when they went to the major leagues a couple years ago.

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