The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) showed a strong will to clear up about a series of recent incidents. It was a direct request to the prosecution to request an investigation.
On the morning of the 6th, the KBO said, “We deeply sympathize with the seriousness of the matter and have taken measures such as requesting an investigation by the prosecution to deal with the recent corruption and dignity-damaging acts and suspicions within the league.”
“We requested the prosecution to investigate former general manager안전놀이터 Jang Jeong-seok, who was dismissed from the KIA due to suspicion of asking for money and valuables during negotiations with the player. And through discussions, we requested the prosecution to investigate on the 5th.”
Recently, Korean baseball has suffered from a series of major bad news. First of all, the baseball team suffered the pain of being eliminated in the first round for three consecutive times in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) competition. He set the goal of advancing to the semifinals for the first time in 14 years, but showed his skills that did not reach the level of world baseball.
In addition, it was shocked when it was known that an individual player had committed a criminal act. The morality of the members of the KBO league came to the fore as news broke that former Lotte pitcher Seo Jun-won was indicted for violating the Child and Adolescent Sexual Protection Act. Lotte, who recognized the fact belatedly, immediately released Seo Jun-won and lowered the mace.
The KBO also suspended Seo Jun-won’s participation activities in accordance with Article 152, Section 5 of the KBO Rules. KBO said, “Seo Jun-won will also review the final sanctions once the facts are confirmed according to the judgment of the judicial body in the future.”
Here, the head of the team, who is in charge of the club’s front desk, was involved in misconduct and shocked again. Jang Jeong-seok, former KIA Tigers general manager who served as the Kiwoom Heroes operation team leader and command tower, was caught up in a scandal for asking for back money while negotiating with Park Dong-won (LG) last year. The KIA club grasped the relevant information on the 28th of last month, opened a disciplinary committee on the 29th, and then dismissed former general manager Jang.
Director Jang has been with Park Dong-won as a manager and front desk since the days of Kiwoom Heroes. He brought Park Dong-won as a trade in April of last year after taking office as KIA general manager, and even tried to extend his contract. However, negotiations on multi-year contracts and free agency did not go smoothly. In the end, Park Dong-won obtained FA (free agent) qualification after the season, and headed to the LG Twins with a stamp of 6.5 billion won in 4 years.
The KIA said, “After receiving a report that a player (Park Dong-won) made a request for money during negotiations with a player last year, we identified the facts. We judged that this was unacceptable, so we referred general manager Jang Jeong-seok to the disciplinary committee and finally dismissed him.”
On the 31st of last month, the day before the opening of the season, a search and seizure was conducted. The 3rd Criminal Division of the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office said, “In relation to the alleged breach of trust by Mr. A (an executive of Committee B), we are conducting a search and seizure of the offices of Committee B and C Corporation, which is in charge of its profitable business.” It seems that B is the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and C is its subsidiary KBOP.
The KBO announced, “On the 4th, personnel measures were taken for an employee of the KBO, who is under investigation by the prosecution. The prosecution investigation is currently underway, but will be excluded from work until the facts are confirmed by the judicial authority.”
In addition, the KBO Clean Baseball Center was reported to the KBO League club for illegal online gambling, causing a stir. According to the KBO rules, illegal gambling is judged as a loss of dignity and can be suspended for more than one month, suspended for more than 30 games, or fined more than 3 million won.
KBO said, “The report of illegal gambling by league players received at the Clean Baseball Center was also reviewed by the Investigation Committee and requested to the prosecution on the same day.”
In the end, KBO did not sit idle on this series of incidents and began to restore trust by requesting a direct investigation from the prosecution. The KBO said, “After the suspicions of the two cases (former general manager Jang Jeong-seok and the report on illegal gambling) are thoroughly clarified through the investigation of the judicial agency, if it is determined that disciplinary action is necessary, additional disciplinary action will be decided through the reward and punishment committee.”
In fact, it could have been enough if he did not ask the prosecution to investigate and punished himself according to the baseball rules. However, KBO takes the current situation very seriously.
A KBO official said in a phone call with Star News on the 6th, “It seems that KBO President Heo Gu-yeon and the KBO’s strong will to clarify is reflected. Now, the era of just covering it up like in the past has passed. I made this decision because I thought it would be better to receive it and leave it to the judgment of the investigative agency.”
KBO reiterated, “We plan to make more efforts in preventive education to eradicate illegal, dishonest, and damaging acts by league members, and if an issue arises, we plan to take strict action through thorough fact-checking.”