Samsung Lions is in a pinch as the investigation over its pitchers gambling charges drags on.
Last year, South Korean authorities charged starter Yun Sung-hwan, reliever An Ji-man and pitcher Lim Chang-ong with illegal overseas gambling, prompting their baseball club to leave the three players’ names off the roster for the Korean Series—the championship final for the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).
Lim, who was summoned in late November 2015, admitted during an interrogation that lasted for 13 hours that he gambled in Macau. The 39-year-old player has since been released by the Lions and was fined for his gambling charges.
Yun and An’s cases, on the other hand, remain in limbo after local police admitted that they were nowhere near close to wrapping up their investigations and pinning specific charges to the two players.
A Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency official told local media Yonhap News: “We will need testimonies from people who ran gambling houses but they’re still at large. We’ve secured information on bank accounts and phone records [for the two pitchers] but we are pressing on to determine more specific charges.”
And this is causing Samsung Lions a huge headache.
Club manager Ryu Joong-il told the Korean news outlet the two pitchers “are ready to take the mound” this preseason time, but Samsung Lions still has to determine “when or if” both pitchers will appear on the field.
Benching Yun and An could be seen as a way of punishing the two players for charges they have yet to be convicted of, but on the other hand, the eagle-eyed South Korean baseball fans believe both players—convicted or not—have no business even stepping on the field under everything’s cleared.
Both Yun and An were instrumental in helping the Lions win its fifth consecutive championship in 2015, according to local sports news.