The Post-Gazette is reporting that the Pirates believe they can get a visa for third baseman Jung-Ho Kang. It’s all very cryptic, as you’d expect, but the paper states that Kang was denied a visa last week, but quotes team president Frank Coonelly as saying,
We believe that the information we provide will be enough for Kang to get a visa.
I guess the most logical implication is that the visa was turned down due to some factor that the Pirates believe further information will remedy. The likelihood of things working out like this, of course, is impossible to predict. The Pirates, like any other business, have generally taken an optimistic stance as this drama has played out, so it’s probably unwise to try reading anything, positive or negative, into Coonelly’s statement.
The very little I’ve learned about the visa process during this affair is peculiar, to say the least. With most governmental application, licensing or permitting processes, there’s an established set of information or documentation that has to be submitted, and (ideally) clear standards that have to be met. Then the application either gets granted or not. The visa process, though, seems to be unusually interactive and subjective, so I’d be very reluctant to predict a result, probably even if I really knew anything about immigration law, which I don’t. It does seem incredibly unwise, though, for Coonelly to come out with a statement like this if they weren’t very confident.