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Chris Coghlan received death threats following controversial slide

The benches cleared between the Cubs and Pirates during the Wild Card game, but tension between the rivals had been brewing for weeks.

Roughly three weeks ago, a Chris Coghlan slide resulted in Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang breaking his leg. Saturday, a Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley slid into the leg of Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada, ending with a similar result.

With hordes of media members flooding into Chicago for Monday and Tuesday’s NLDS games, Coghlan was asked about the situation.

He told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale he was receiving death threats from South Korean fans, Kang’s home country.

“I got a bunch of death threats,’’ Coghlan said quietly after the Cubs’ workout, “from Korean people everywhere. It’s just tough to deal with. People just don’t understand.’’

“I get it as a fan. You’re a fan of a player, you never want to see someone get hurt, especially when you have a whole nation behind you.

“But my slide was not dirty, and it’s completely legal. So I have no remorse over the slide. I just wish he hadn’t gotten hurt. I wish he would have jumped over me or gotten out of the way.’’

The threats were so severe that Kang and his attorney felt it necessary to provide a statement absolving Coghlan of any wrongdoing.

After the slide, Coghlan finished the season on a four for 28 skid. He hasn’t played at all in the postseason.