Sports

Ex-Yankee Hideki Irabu Found Dead; Suicide Suspected

| by Alex Groberman

Former New York Yankees, Montreal Expos and Texas Rangers pitcher Hideki Irabu has died at the age of 42, according to multiple reports. He was found in his California home and suicide is being cited as a suspected cause.

Irabu was originally a big star with the Lotte Orions back in Japan before transitioning into Major League Baseball in 1997.

Despite the fact that it was the San Diego Padres who originally purchased his contract, he adamantly refused to sign unless he was moved to the Yankees. Eventually, the Padres obliged the request and sent him to his desired destination.

After spending three years with the Yankees, bad conditioning and a wretched relationship with team owner George Steinbrenner led an ugly break-up. Irabu would go on to join the Expos in 2000 and then spent his last year in major league baseball with the Rangers.

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Over the course of his time in the limelight, Irabu has experienced a number of personal and legal problems. In 2008 he was arrested for drunkenly assaulting a bar manager in Japan and in May of 2010 he was arrested for a DWI-related offense.

In his six seasons in major league baseball, Irabu racked up a 34-35 record with a 5.15 ERA.