Hideki Irabu’s death last month was confirmed as a suicide and today the Los Angeles department of public health released his death certificate, which lists “self-inflicted with rope” as the official cause of death.
Irabu, who was 42 years old and married with two children, passed away on July 27 at his home in Los Angeles.
Last year in California he was arrested for drunk driving and three years ago in Japan he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a bar manager after drinking approximately 20 glasses of beer.
Irabu starred in Japan before signing with the Padres in 1997, later being traded to the Yankees where he fell well short of the lofty expectations and was called a “fat toad” by owner George Steinbrenner.
He was far from a total bust in New York, however, going 24-16 with a 4.44 ERA in two full seasons as a starter. Irabu was then traded to the Expos for Jake Westbrook and signed with the Rangers as a free agent in 2002 before returning to Japan to finish his career.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please seek help. Give the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a call at 1-800-273-8255.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.