Hideki Irabu’s cause of death ruled as “self-inflicted with rope”

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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.

Tim Tebow homered in his first at-bat with Single-A St. Lucie

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Mets minor league outfielder and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was recently promoted from Single-A Columbia to advanced Single-A St. Lucie. Critics suggested that, because Tebow wasn’t exactly lighting up competition with Columbia, the promotion was just about marketing.

Tebow, to his credit, has gotten off to a good start with St. Lucie. In his first at-bat with his new team, he hit a two-run home run, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. The home run came on a 3-1 count against starter Junior Fernandez of the Palm Beach Cardinals. Fernandez is the Cardinals’ No. 10 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

With Columbia, Tebow was hitting a paltry .220/.311/.336 with three home runs and 23 RBI in 244 plate appearances.

Cardinals option Aledmys Diaz to Triple-A

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The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been optioned to Triple-A Memphis and infielder Alex Mejia’s contract has been purchased from Memphis.

Diaz, 26, impressed last season when he posted an .879 OPS and finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year balloting. This year has been rough on Diaz, as he’s batting .260/.293/.396 with seven home runs and 20 RBI in 288 plate appearances. He’s the second major Cardinals player to get sent down to the minors along with Randal Grichuk.

Diaz was surprised by the demotion. Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch:

Mejia, 26, opened the season with Double-A Springfield but was promoted to Triple-A two weeks ago. With Springfield, he hit .251/.305/.366 in 251 PA. In 42 PA with Memphis, he hit .263/.333/.289.