Hideki Irabu was found dead in his home on Thursday, by a friend visiting the former New York Yankee in the Los Angeles suburb of Rancho Palos Verdes. It was a sad end to what had been a troubled time in America for the Japanese pitcher.
Los Angeles County Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter told The Associated Press in an email Friday that the 42-year-old Irabu died by hanging himself, and the mode was suicide. He said Irabu did not leave a note.
Two of the men who caught Irabu with the Yankees spoke to the Associated Press regarding Irabu’s short-lived career.
Current Yankee Jorge Posada seemed shaken by the news:
"It’s really devastating. I got to know him real well," longtime Yankees star Jorge Posada said. "A guy that came out here with a lot riding on his shoulders, but he did a hell of a job for us. Tough times."
Manager Joe Girardi, who caught Irabu’s MLB debut, enjoyed the presence of the Japanese pitcher:
"I thought he was a good teammate. He was enjoyable to be around, pitched a lot of good games for us," Girardi said. "He’s going to be missed."
According to the AP, an autopsy was performed Friday, but it will take six to eight weeks for the results of toxicology tests to shed further light on the circumstances of Irabu’s death.