Former Expo Irabu dies

Hideki Irabu, seen here pitching for the Montreal Expos, was found dead in his home near Los...

Hideki Irabu, seen here pitching for the Montreal Expos, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Thursday, July 28, 2011. (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

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, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

NEW YORK - The New York Yankees issued a statement Thursday evening on the sudden death of former hurler Hideki Irabu.

The New York Times reported that Irabu, 42, was found dead in Los Angeles on Thursday. Police are investigating the death as a possible suicide.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Hideki Irabu. Every player that wears the pinstripes is forever part of the Yankees family, and his death is felt throughout our organization. Our sympathies and support go out to his wife, Kyonsu, his two children, and all of his friends and loved ones."

Irabu made his major-league debut in pinstripes during the 1997 season, coming to the east coast when the Padres -- who held his rights -- dealt him to New York after the right-hander said he wouldn't play for anyone but the Yankees.

He finished 29-20 with a 4.80 earned run average and four complete games in 74 appearances (64 starts) in the Bronx, but did not endear himself to owner George Steinbrenner.

In six inconsistent seasons with the Yankees, Expos and Rangers from 1997-2002, Irabu went 34-35 with a 5.15 ERA over 126 games -- 80 of those starts.


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