Former Yankee pitcher found dead in Rancho Palos Verdes

Authorities are investigating Hideki Irabu's death as an apparent suicide and hanging. He was 42. Irabu played for the Yankees on two championship teams in 1998 and 1999, but he never could match the success from his days in Japan. From the LAT:

At one point, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner belittled Irabu for his girth and perceived lack of hustle, calling him a “fat toad.” The right-hander was listed as 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds. Because his early career was in Japan, Irabu reached the major leagues at the relatively advanced age of 28, but his career also ended early for a player signed to a big contract as a star-quality contributor.

More by Mark Lacter:
Frantic searches to set up shop in tony parts of L.A.
NFL star Bubba Smith found dead in L.A. home
Solar businesses not happy with DWP's revised incentive plan
Faye Dunaway's rent-stabilization problem
Scott Pelley in town to anchor CBS News
Recent Sports stories on LA Observed:
Now who do I root for? World Cup down to its final eight
Yes, there will still be a World Cup. No, the USA is not playing. So what now?
Dodger Stadium announcement
The night Kirk Gibson made deadline
They said it in Indian Wells
The kids on court at Indian Wells
Venus rising
USC sells Coliseum name to United Airlines


LA Observed on Twitter