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.