News of Hideki Irabu's apparent suicide is just tragic and sad on all levels.
The former pitcher for the New York Yankees never quite lived up to the hype, which may have been one of the reasons he grew so despondent that he took his own life. But whatever drove him to such a tragic choice, I feel terrible for his wife and children, now left behind with too many questions that will never be answered. Perhaps he just felt crushed by the ridiculously high expectations for the man once dubbed the Japanese Nolan Ryan (really could anyone live up to that?).
The Yankees released a lovely statement expressing remorse over the news and deep sympathy for Irabu's family. Ironically, it might have been the kindest words the Yankees ever had for Irabu. The organization, led by George Steinbrenner, was incredibly tough on Irabu (sometimes with good reason, but unfairly and just plain spiteful at times) because of the millions paid to get him, but Irabu just couldn’t meet those high expectations. But in spite of whatever bad feelings the Yankees may have held toward Irabu for his time in pinstripes, there seems to be genuine sorrow over how his life ended.
It's a very sad day in the Yankees universe. RIP, Hideki Irabu.