02.04.11

The Trip From Baseball Siberia To Newark, NJ Is A Short One For Jim Leyritz

Posted in Baseball at 9:20 am by

The East Coat’s independent leagues are no stranger to reprobates, problem children and multi-time losers looking for one last chance at a career in professional baseball, but even for a circuit that’s employed John Rocker and Carl Everett, the following gesture seems notably ill-advised gracious. The Newark Star-Ledger’s Mark Carig reports the Newark Bears have hired former Yankee Jim Leyritz, a former player for the team in 2001, to serve on Tim Raines’ coaching staff. It’s the first such gig for Leyritz since his involvement in a fatal 2007 car wreck for which he narrowly avoided a lengthy prison sentence.

“It’s a league of second chances,” Bears CEO Tom Cetnar said. “Jimmy’s getting one, too.”

Leyritz, 47, was acquitted on a charge of DUI manslaughter in a car crash that resulted in the death Fredia Veitch. But he was convicted of a DUI and was sentenced to one-year probation, a $500 fine and 50 hours of community service.

In addition, Leyritz settled an unlawful death lawsuit with Veitch’s family for $350,000.

“The ownership group trusts GM Mike Torrez and manager Tim Raines to add Leyritz to the coaching staff,” Cetnar said. “We are looking forward to Jimmy doing positive things on the field and in the community.”

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