When I first heard the news today of Hideki Irabu's passing, one of the first things that came to mind was a question: Will the Yankees hold a moment of silence for him before tomorrow's game at the Stadium?
As every Yankee fan knows, Irabu's tenure with the team was an unsuccessful one, so much so that when he left, he was forgotten quicker than you could say sayonara. He was rarely mentioned by the Yankees. It was almost as if he never existed.
So I was a bit surprised when I saw the statement the Yankees released earlier today expressing their sadness over his death. I was particularly touched by one sentence in the statement:
"Every player that wears the Pinstripes is forever a part of the Yankees family...
That is a beautiful thing to say. If it was sincere, and I think that it was, Irabu will get his moment of silence tomorrow night. If I am home and if they show it on TV, I will pause and do my own reflection of the man. I will remember that slow windup of his, that delivery and that splitter which, on a good day (and there weren't many of those), made him look like one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Goodbye, Irabu, and rest in peace.