Sunday, November 2, 2008

Simply Tragic

Everyone knows about the hellish turn Jim Leyritz's life took in December of last year. Seems it wasn't all that great beforehand either:
Like many professional athletes facing retirement, Leyritz struggled with living an ordinary life. He and his wife, Karri Leyritz, consumed lavishly during his Yankee career. In court filings, Leyritz’s lawyer acknowledged that they had spent most of his baseball earnings by 2002, when he filed for divorce. By then, little was left to fight over besides their three sons . . .

. . . In 2004, a social worker concluded in a custody evaluation that neither Leyritz was an ideal parent. Karri Leyritz’s live-in boyfriend had a long criminal history, and in 2003, she tested positive for benzodiazepines, anti-anxiety drugs for which she did not have a prescription. Jim Leyritz, according to the report, used amphetamines and drank heavily as a player. The social worker also reported that a marriage counselor determined that he was struggling with “issues centered around learning to cope with life transitions and adjusting to life without baseball” . . .

. . . Although the Leyritzes were unemployed, they frequently placed the children in after-school day care and, in Karri’s case, left them with baby sitters, according to the custody evaluation and the transcript of a hearing before the divorce judge. Teachers reported that the children were often absent when in Karri’s care, and when they did attend, they did not have lunch, were missing socks or wore disheveled, torn uniforms.

Every single thing about his life has been ugly since he quit playing baseball. I have no love for Jim Leyritz the ballplayer or the man, but I feel very, very, sorry for him and everyone in his life.

4 comments:

Pete Toms said...

I don't feel sorry for Jim Leyritz. I feel sorry for his kids.

A largely disproportinate number of pro jocks are complete train wrecks outside the playing arena. They are spoiled and pampered from a young age because we grossly over value their athletic abilities.

None of these guys are victims or deserve pity.

Grant said...

Well this is depressing. What a great thing to watch on Sunday morning.

I think I'll go watch the NFL and its drinking-and-driving problem.

bigcatasroma said...

Hey grant,

There is more than just a drinking and driving problem in the NFL. Just watching the game itself makes me cringe for all of the under-the-surface issues with guys, whose job is to try to injure and maim the opposing player.

If the result of years in baseball, with it's "beer after games" and "speed use to be able to play 162" culture, is Jim Leyritz, I can't even fathom to think what the result in years of high-profile and professional football is . . .

Pete Toms said...

@ bigcat; the toll on NFL players is severe. I can't recall the exact figures but the average life expectancy of an NFL player is drastically younger than non former NFL players.

I'm a hypocrite when it comes to this subject. I know the NFL is literally killing some of these guys yet I watch. I don't watch boxing or MMA though because I find the violence offensive. I can't explain why.