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Jim Leyritz gets a job in baseball

Feb 4, 2011, 6:06 AM EDT

Jim Leyritz

In December 2007 Jim Leyritz was involved in a drunk driving accident that resulted in someone’s death. Last November he was acquitted of the most serious charges against.  Now he has been given a chance to get back into baseball:

The Newark Bears of the independent Can-Am League have agreed in principle to hire Leyritz as the team’s new hitting and pitching coach, owner and CEO Tom Cetnar said last night.

For Leyritz, the job will be his first foray into professional baseball since the legal troubles following his involvement in a fatal 2007 car crash.

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

I believe in second chances. I also think that the structure of baseball — even non-affiliated baseball — is probably the best thing for Leyritz.  If he has any hope of making amends for his misdeeds and making something of his life, baseball is almost certainly going to be a part of it.  Here’s hoping he makes the best of it.

  1. fribnit - Feb 4, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    If a mechanic had the same situation as Leyritz, committed the same misdeed (though that seems a weak term to use for killing someone with a car) and had the same outcome no one would even mention that he got a job at the local Goodyear store. So why is it news or cause for attention that a former ballplayer got a job for a baseball team?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 4, 2011 at 9:16 AM

      Because this is a baseball blog. We talk about baseball players, their lives and their careers. If I wrote a mechanics blog that dealt with them, their lives and their careers, I would include that kind of information too. It’s quite simple, you see.

      • fribnit - Feb 4, 2011 at 9:49 AM

        My point is it simply isn’t worth the blog. A man is going back to work in his chosen industry. Yipee.

        It’s quite simple, you see.

      • trevorb06 - Feb 4, 2011 at 12:15 PM

        Jesus Christ fribnit ease up. It’s not like this is front page news on MSNBC, CNN, FOX or any of the such. Heck, it isn’t even back page news on any of those. Like Craig said, this is a baseball blog. If you’re going to chime in and say this isn’t post worthy why don’t you go ahead and post that on every post they make about some schmuck reliever or bench bat signing with X team. This is the off season. If you don’t like the blog post don’t read the blog post. If you don’t like the blog don’t read the blog.

        Ignorance. :-)

  2. BC - Feb 4, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    I don’t know if he had a serious drinking problem, or just went out and got bombed one night and had the night end in tragedy. But if he’s cleaned up, good, maybe this will help him rebuild his life.

  3. Jonny 5 - Feb 4, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    I think yet another serious injustice was committed by our wonderful “justice” system in this case first of all.

    I also think, just as others have done, he deserves a shot at making a living now that he’s gotten away with murder essentially. I feel he should be in prison for a long time over all of this, and he’s lucky.

    Good luck Jim, you lucky a-wipe.

    • clydeserra - Feb 4, 2011 at 3:48 PM

      Its not “the Justice system.” Its you. You make the laws in this democracy. All the players, cops courts jury and legislature have weighed in already.

      You apparently don’t like it. That’s fine. But its not the “system. There are plenty of things I don’t like about laws and how my government operates, but I don’t blame the government or the “system” because the system is me.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 4, 2011 at 4:18 PM

        That’s pretty naive of you to think. Who told you that? Whoever it is lied to you. “the judicial system” is severely flawed in many ways, ways I never created.

  4. cur68 - Feb 4, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    All indications are that they both had been drinking and they both sped into an intersection. She died and left a husband and young son behind. Leyritz got a another job in sports. If it had been the other way round she’d have gone to jail, no doubt about it.

  5. thefalcon123 - Feb 4, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    …but when drunk drivers kill baseball players, they get 51 years in prison.

    • clydeserra - Feb 4, 2011 at 3:49 PM

      totally different. please read Craig’s pieces on that.

  6. thefalcon123 - Feb 4, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    …not that I’m making any comment on the punishment to Leyritz himself. I don’t know how much time he should have gotten, but he’s out and should be able to live his life. I’m merely commiting on a various obvious flaw in the justice system in which one man gets a month in jail and another gets 51 years in prison for the same thing.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 4, 2011 at 2:17 PM

      Except it’s not the same thing. In the Adenhart case, the jury was presented with clear evidence that the defendant had run the red light at a high rate of speed while legally intoxicated and thus was 100% responsible for the accident and the deaths. In the Leyritz case the jury was presented with conflicting evidence regarding the red light and thus who caused the accident and thus could not find that Leyritz was at all responsible for the accident.

      Such things matter. There is not instant strict-liability for deaths caused in an accident. There has to be, you know, evidence that the defendant was actually at fault.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 4, 2011 at 4:26 PM

        You’ve seen the guilty get off easy before. All because they could afford a good attorney to get them off. It’s just how our system works. I can’t say these two cases can even be compared actually. The guy was a repeat offender who killed Adenhart, he deserved what he got, maybe more.

  7. cur68 - Feb 5, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    Shouldn’t matter who was at fault. They were both drinking that night. Either one likely could have avoided the accident had they been sober (you know, like you’re supposed to be when driving a car). One died and the other contributed to it. I maintain; if she had killed him she’d be in jail to this day. The ONLY reason he’s not in jail is because who he is saved his oily pink bum.

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