It seems that baseball and alcohol have been in the news a lot the last 18 months. The news has gotten tragically worse.
I won't even pretend to understand the psyche of a professional baseball player, but it doesn't surprise me that Leyritz was an utterly cocky SOB:
Rookie ballplayers are known to keep a low profile around the clubhouse, especially when entering the hallowed halls of Yankee Stadium. Leyritz was not a typical rookie.
After posting impressive numbers in the minors, the then-27-year-old infielder swept into the clubhouse with a swagger that raised the eyebrows of several veteran players, including a true legend, Don Mattingly.
Leyritz wore a cowboy hat, boasted about his talent often and, at the plate, would twirl his bat after every pitch.
"Most of the time a young player will come in and he wants to be heard but not noticed," said Wayne Tolleson, 51, the then-Yankee shortstop who was in the twilight of his career when Leyritz joined the team. "Jim was one of those guys that looked like he wanted to be noticed."
Again, playing quasi-psychologist, it's easy to deduct how that personality type can feel confident getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated. We've all dropped a pair of artificial cojones with the aid of the juice. Couple that with the extreme confidence it takes to play professional baseball, and it wouldn't surprise me if drunk driving is (more) rampant in professional sports. Or perhaps I am sensationalizing.