An Atlantic League baseball team, the Newark Bears, is giving departing pitching coach Jim Leyritz a send-off party as the end of the season nears. As you might recall, Leyritz-- the former-New York Yankees catcher and World Series hero-- was acquitted of DUI manslaughter last year. As part of the farewell, the New Jersey team will donate $2,000 to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
A nice gesture, except the festivities will be held the same night as the Bears' weekly Thirsty Thursday promotion which includes a beer-pong tournament.
The team apparently thinks any publicity is good publicity but combining the two events on this upcoming Thursday night is, not surprisingly, drawing criticism.
Everyone deserves a second chance but the team might have used any night but Thirsty Thursday to say goodbye to Leyritz and commend the work of M.A.D.D..
The team released a statement explaining its position: "Although a beer-pong tournament will be hosted that night, the owners thought by hosting the event with all the parties and attractions, it would support the important need of how people can have fun responsibly."
The Atlantic League is a member of the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball and Newark was once home to one of Rickey Henderson's many comeback attempts.
Leyritz is the author of a book Catching Heat and will sign autographs before the ceremony along with the team's other coaches including Tim Raines and Ozzie Canseco-- who was arrested for DUI in Florida in January.