Jim Leyritz issued a public apology on the radio Sunday night after expressing his discontent with Yankees president Randy Levine and senior VP of marketing Debbie Tymon over not being invited to Old-Timers’ Day.
“I am so apologetic to them right now,” Leyritz said on WLIE 540. “As a matter of fact, when I found out this went public, within seconds, I sent emails to Randy and Debbie both and I apologized and in no way did I mean for this to go public, and in no way did I mean for their names to be drawn out in public for this to happen.
“Because we already knew that I wasn’t invited. And it made me even more sick when I saw them put out a statement that said Randy wasn’t involved in Old-Timers’ Day, because I thought someone told me he was. So I owe Randy Levine and even bigger apology, because he has nothing to do with this.”
Leyritz had replied to a tweet from his friend that said “no @therealjimleyritz ? I’m out.”
“Yes it’s a joke already. Randy Levine and Debbie Tymon have said I didn’t do enough in Yankee history to be invited. How many sliders did they hit. Lol” Leyritz tweeted.
Leyritz, who hit a slider from Mark Wohlers out of the park for a game-tying homer in Game 4 of the 1996 World Series against Atlanta, claimed it was a joke that he thought he’d sent to his friend via direct message. He also “liked” tweets criticizing Levine.
A team spokesman said Levine has nothing to do with who is invited to Old-Timers’ Day, which will take place on June 17 in the Bronx and feature first-timers in Aaron Boone, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi and Nick Swisher.
“It’s disappointing that Jim has entered into this arena the way he has,” the spokesman said. “This tweet is baseless and categorically false. Frankly, he should be thankful for his ties to this organization.”
Leyritz said he has not heard from Levine or Tymon since sending the apology emails.
“No, no one has responded since and like I said, I understand it. If it’s going to take some time. But this wasn’t a Goose Gossage rant. I wasn’t personally attacking anyone,” Leyritz said.
“And here’s the thing, (my friend) tweeted me, it wasn’t like I went out there fishing for it. I’ve written to them, to (COO) Lonn (Trost), to the people I’ve worked for there, I feel worse than anybody for doing that. For me what’s next I hope is that I can have a meeting with Lonn and Randy and all of them and say listen, ‘This was not supposed to be like this. I am so grateful and thankful for everything they do for me and I hope we can continue.'”
Leyritz, 54, was acquitted in 2010 on a DUI manslaughter charge, but was found guilty of misdemeanor DUI, stemming from a December 2007 car crash in Florida that killed 30-year-old Fredia Ann Veitch, a mother of two.
He last attended a team event in 2016, for the 20th anniversary celebration of the 1996 championship team. This year’s Old-Timers’ Day largely is honoring the 20th and 40th anniversaries of two other World Series-winning teams in franchise history — 1998 and 1978, respectively.
Hall of Famer Gossage, who had publicly ripped GM Brian Cashman in February over losing his gig as a spring-training instructor, also was not on the list of scheduled attendees.