Jim Leyritz is walking back his shot at the Yankees.
Last week, when the team announced the roster for the 2018 Old-Timers’ Day — without Leyritz on it — the former catcher/infielder responded to a tweet about his absence, describing it as a “joke” and calling out team president Randy Levine and senior vice president of marketing Debbie Tymon.
On Sunday, Leyritz apologized in a radio appearance while giving his side of the story.
“I am so apologetic to them right now,” Leyritz said on WLIE 540 AM. “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 to have 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 had told me he was. So I owe Randy Levine an even bigger apology, because he has nothing to do with this.”
Leyritz had been responding to a friend on social media when he sent the tweet that began the stir.
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“Yes, it’s a joke already,” Leyritz tweeted. “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, who was referring to the slider he hit for a game-tying home run in the 1996 World Series against the Braves, said on Sunday he didn’t mean for his message to get out.
“I’m the latest idiot who doesn’t know how to use social media,” Leyritz said.
The Yankees responded to Leyritz’s accusations in a strongly worded statement.
“It’s disappointing that Jim has entered this arena the way that he has,” the team said at the time. “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 anyone in the organization since he apologized to Levine and Tymon. The 54-year-old said “this wasn’t a Goose Gossage rant,” and that he wasn’t personally attacking anyone. Leyritz, a two-time World Series champion with the Yankees, sought to separate himself from Gossage, the former Yankees All-Star closer who berated general manager Brian Cashman after he was not invited to Yankees spring training this year.
Leyritz last attended a team function in 2016 when the Yankees celebrated the 20th anniversary of the 1996 team.
“For me, what’s next I hope is that I can have a meeting with [COO Lonn Trost] and Randy and all of them and say, ‘Listen, this was not supposed to be like this,’” Leyritz said. “I’m so grateful and thankful for everything they do for me and I hope we can continue.”
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