Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Former major leaguer Darryl Strawberry quit his job as player development instructor of the New York Yankees on Wednesday. The announcement comes just over three months after he was appointed to the position.
"Because of the commitments that I have made to my church (Without Walls International Church), which include considerable travel, I do not feel that I can fulfill my obligations to the Yankees at this time," Strawberry said in a statement. "I must, therefore, leave my position as player development instructor. While I truly love baseball, my focus and passion now are outreach to the community and youth evangelism. I greatly appreciate the encouragement and support given to me and my family by Mr. (George) Steinbrenner and the Yankees and I remain committed to helping the Yankees in any way I can whenever possible."
Strawberry, who spent parts of five seasons with the Yankees from 1995-1999, has battled drug problems and was treated for stomach and colon cancer. He was sentenced to prison on April 29, 2002 by Hillsborough Circuit Court Judge Ralph Steinberg. His imprisonment was from a 1999 arrest for cocaine possession in Tampa. The former outfielder violated his probation six times before being sent to prison.
Strawberry served 11 months in a Gainesville, Florida correctional facility and was released on April 3, 2003.
An eight-time All-Star, Strawberry played for the Mets, Dodgers, Giants and Yankees in a 17-year career. He finished with 335 career home runs.