THE ORIENT EXPRESS

IN HIS DEBUT, JAPANESE IMPORT HIDEKI IRABU WOWS THE YANKEES WITH BIG-TIME STUFF AND LITTLE MAGNETS

As the world champion New York Yankees left the diamond at Yankee Stadium following their 10-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers last Thursday night, manager Joe Torre caught the attention of the rookie righthander walking beside him. Torre, with a slight tip of his cap, indicated to the pitcher the proper way of acknowledging the cheers. So it was that Hideki Irabu, who didn't miss a sign all night, took off his cap one more time, held it aloft and waved to the crowd.

Baseball, in turn, has to take its hat off to him. Irabu had been the subject of...