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Thursday, May 28, 2020

ESTEBAN LOAIZA’S WRONG TURN

Loaiza pleaded guilty to felony cocaine possession with the intent to distribute and was sentenced to three years in prison. Because he was a resident but not a citizen of the United States, the judge also ruled that upon his release, he would be deported to Mexico. At Loaiza’s sentencing, the prosecutor said the former pitcher claimed he was broke after making $44 million in his baseball career. Loaiza told the court he had four cars and zero properties.

Across the game, ex-teammates, rivals, executives and fans were stunned: How does a man’s path take him from the top of the baseball world one summer evening to a deserted stash house and the wrong side of the law almost 15 years later?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 12:15 PM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: esteban loaiza

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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:03 PM (#5954191)
Despite encountering many savvy people with long term perspectives in those years, he was none Loaiza.
   2. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:05 PM (#5954194)
I vaguely remember a number of these stories, but never at the same time. He's had quite a few crazy turns in his post playing days. He wasn't in Chicago long, and even though that 2nd year wasn't great, I know plenty of Sox fans that remember his time her fondly.

Well done story, btw, worth a read.
   3. winnipegwhip Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:09 PM (#5954195)
Despite encountering many savvy people with long term perspectives in those years, he was none Loaiza.


Board Admin: You can put that on the boaaaaarrrrddddd. Yes.
   4. Ron J Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:18 PM (#5954199)
Remember that Pedro Guerrero found himself in the same legal situation. And how he escaped conviction.
   5. Zach Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:37 PM (#5954205)
Detectives believe cocaine was involved.
   6. ajnrules Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:51 PM (#5954208)
The article didn't even mention his one year with the Washington Nationals in 2005 where he was pretty good, 12-10 with a 3.77 ERA. It was in Washington where I saw him pitch and got an autograph from him, even though he had lost to Jake Peavy and the Padres that day.

Never realized his life off the field was so out-of-control.
   7. Itchy Row Posted: May 28, 2020 at 05:29 PM (#5954224)
Loaiza started (and lost) one of the funnest baseball games I've attended- The Red Sox-Dodger exhibition at the LA Coliseum in 2008 in front of 115,000 fans. When I see his name, I hear it as the angry drunk guy who sat next to me screaming "ESTEBAN!" and cursing him out in Spanish.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 05:33 PM (#5954226)

The article didn't even mention his one year with the Washington Nationals in 2005 where he was pretty good, 12-10 with a 3.77 ERA. It was in Washington where I saw him pitch and got an autograph from him, even though he had lost to Jake Peavy and the Padres that day.


It is buried in the article:

Loaiza continued on to Washington in 2005 where ajnrules got to see him pitch (Loaiza lost to Jake Peavy and the Padres), even gaining an autograph from the right-hander. Little did ajnrules know, that Loaiza's life would soon take an ominous turn.
   9. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 28, 2020 at 05:42 PM (#5954227)
In paperwork filed with the court, Loaiza's attorney stated, "Mr. Loaiza made a huge error in judgement [sic] when he agreed to commit this crime" and "Mr. Loaiza pleaded guilty and has waived his appellate rights."


[sic] ???
   10. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 06:07 PM (#5954229)
"judgment' is the more common American spelling.
   11. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 28, 2020 at 07:21 PM (#5954233)
Sure,but that doesn't make it siccable. It's not an error; more proof of the dangers of a little knowledge. Do that with international reporting from the English-speaking world and articles would be next to unreadable.
   12. Tin Angel Posted: May 28, 2020 at 07:29 PM (#5954235)
Agreed. The writer and/or editor should get the same sentence as Loaiza.
   13. The Honorable Ardo Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:03 AM (#5954280)
Loaiza was 30-14 with the White Sox and 96-100 for everybody else. Nutty.

Who else has a similar career pattern (well-traveled, suddenly pitched like an ace at one of his stops)? I thought of Bobo Newsom: 50-35 with the Tigers, 161-187 with everyone else.
   14. Ron J Posted: May 29, 2020 at 03:16 AM (#5954289)
13. Red Ruffing 231-124 with a 119 ERA+ for the Yankees. 42-101 with a 91 ERA+ for the Sox
   15. flournoy Posted: May 29, 2020 at 04:38 AM (#5954290)
Mike Bielecki in his three stints with the Braves, with garbage stints elsewhere in between.
   16. DonPedro Posted: May 29, 2020 at 07:37 AM (#5954295)
Jaret Wright, Mike Remlinger, and Damian Ross are three of the otherwise bleh journeymen that contributed to the Leo Mazzone mystique
   17. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: May 29, 2020 at 08:31 AM (#5954297)
Can't forget Darren Holmes and Chris Hammond.
   18. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: May 29, 2020 at 09:04 AM (#5954301)
Bucky Walters 38-53, 4.48 era with the Phillies, 160-107, 2.93 era with the Reds
   19. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 09:21 AM (#5954303)

Remember that Pedro Guerrero found himself in the same legal situation. And how he escaped conviction.

Yes, Guerrero's successful defense was that his IQ was too low for him to understand what he was doing, and that he was being manipulated by others. I remember his lawyers claimed he wasn't capable of performing simple tasks like writing a check or making his bed.

   20. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 09:28 AM (#5954305)
RA Dickey was 38-29 with a 2.95 ERA (129 ERA+) for the Mets, including a CYA. 81-90, 4.50 ERA (96 ERA+) for everyone else.

His career really went like this:

pre-Mets - bad (22-28, 87 ERA+)
Mets - ace (38-29, 129 ERA+)
post-Mets - average (59-62, 101 ERA+)
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: May 29, 2020 at 09:50 AM (#5954307)
Yes, Guerrero's successful defense was that his IQ was too low for him to understand what he was doing, and that he was being manipulated by others. I remember his lawyers claimed he wasn't capable of performing simple tasks like writing a check or making his bed.


And yet, if Tommy LaSorda is to be believed, he had one of the greatest responses to a manager's hypothetical question in history.
   22. Itchy Row Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:37 AM (#5954317)
Jake Arrieta's a more extreme version of Dickey (more bad, more of an ace, and just as average), but with only three teams involved.

pre-Cubs (just one team- Orioles)- 20-25, 77 ERA+
Cubs- 68-31, 147 ERA+
post-Cubs (Phillies)- 18-19, 101 ERA+
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:38 AM (#5954318)
RA Dickey was 38-29 with a 2.95 ERA (129 ERA+) for the Mets

before being traded for prospects travis d'arnaud (who has even more injuries than lower-case letters) and Noah Syndergaard - 47-30, 119 ERA+ so far.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:23 PM (#5954340)
Yes, Guerrero's successful defense was that his IQ was too low for him to understand what he was doing, and that he was being manipulated by others. I remember his lawyers claimed he wasn't capable of performing simple tasks like writing a check or making his bed.


It seems completely implausible that someone who could be that good at baseball couldn't do simple daily tasks, but I guess some judge or jury bought it.
   25. depletion Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:31 PM (#5954342)
When you've been a ballplayer, software engineer, or real estate agent you're whole life and you start dealing with high-end drug dealers, keep in mind: a) they've been doing it since high school, b) they're not in jail or dead, thus c) they're a lot smarter in this business than you are. Nate Newton says hi.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:11 PM (#5954353)
When you've been a ballplayer, software engineer, or real estate agent you're whole life and you start dealing with high-end drug dealers, keep in mind: a) they've been doing it since high school, b) they're not in jail or dead, thus c) they're a lot smarter in this business than you are. Nate Newton says hi.

Sure, but being bad at crime is not a legal defence. You have to be so impaired that you didn't know what you were doing was wrong.

I'm fairly confident that everyone over 12 who's not in a coma knows buying 33 lbs of cocaine is a no-no.
   27. Rough Carrigan Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:12 PM (#5954354)
Bucky Walters 38-53, 4.48 era with the Phillies, 160-107, 2.93 era with the Reds
The Phillies were complete #### in that era and Walters was a pronounced groundball pitcher who went to a great defensive team, one of Bill McKechnie's great D squads.
   28. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:13 PM (#5954356)
It seems completely implausible that someone who could be that good at baseball couldn't do simple daily tasks, but I guess some judge or jury bought it.

He wasn't good defensively, playing several positions, none of them well. But the man could flat-out rake; from 1982-87, Guerrero had a 154 OPS+, best in baseball (minimum 2,000 PA).

EDIT: Looking at the Top 5 on this list (PG, Schmidt, Mattingly, Boggs, Brett); four of them were primarily 3B.
   29. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:17 PM (#5954358)


It seems completely implausible that someone who could be that good at baseball couldn't do simple daily tasks, but I guess some judge or jury bought it.


I tend to agree (just understanding the basic rules of baseball would seem to be more complicated than writing a check). But it appears that some jury did buy it, or believed it created reasonable doubt.
   30. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:32 PM (#5954362)
Bucky Walters 38-53, 4.48 era with the Phillies, 160-107, 2.93 era with the Reds
The Phillies were complete #### in that era and Walters was a pronounced groundball pitcher who went to a great defensive team, one of Bill McKechnie's great D squads.


McKechnie became Reds manager in 1938.

Paul Derringer, Cards/Reds 1931-1937 age 24-30, 102-116, 3.70 era, 104 era+, FIP 3.35
Paul Derringer, Reds 1938-1942 age 31-35, 88-58, 3.05 era, 121 era+, FIP 3.26
   31. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:03 PM (#5954364)
Wait, the illiterate/innumerate can't plav baseball?
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:19 PM (#5954370)
Wait, the illiterate/innumerate can't plav baseball?

Baseball is a lot more complex than making your bed. You don't need to be literate to write a check. Is any one really that innumerate?
   33. depletion Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:34 PM (#5954372)
Yes, Guerrero's successful defense was that his IQ was too low for him to understand what he was doing, and that he was being manipulated by others. I remember his lawyers claimed he wasn't capable of performing simple tasks like writing a check or making his bed.

Or he was really cheap, an unrepentant slob, and had enough money and brains to hire a great lawyer.
   34. depletion Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:40 PM (#5954375)
Snapper, what I meant in #25 is that Loaiza (and Newton) should have been aware that that they weren't that good at moving drugs to get involved at a high level. Hey, I got my license last week, lemme get a 600 hp Porsche and take it to the track!
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:47 PM (#5954378)
Or he was really cheap, an unrepentant slob, and had enough money and brains to hire a great lawyer.

Ding, ding, ding! Winner.

Snapper, what I meant in #25 is that Loaiza (and Newton) should have been aware that that they weren't that good at moving drugs to get involved at a high level. Hey, I got my license last week, lemme get a 600 hp Porsche and take it to the track!

Ah, gotcha.
   36. Barnaby Jones Posted: May 29, 2020 at 04:35 PM (#5954402)
It seems completely implausible that someone who could be that good at baseball couldn't do simple daily tasks, but I guess some judge or jury bought it.'

Having an intellectual disability doesn't mean you are uniformly bad at all things. It is in fact fairly common for people with ID to do better in structured environments (like baseball, perhaps) than perform simple, functional life management skills.

I find it more suspicious that he was later hired to actually manage three separate teams; but maybe that is the ultimate proof that managers don't matter.
   37. Ron J Posted: May 29, 2020 at 05:13 PM (#5954407)
#34 Interesting about the performance car thing. I remember years ago that Glen Sather found out that one of his young stars had bought a performance car. He got the player lessons for performance driving (memory says out of his own pocket)
   38. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 29, 2020 at 05:26 PM (#5954410)
the performance car thing


In the early 60s one of the top British race drivers--either Stirling Moss or Graham Hill, can never remember--failed his driving test. Luckily Formula 1 didn't require drivers to be licensed.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: May 29, 2020 at 07:49 PM (#5954430)
EDIT: Looking at the Top 5 on this list (PG, Schmidt, Mattingly, Boggs, Brett); four of them were primarily 3B.

Guerrero had only 351 starts at 3B compared with 553 at 1B and 513 in the OF (incl 99 in CF). He had only one season as a full-time 3B at age 27. If you meant specifically 1982-87 then it was 286 starts out of 736 total games started (39%). If I added right, he had 380 OF starts in that time which includes his 99 in CF so 3B was his most common position.

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