Esteban Loaiza pitched for 14 years in the major leagues. He’s now facing way more time than that in the California Penal League.
Multiple news outlets are reporting that Loaiza was arrested in San Diego County on Friday for transporting roughly 44 pounds of heroin and cocaine. His arrest report is reproduced below, courtesy of Jeff Passan of Yahoo.
Loaiza is due to be arraigned on Wednesday. Bail has been set at $200,000. At least one news outlet — Univision — questions whether the former big leaguer can make that bail. Loaiza, Univision notes, was one married to the late singer Jenni Rivera, but she filed for divorce from him in the months before her death in a plane crash, in part due to allegations of financial impropriety on his part. Whatever the case, Loaiza is in deep trouble.
Loaiza pitched for eight different teams in his career, spending four years with the Pirates and three years each with the White Sox, Rangers and Blue Jays. He spent two years in L.A. and Oakland — where he got a DUI in 20o6 — and a year each with the Yankees and Nationals. His best season came in 2003 when he went 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA for the White Sox, finishing second in the Cy Young balloting. For his career he was 126-114 with a 4.65 ERA in 377 games, starting 333 of them.
Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.
Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.
Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.
As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.