The Pittsburgh Pirates Could Have Led Esteban Loazia To A Life Of Crime
Esteban Loaiza, the second-winningest pitcher from Mexico in MLB history, is scheduled to be in court Wednesday to face felony drug charges, according to San Diego Sheriffs Office records (via Yahoo.com).
Loaiza, 46, was arrested Friday and charged with possessing more than 20 kilograms of heroin and/or cocaine for purchase/sale and for transporting for sale narcotics and/or a controlled substance.
His bail, subject to change, was set at $200,000.
A native of Tijuana who attended high school in Imperial Beach, Calif., Loaiza pitched 14 seasons in the majors for eight teams from 1995-2008. His best season was with the White Sox in 2003 when he was 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA and finished second in AL Cy Young voting to the late Roy Halladay. He was an AL All-Star in 2003 and '04.
The right-hander recorded doube-digit victories seven times and finished his career 126-114, having played for the Pirates, Rangers, White Sox, Blue Jays, A's, Dodgers, Nationals and Yankees.
His 126 MLB victories are second to only Fernando Valenzuela's 173 among natives of Mexico.
I mean, it's a pretty easy take to blame the Pirates on this one. You get signed by the team in 1991, where they are at the height of their Bonds / Bonilla / Van Slyke firepower since the "We Are Family" days, but then you're there first hand to witness the dawn of a historic franchise crumbling into baseball Hades. So what do you do? You turn to a life of drug dealing. Hopefully not on the same level of extremes that put Danny Trejo's head on a turtle, but 20 kilos of cocaine and heroin is a lot.
Quite the career transition for Loaiza though. You go from major league pitcher to a drug kingpin, both high profile occupations and both have their relations to illegal substances. That simple connection could be what stood out on the resume to Gus Fring and the gang.
Personally, Loazia was always a good, consistent hand on the fantasy baseball squad - he'd never get you those killer CG SHOs, but he'd be someone solid to have on your rotation for accruing you points in a points based league. Good to draft low. Just mind the booger sugar.