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Spare Parts: Esteban Loaiza to face felony drug charges

Two weeks after being a gracious guest at SoxFest in Chicago, Esteban Loaiza faces felony drug charges on suspicion of possessing and transporting narcotics after police discovered more than 44 pounds of a powder in his rental house.

Jeff Passan shared the arrest record to get the ball rolling …

… and the San Diego Union-Tribune has the most substantial follow-up:

Loaiza was arrested by members of the sheriff’s border crime suppression team who were conducting surveillance in Imperial Beach as part of a narcotic investigation. He was pulled over for a minor traffic violation after he was spotted driving a 2010 Mercedes 450 believed to be involved in smuggling operations, said sheriff’s Lt. Jason Vickery.

When deputies searched the car, they noticed a “sophisticated after-market” hidden compartment in his vehicle believed used to conceal contraband. That provided enough probable cause for officers to seek a search warrant to look in his home, which he leased in early February.

This isn’t Loaiza’s first run-in with the law, as his 120-mph drunken driving escapades prompted the Oakland Athletics to remove alcohol from the Coliseum clubhouses. This one has resulted in felony charges, though, and the proximity to SoxFest is what makes it resonate. The people who have autographs and photos with him have a far more complex story to tell.

* * *

Spare Parts

Today’s the last day of the least fun MLB offseason since 1994-95, so let’s close it out in style.

Baseball’s ice-cold free agent market is partially the byproduct of a lopsided system that gives teams no incentive to get better unless they have big plans. But even when it comes to ideas I kinda like — J.J. Cooper’s tank tax is one — I wonder whether removing or reworking draft pick compensation from free agent signings would achieve the same purpose, since that’s a big detriment for teams like the White Sox and Giants getting involved.

In any event, the overall message behind Ken Rosenthal’s piece — “no one on either side would benefit from four more years of heightened tension” — seems naive. The owners don’t necessarily benefit from heightened tension, but they benefit from all the other spoils of an advantageous negotiation, which is the whole point in winning them.

Another advantage the owners have: invisibility. They’re taken as givens, while players are making the more detectable decisions. Meg Rowley wonders whether the players can turn the tides if enough rebuilding teams fail to get where they’re supposed to go.

With so many teams in the process of purposely not-winning, we must ask how well the strategy employed by the Astros and Cubs will continue to work. Sometimes you win a World Series, but sometimes you’re the mid-2000s Mariners, still bogged down despite a Dustin Ackley and a Jesus Montero and a Justin Smoak, never really closer until a Robinson Cano comes along. Not every team will be able to draft first overall. And if they don’t, where will they be except another year older? […]

If I were the players, I would talk about how all that tanking or not-winning doesn’t always work. How it makes for very bad, boring baseball. How it is pitted against our nights in the best time of the year. How it is indifferent to our Octobers.

The Giants didn’t use free agency as a trampoline back into contention, but they found veteran upgrades by trading for Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria. PECOTA projects them to win 84 games, mostly because they shouldn’t have been the 98-loss bad they were last season, but if acquiring proven players helps them noticeably, they’re a point against succumbing to gravity.

Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million contract with the Cubs, which is rather reasonable for a free-agent starter of his quality, although the lack of durability is a notable ding on his record.

The “sickness” is that the Cubs were allowed to let Darvish come to them in February, while other teams that could use him more didn’t pony up to even the historical level of spending. That makes Darvish a flashpoint of his own in this greater debate. If Darvish delivers for the Cubs while the Brewers and Twins are a starter short, the lack of aggressiveness will be put into starker relief. If Darvish can only throw 120 innings, the lack of FOMO will continue to bedevil individual players.

If the White Sox are going to beat their low-70s win projections, the teams that usually bedevil the computers usually do so with improbably strong relief work. Nate Jones’ arm doesn’t need more stress.

The man who served prison time for setting up a fake website for a performance-enhancing drug in hopes of providing Melky Cabrera an alibi is now suing the ACES agency he worked for. Seth and Sam Levinson of ACES have called the lawsuit a “shakedown,” and Craig Calcaterra said “it’s hard to escape the conclusion that [Juan Carlos] Nunez is looking to make a buck here now that he’s unable to work in baseball.”

Thank you for supporting Sox Machine.


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ParisSoxPauliePaulieHobo Under 35th St. Viaductkarkovice squadEagle Bones Recent comment authors
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35Shields
Member
35Shields

Ugh. I think people who wear Rick Hahn t-shirts should be required by law to only wear them under James Shields or Adam LaRoche jerseys

Patrick Nolan
Editor

That’s a Barstool thing right?

Reindeer Games
Member
Reindeer Games

It’s from RedLine Radio I think. It’s Carl and WSD from Barstool’s podcast that I don’t listen to because they’re not PFT, Big Cat, or Chaps. Everyone else I hate because they’re too brotastic, except KFC which I can’t decide if I hate him or like him.

Lurker Laura
Member
Lurker Laura

Thanks for the link to the SplitSider article. Another day, another reason I’m glad I’m not on Facebook.

Ted Mulvey
Editor

Agreed. Excellent article.

Patrick Nolan
Editor

That was an interesting point they made about Homestar Runner — it’d be really hard to generate that type of audience for something like that again, which is sad.

Trooper Galactus
Member

Damn, I miss when that site was regularly updated. Even worse, I used to have the Strong Bad Cool Game for Attractive People on my PS3, but Sony removed the content from their online library, so I can’t download it again even though I paid for it.

ParisSox
Member
ParisSox

I liked the comparison to local shops. For a few months now if I see something interesting on facebook, rather than click directly, I try to go directly to the site via another tab. Like shopping local, don’t know that it makes a big difference, but it makes me feel better by fighting the man in any little way possible.

Also, isn’t it ironic that Zuckenburg was so against advertising on FB at the beginning because he didn’t want it to lose it’s “cool factor”?

karkovice squad
Member
karkovice squad

It’s like a content-killing Hydra. Facebook undermining content production at the broadest level. Google’s ad ecosystem having a similarly stifling effect on publishing. And places like Vox relying on almost-volunteer labor for content production.

wonderpants
Member
wonderpants

Same. What a lifesuck

PauliePaulie
Member
PauliePaulie

Is the banner picture his mugshot?

lil jimmy
Member
lil jimmy

I’m just going to say. It wasn’t his car. It wasn’t his house. The drugs in the car were hidden. Most likely the drugs in the house as well. The article says, they knew the car. He may be a victim of circumstance.

Patrick Nolan
Editor

Yeah, this is sort of where I am. There’s a lot of labeling of Loaiza as a “kingpin” which I guess is a fun word, but it’s faulty because 1) we don’t know what his role really was in all of this (or if he knew it) and 2) it seems to carry a weird assumption that everyone involved in drug trafficking is a “kingpin”.

Reindeer Games
Member
Reindeer Games

I think we all know the real kingpin is Woody Harrelson.

Patrick Nolan
Editor

I seem to be having difficulty posting an image so if you could go ahead and imagine Woody Boyd staring at you with a shocked face that’d be great.

Reindeer Games
Member
Reindeer Games

I assumed you were going to post Amish Randy Quaid or longhaired combover Bill Murray with the Rose bowling ball.

Patrick Nolan
Editor

The only things I remember about that film is that there was a rug that holds the room together and there’s bowling in it.

Patrick Nolan
Editor

And now I appear to have the wrong movie. Welp, I’ve disappointed everyone today.

Reindeer Games
Member
Reindeer Games

This is unbelievably offensive because 1) you mistook Kingpin for the Big Lebowski, and they’re very different films, and 2) The Big Lebowski is amazing and not remembering anything from it should make you feel bad.

Patrick Nolan
Editor

I saw TBL once in 2004 and didn’t really care for it. I’ve never seen Kingpin and knew nothing about it before now.

Reindeer Games
Member
Reindeer Games

Kingpin is great if you enjoy Bill Murray hamming it up.

karkovice squad
Member
karkovice squad

You also have to enjoy the Farrelly Brothers’ unique sensibility.

lil jimmy
Member
lil jimmy

I saw TBL and thought, limited market. Saw it again and loved it. I think it improves with repeated viewing. Like “Where’s Papa.”

ParisSox
Member
ParisSox

Or Napolean Dynamite

karkovice squad
Member
karkovice squad

I assumed you were going to post Amish Randy Quaid or longhaired combover Bill Murray with the Rose bowling ball.

I assumed something more like Woody Harrelson drinking “milk.”

Hobo Under 35th St. Viaduct
Member
Hobo Under 35th St. Viaduct

He’s our last 20 game winner, so he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

ParisSox
Member
ParisSox

This is the first thing I thought too. Let’s see how it plays out.

Red_Hair_White_Sox
Member
Red_Hair_White_Sox

Holy shit, if you showed me that tweet a week ago I could have told you Loaiza was involved in cocaine.

He’s gotta be 30 lbs lighter and he was never particularly big

KenWo4LiFe
Member
KenWo4LiFe

I wouldn’t have because he is extremely laid back

Eagle Bones
Member
Eagle Bones

Maybe it’s just me, but the commenting seems a little off today. Can’t seem to carriage return down to a new line and I’m missing the features that used to be here like the quote function for instance. Just a heads up Jim, I know you were messing with the comment functionality the other day, so this may be a known side effect.

Eagle Bones
Member
Eagle Bones

This doesn’t bode well. From Longenhagen chat:

12:27
A Boy Named Yu: Is Blake Rutherford a prime candidate for higher launch angle swing adjustment?

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him take BP two weeks ago and have a 45 on his raw. I don’t know where the pop went but it isn’t there right now.

Eagle Bones
Member
Eagle Bones
Patrick Nolan
Editor

Wonder what’s going on with this. Feel like things are going off the rails pretty hard with Rutherford.

Lurker Laura
Member
Lurker Laura

Yeah, are the White Sox doing a terrible job with him, or is he pouting because he’s not playing in his “boyhood team” Yankees’ system anymore? (Which is simplistic and kinda bitchy, ‘cuz it’s the Yankees, but the change of scenery seems to be a thing here.)

joewho112
Member
joewho112

Or he just isn’t good enough or prospects don’t follow linear development

katiesphil
Member
katiesphil

I’m hoping the latter here.

Eagle Bones
Member
Eagle Bones

I don’t recall raw other cases of raw power evaporating like this though. At least without an injury. It’s weird.

Trooper Galactus
Member

It’s not like he was lighting things up with the Yankees before either.

ParisSox
Member
ParisSox

15 minutes in a cage caveat everybody

PauliePaulie
Member
PauliePaulie

Avi had his arb hearing today.

ParisSox
Member
ParisSox