Ex-All-Star Loaiza pleads not guilty

The Palm Beach Post - - SPORTS - Wire ser­vices

For­mer All-Star pitcher Este­ban Loaiza, who earned more than $43 mil­lion over 14 MLB sea­sons, de­nied al­le­ga­tions Wed­nes­day that he is a co­caine dealer.

Loaiza, 46, ap­peared in San Diego County Su­pe­rior Court in Chula Vista, Calif. He wore a khaki jail uni­form and looked at his fa­ther and other fam­ily mem­bers be­fore en­ter­ing his not guilty plea.

Pros­e­cu­tors charged Loaiza with pos­ses­sion and trans­porta­tion for sale of more than 22 pounds of co­caine, a co­caine base or heroin, and us­ing a false com­part­ment to smug­gle drugs.

Loaiza could face up to 20 years and eight months in prison if con­victed. The judge raised his bail to $250,000 af­ter pros­e­cu­tors ar­gued the Mex­i­can pitcher poses a flight risk.

Loaiza played for nine teams be­tween 1995 and 2008. He was 21-9 with the White Sox in 2003 and started the All-Star Game that year.

In­di­ans: For­mer ma­jor lea­guer John “Tito” Fran­cona, the fa­ther of In­di­ans man­ager Terry Fran­cona, died Tues­day at his home in New Brighton, Pa. He was 84. Tito Fran­cona bat­ted .363 and fin­ished fifth in AL MVP vot­ing in 1959, his first sea­son with the In­di­ans. Fran­cona played in the ma­jors for 15 sea­sons, six with the In­di­ans. Terry Fran­cona is af­fec­tion­ately called “Tito” af­ter his fa­ther.

An­gels: For a change, twotime AL MVP Mike Trout isn’t the big­gest thing at An­gels camp. Ja­panese two-way star Sho­hei Oh­tani got to work with the rest of the pitch­ers and catch­ers on Day 1. “Base­ball-wise on the field I’m go­ing to be noth­ing dif­fer­ent than what I was do­ing in Ja­pan,” he said through a trans­la­tor. Dozens of Ja­panese me­dia mem­bers fol­lowed ev­ery move of the 23-year-old rookie.

White Sox: Out­fielder Avi­sail Gar­cia won his ar­bi­tra­tion case against the team and will get a raise to $6.7 mil­lion in­stead of the club’s $5.85 mil­lion of­fer. Gar­cia was a first-time All-Star last year, when he set ca­reer bests with a .330 av­er­age, 18 homers and 80 RBIs. He made $3 mil­lion.

Cardinals: Bud Nor­ris fi­nal­ized a $3 mil­lion, oneyear deal. The right-han­der, 32, led the An­gels with 19 saves last sea­son.

Braves: Vet­eran catcher Chris Ste­wart, 35, agreed to $575,000, one-year con­tract.

Gi­ants: Left-han­der Will Smith said he has thrown seven bullpens at 75 per­cent as he re­turns from el­bow surgery that side­lined him all of last sea­son. Man­ager Bruce Bochy said Smith’s tar­get date for re­turn­ing is May 1.

Ori­oles: Man­ager Buck Showal­ter said eight pitch­ers could work in Grape­fruit League games as starters. They in­clude Dy­lan Bundy, Kevin Gaus­man, Miguel Cas­tro, Hunter Har­vey, Mike Wright and Gabriel Ynoa. Rule 5 draftees Nestor Cortes and Jose Mesa are also un­der con­sid­er­a­tion.

Ath­let­ics: Dave Ste­wart, the 1989 World Se­ries MVP, is back as a spring train­ing in­struc­tor and will spend the first five days of camp work­ing with pitch­ers.

Rock­ies: The team has talked to lead­off hit­ter Char­lie Black­mon about hit­ting in the mid­dle of the or­der as they at­tempt to fill the hole left by Car­los Gon­za­lez, who re­mains a free agent but does not ap­pear to be in the team’s plans.

Note­wor­thy: The play­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion had a Roy­als scout es­corted out of the union’s open­ing train­ing ses­sion for un­signed free agents in Braden­ton, Fla. The scout was told he was not wel­come but could set up a ses­sion with an in­di­vid­ual player at the player’s dis­cre­tion, sev­eral peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion said. Me­dia was barred from the work­outs.

Tues­day’s Games Wed­nes­day’s Games

(At) Pis­tons 104, Hawks 98: Ish Smith had 22 points and nine as­sists, and Blake Grif­fin had 13 points, 12 re­bounds and nine as­sists as De­troit ended a three-game los­ing streak. An­drew White III had 15 points for At­lanta in his NBA de­but.

Hor­nets 104, (at) Magic 102: Dwight Howard had 22 points and 13 re­bounds, and Kemba Walker scored 20 as Char­lotte stopped a four-game los­ing streak. Mario He­zonja had 21 points and 10 re­bounds for Or­lando.

(At) 76ers 104, Heat 102: Ben Sim­mons had 18 points, 12 re­bounds and 10 as­sists for Philadel­phia, which trailed 68-44 early in the third quar­ter. James John­son scored 22 for Mi­ami, which has lost seven of eight and missed a chance to pass the 76ers for sev­enth in the East. The 76ers played with­out cen­ter Joel Em­biid, who has a sore right an­kle.

Wizards 118, (at) Knicks 113: Bradley Beal scored 36 points for Wash­ing­ton, which trailed 68-41 late in the sec­ond quar­ter and pulled off the largest come­back to vic­tory in the NBA this sea­son. The Wizards erased the deficit dur­ing a 3915 third quar­ter. Tim Har­d­away Jr. had 32 of his 37 points in the first half for New York, which lost its eighth in a row.

Pac­ers 108, (at) Nets 103: Vic­tor Oladipo scored 25 points as In­di­ana won its third in a row. Allen Crabbe scored 23 for Brook­lyn, which has lost seven straight.

(At) Rockets 100, Kings 91: James Har­den had 28 points, nine re­bounds and nine as­sists as Hous­ton won its 10th in a row. Bog­dan Bog­danovic scored 20 for Sacra­mento.

Rap­tors 122, (at) Bulls 98: Kyle Lowry had 20 points and 10 as­sists, and Serge Ibaka scored 20 as Toronto won its sev­enth straight. Bobby Por­tis scored 18 points for Chicago.

Clip­pers 129, (at) Celtics 119: De­An­dre Jor­dan had 30 points and 13 re­bounds as Los An­ge­les earned its fourth win in five games. Kyrie Irv­ing had 33 points and eight as­sists for Bos­ton, which lost for the fourth time in five games.

(At) Pel­i­cans 139, Lak­ers 117: An­thony Davis had 42 points and 15 re­bounds, shoot­ing 15 of 18 from the field, for New Or­leans. Kyle Kuzma scored 23 for the Lak­ers.

Thun­der 121, (at) Griz­zlies 114: Paul Ge­orge scored 28 points, and Rus­sell West­brook added 23 points, 15 as­sists and 13 re­bounds for Ok­la­homa City. An­drew Har­ri­son led Mem­phis with a ca­reer-high 28 points.

Suns at Jazz: Late

War­riors at Trail Blaz­ers: Late

Fri­day’s Games


Tigers pitcher Alex Wil­son stretches with his team­mates as De­troit’s pitch­ers and catch­ers re­ported to spring train­ing Wed­nes­day in Lake­land, Fla.

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