Ex-All-Star Loaiza pleads not guilty
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
Tigers pitcher Alex Wilson stretches with his teammates as Detroit’s pitchers and catchers reported to spring training Wednesday in Lakeland, Fla.