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Happy Birthday Esteban Loaiza

Esteban Loaiza poses for a studio portrait.

Former Blue Jays starter Esteban Loaiza turns 47 today.

You’ll likely remember the Jays traded then minor leaguer Michael Young. He ended up having a very good career.

Loaiza? He was 28 at the time. Up to that point in his career he had 160 games behind him, 131 starts, a 44-45 record, and a 4.80 ERA.

The Jays were sitting tied for second in the AL East, 1.5 games back of the Yankees. Our offense was pretty good. But we were a bit lacking in the starting rotation. You might remember that as the season Roy Halladay had the 10.90 and we needed someone for his spot in the rotation.

But the trade didn’t push us to the top of the division. We went 32-34 the rest of the way, finishing 3rd, 4.5 games back.

Loaiza? He made 14 starts, had a 5-7 record with a 3.62 ERA.

He would play 2 more seasons for the Jays. He wasn’t great. He had went 25-28 with a 4.96 ERA in 69 starts.

He signed would the White Sox after the 2002 season. In 2003 he went 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA. I don’t know why he couldn’t do for us. He always seemed like the kind of pitcher that should have been better ane then he goes to Chicago and is better.

From there, Esteban would bounce around the majors. He played for the Yankees, Nationals, A’s, Dodgers and White Sox again. He finished his MLB career with a 126-114 record and a 4.65 ERA in 377 games, 333 starts.

Happy birthday Esteban.

It is also Jesse Carlson’s 38th birthday.

Jesse played 3 seasons with the Jays as a lefty out of the pen. His best season was his rookie year, in 2008. He pitched in 69 games, had a 7-2 record and a 2.25 ERA. In 60 innings he allowed 41 hits, 21 walks and 55 strikeouts.

Unfortunately, it kind of went downhill from there. In 2009 he had a 4.66 ERA in 73 games and then 2010 it was 4.61 in 20 games and that was the end of his career.

Jesse won me as a fan in a game against the Yankees.

The Jays batters had been being used as target practice in a couple of series with the Yankees. In a four game series, we had 6 hit batters. Then, the next week in New York, Edwin Encarnacion homered. His next at bat he was hit by pitch. Then Aaron Hill got drilled.

So Carlson throws behind Jorge Posada. What followed:

“You don’t want to do that”, he yells at Carlson. Now I could understand that reaction, if say the pitch was at his head. Or even at his ribs. Or perhaps, if it were in retaliation for a homer hit in the last at bat. But no, that reaction was just because he is a Yankee and God forbid you come close to hitting one of those. You would think that Posada having been in the league for years would know that if you hit half a dozen or so of the other team’s players, intentional or not, sooner or later a pitch will come towards you.

Mike Wilner said:

Seriously, and you wonder why the Yankees inspire so much hate? They hit two Blue Jays, after having hit a Jay IN THE FACE the last time the two teams played, and Jorge Posada - a 13-year veteran who has seen plenty of baseball’s give-and-take - reacts like a high school bully to a pitch that wasn’t even ribcage-high? Please. Wouldn’t want to offend the delicate genius.

Anyway a brawl soon followed. Later in the inning, Posada would score and ran past Carlson after, swinging an elbow and the benches emptied.

Actually I was a fan before that, in his rookie year he came into a game with the bases loaded, and no outs, and got out of the inning without a run scoring, which made me a big fan. We were calling him Cy for a while there.

Anyway, happy birthday Jesse. I hope it is a goo done.