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Happy Birthday Esteban Loaiza

Esteban Loaiza #21

Former Blue Jays starter Esteban Loaiza turns 49 today.

You’ll likely remember the Jays traded then minor leaguer Michael Young (and Darwin Cubillan) in July of 2000. You may have heard of Young. He went on to have a pretty decent 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. We needed someone for his spot in the rotation.

Unfortunately, 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. In total, he had a 25-28 with a 4.96 ERA in 69 starts.

He signed with 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 it for us. He always seemed like the kind of pitcher that should have been better and 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 40th 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, 2008 was the peak of Jesse’s career. In 2009 Jesse had a 4.66 ERA in 73 games, and then in 2010, it was 4.61 in 20 games. That was the end of his career.

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

The Jays batters were 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. In his next at-bat, he was hit by a 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. 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. I wouldn’t want to offend the delicate genius.

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

Actually, I was a fan before that. He came into a game with the bases loaded and no outs in his rookie year and got out of the inning without a run-scoring. We were calling him Cy for a while there, which brought the site some notice when mentioned it. We had our biggest day ever (to that point) for visits that day.

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

Sil Campusano turns 55 today (which makes me feel old).

Sil was an ok prospect. Nothing special, but he had a pretty good glove. Unfortunately, he had a rough start to his major league career. In 1988, manager Jimy Williams (his family was too poor to afford the second ‘m’) decided that this was the year George Bell should transition to the DH role. Bell had been a decent outfielder, but years of playing on the thinly carpeted concrete in Toronto wrecked his knees and limited his range to roughly the length of his arms. Bell decided that this was the season he wasn’t going to listen to his manager.

Being fair to Bell, Williams should have sat down and talked to someone who was a star on the team and explained his decision. Maybe that would make Bell feel better about things (maybe not, but it would be worth a shot). But Williams was an old-style manager (or at least wanted to be), and he thought he didn’t have to explain his decisions to a player.

Jimy inserted Sil into center field, Lloyd Moesby moved to left, which made our defense much better.

Unfortunately for Sil, a) he didn’t hit, b) Bell made life miserable for everyone around. Sil hit .218/.282/.359 in 158 at-bats (kind of unfair to judge him after such few at-bats). Sil didn’t play in the majors in 1989, and the Phillies picked him in the Rule 5 draft after that season. He hit about the same for them, in 120 at-bats, spread over two seasons, and that was his MLB career.