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Happy Birthday Esteban Loaiza

And Jesse Carlson and Sil Campusano

Red Sox v Blue Jays Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images

Former Blue Jays starter Esteban Loaiza turns 51 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. He had 160 games behind him, 131 starts, a 44-45 record, and a 4.80 ERA up to that point in his career.

At the time, the Jays were tied for second in the AL East, 1.5 games back of the Yankees. Our offense was good but lacked in the starting rotation. You might remember that was the season Roy Halladay had a 10.90 ERA. So we needed someone for his spot in the rotation.

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

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

He would play two more seasons for the Jays. He wasn’t great. 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.

I forgot that Esteban was arrested for drug trafficking, in 2019, with 20 kilos of cocaine. I don’t know much about cocaine, but that seems like a lot. He got a three-year sentence and was released in August of this year, presuming you are reading this before midnite.

Happy birthday Esteban.

It is also Jesse Carlson’s 42nd birthday (I’m surprised he is that old).

Jesse played a lefty out of the pen for three seasons with the Jays. His best season was his rookie year, in 2008, when 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, then in 2010, it was 4.61 in 20 games. Unfortunately, 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 series with the Yankees. In a four-game series, we had six 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. 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 toward you.

Mike Wilner said:

Seriously, and you wonder why the Yankees inspire so much hate? After hitting a Jay IN THE FACE the last time the two teams played, they hit two Blue Jays, 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, he swung an elbow and the benches emptied.

Being honest, 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 without a run-scoring. We called him Cy for a while there, which brought the site some notice when mentioned it. We had our biggest day (to that point) for visits.

Anyway, happy birthday Jesse. I hope it is a good one.

Sil Campusano turns 57 today.

Sil was an ok prospect. He was nothing special, but he had a pretty good glove. Unfortunately, Sil 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. Unfortunately, Bell decided that this was the season he wouldn’t listen to his manager.

To be fair to Bell, Williams should have sat down and talked to him and explained the 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, and Lloyd Moesby moved to left, making our defense much better.

Unfortunately for Sil, a) he didn’t hit, and b) Bell made life miserable for everyone. 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.

Happy Birthday, Sil.