December 08, 2011
There were a lot of headlines focusing on first basemen in Southern California on Thursday morning, but not all of them were positive.
Though Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels hogged most of the spotlight, it was also reported that Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman James Loney was arrested on suspicion of DUI and taken to a hospital after a strange car accident on Nov. 14.
The 27-year-old sideswiped three other cars with his 2009 Maserati while traveling on the 101 in Los Angeles and then engaged in some odd behavior when the California Highway Patrol showed up to investigate.
According to the report, when cops first arrived to the scene ... Loney told one of the officers, "The b**** hit me from behind."
Cops say Loney appeared to be "restless, unsteady, aggressive and irritable" ... and he "exhibited eyelid tremors and his shirt was soiled and moist from perspiration, from his armpits down to his waistline."
Cops say when officers asked Loney what day it was ... he replied, "7/15 and Saturday" -- when in fact, it was 11/14 and Monday.
Loney was taken to Sherman Oaks Hospital for examination and allegedly spit the breathylzer device back at the police officer who was trying to administer a test. A friend of Loney's tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that a blood sample cleared Loney of any drug or alcohol use, but a California Highway Patrol spokesperson tells the paper that the results of a blood test have not been returned.
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com talked with one person who offered this explanation:
One source with knowledge of the episode said Loney was rear-ended, hit his head on the ceiling of the car and momentarily blacked out. That might explain the glancing collisions of the other vehicles and the disorientation that he exhibited to police.
Once seen as a potential star after a breakout rookie season in 2007, Loney's power never arrived and now he's headed toward being a very expensive singles hitter/defensive specialist as he approaches his final year of arbitration. Despite the first baseman's declining value and this strange episode, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti tells Dylan Hernandez that the team still plans to tender Loney a contract this offseason.