Miracle Man: Loaiza was supposed to merely fill out the rotation, not compete for the Cy Young.
Sometimes luck plays a part in things … sometimes a very big part. On this date, White Sox GM Ken Williams signed free agent pitcher Esteban Loaiza to a contract. Loaiza was expected to round out the back end of the rotation, but he did much more than that. By season’s end he had won 21 games, started the All-Star Game and led the AL in strikeouts. He could have won the Cy Young Award, but a pair of 1-0 losses to Detroit appeared to kill his chances and he ended up second in the voting. The next year he was traded to the Yankees at midseason for pitcher Jose Contreras — another deal that was a steal for the White Sox!
Published by Brett Ballantini
Actor (final credit: murdered by Albert Einstein in "Carnage Hall"), musician (Ethnocentric Republicans), and Nerf hoops champion, Wiffleball aficionado and onetime bilingual kindergarten teacher, Brett Ballantini also writes about baseball, basketball and sometimes hockey, publishing at the NBA, MLB, NHL, and for Slam, Hoop, Sporting News, the Athletic, and others. He was CSN Chicago’s Blackhawks beat writer for their first Stanley Cup season of 2009-10, and took over the White Sox beat after that. He currently is the editor-in-chief of South Side Hit Pen and managing editor of SB Nation's South Side Sox. He also wrote a book about Ozzie Guillén but is running out of space, so follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and he'll probably tell you even more about himself than you ever wanted to know.
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