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Thursday, December 8, 2011
Four days before contract deadline, Loney's November arrest revealed


Dodger first baseman James Loney was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence on November 14. (The story was first reported by TMZ.)

The incident by itself does not seem to have any direct effect on Loney's future with the Dodgers. The Dodgers have had more than three weeks to digest it, with general manager Ned Colletti telling Dylan Hernandez of the Times that Loney's status won't be affected "unless something turns up."

However, I can't help wondering if the Albert Pujols signing might cause the Dodgers to rethink their plans, whether it's to reboot a pursuit of Prince Fielder, or if only because of the possibility that the Angels will now make 28-year-old first baseman Kendrys Morales available.  Morales had a .924 OPS in 2009, his last full season before a broken leg waylaid him. Morales could soon be looking for a new home. (Unless, the Angels find a taker for someone like Bobby Abreu.)

The Dodgers must finalize their decision on whether to offer Loney a 2012 contract by 9 p.m. Monday.

Here are some details on the Loney arrest. I have to admit, when I saw the reference to the Maserati, my thoughts immediately turned to Joe Walsh:
... California Highway Patrol spokesman Leland Tang told the Los Angeles Times that the accident took place at around 6:15 p.m. PT in Sherman Oaks. Loney's Masarati sideswiped several cars before coming to a stop in the fast lane with the player passed out inside.

"His unusual behavior at the scene caused concern on the part of the L.A city fire paramedics and he was transported to Sherman Oaks Hospital for further tests," Tang said, according to the newspaper.

Loney was traveling westbound when he hit three vehicles and then abruptly came to a stop.

"The three parties involved in the collision including the driver of a 2008 Mini Cooper, a Toyota Prius and Mercedes Benz attempted to contact Mr. Loney but according to their statements he appeared to be unconscious," Tang said, according to the Times. "He eventually awoke and he saw all the people standing around him. He then attempted to flee the scene."

A CHP officer, who first responded to the scene, wrote in his report that Loney displayed "objective symptoms of being intoxicated or being under the influence of something."

A person close to Loney told the Times that the player tested negative for drugs and alcohol, but Tang told the newspaper that results of a blood test taken by officers was not yet available.