Loaiza's name had not been mentioned as being among the attendees before the event, and he hadn't been involved in the Sox organization much since he was traded for Jose Contreras in the middle of the 2004 season. Sure, he pitched three games for the South Siders at the end of his career in 2008, but he hadn't been heard from since.
It seemed strange that he suddenly resurfaced, 15 years after he won 21 games for the Sox and started the 2003 All-Star Game for the American League at U.S. Cellular Field.
Turns out, Loaiza might have been desperate to make whatever appearance fee the team pays former players who come to SoxFest.
The former right-hander was arrested Friday after authorities searched his home in Southern California and found more than 44 pounds of what is suspected to be cocaine.
Loaiza is being held on $200,000 bail on suspicion of possessing and transporting narcotics for sale, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune report.
According to baseball-reference.com, Loaiza made $43.7 million during his 14-year major league career. His inability to post bond to this point suggests that perhaps he blew through all that money, and perhaps he was trying to make some easy cash with the drug running.
I suspect he randomly showed up at SoxFest for the first time in years also for purposes of trying to make some easy cash.
At the end of the day, it's quite possible Loaiza soon will be throwing cut fastballs in the California Penal League. This is an unfortunate story about a player who had the best season of his career while wearing a Sox uniform in 2003.