12/08/11 12:20 PM EST
Loney arrested after car crash last month
Dodgers first baseman not charged after incident with officer
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he learned of the incident from an anonymous caller about two weeks ago and left a message for Loney, who called him "right back." He said Loney explained what happened and the club is "looking into it." He added that Loney has participated in baseball workouts with no lingering effects from the accident.
Asked if this will impact the club offering Loney a contract next week, Colletti said:
"Not unless something turns up that hasn't turned up."
Loney, 27, was arrested Nov. 14 after hitting a Toyota, Mercedes and Mini around 6 p.m. According to the report, when officers arrived on the scene of the accident, Loney was handcuffed and taken to a hospital for breathalyzer and blood tests that were negative for drugs and alcohol.
However, during the tests and according to the report, Loney was uncooperative and became "aggressive," spitting the mouthpiece at an officer. He was placed in arm and leg restraints and given an "injection" by hospital staff to calm him. The Los Angeles City Attorney will decide if Loney is charged in the incident.
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.
The report comes five days before the Dodgers are required -- and were expected -- to tender Loney a contract or allow him to become a free agent. He would likely earn roughly $6 million through the arbitration process and is eligible for free agency after the 2012 season.
The Dodgers don't have an obvious everyday first-base replacement for Loney, but were planning to use left fielder Juan Rivera or young outfielder Jerry Sands at first base on occasion to spell Loney next year. Loney, a former first-round Draft pick, is coming off a puzzling 2011 season when he earned $4.875 million. He picked up where he left off from a disappointing 2010 and was hitting .251 with four home runs and 33 RBIs through the first week of August.
Then he caught fire, batting .357 the final two months of the season with eight homers and 32 RBIs, finishing with a .288 average (exactly his career average), 12 homers and 65 RBIs. He has been durable enough to play at least 158 games each of the last four years and is considered one of the finest defensive first basemen in the league.
He also has been praised for his work in the community, hosting the Dodgers Dream Foundation annual bowling charity and providing game tickets for neighborhood youth.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.