Pitcher proceeded to blow up, injure hand

Updated: October 20, 2004, 2:58 AM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals reliever Julian Tavarez was fined $10,000 by the commissioner's office Tuesday for throwing a pitch over the head of Houston's Jeff Bagwell in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

Julian Tavarez
Relief Pitcher
St. Louis Cardinals
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L Sv K ERA
77 7 4 4 48 2.38

Tavarez plans to have the players' union file an appeal on his behalf Wednesday. He is represented by agent Scott Boras.

Tavarez, who has a history of disciplinary penalties, got himself into all sorts of trouble in Sunday's game. The St. Louis righty broke his left hand during a dugout tantrum, though the Cardinals hope he still can pitch in the NLCS.

The excitable Tavarez gave up a go-ahead run to Carlos Beltran in the seventh inning of the Astros' 6-5 win. Bagwell was the next batter in the seventh inning, and the righty zinged a 3-2 pitch over his head.

Tavarez and Bagwell shouted at each other, and plate umpire Mike Winters warned both teams against further problems. There weren't any, and an umpire's report on the episode was filed with the commissioner's office.

When the inning ended, Tavarez slammed his glove on the dugout roof and broke his hand when he punched the bullpen phone. His antics were replayed on the Minute Maid Park scoreboard in-between innings, and the Astros later apologized to the Cardinals for showing it.

Tavarez's hand was put in a soft, plastic splint with his last two fingers immobilized before Game 5 Monday. The splint was off when Tavarez walked from the dugout to the bullpen in the middle innings, and he did not pitch in Houston's 3-0 win.

Tavarez was 7-4 with four saves and a 2.38 ERA in 77 games during the regular season. He is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in five games during this postseason.

Late this season, Tavarez was suspended for 10 games for applying a foreign substance to a ball. The penalty was later cut to eight games.

In 2003, he drew a three-game suspension for fighting during a brawl while with Pittsburgh.

In spring training with the Cubs in 2001, he was suspended for three games after a flying kick at the Giants' Russ Davis. Later that year, the Cubs fined him for making anti-gay remarks about fans in San Francisco.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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