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The Nats' Love Don't Cost A Thing

In November, the Nationals contacted Julian Tavarez, inviting him to spring training on a non-guaranteed minor league contract. Tavarez, 35, said no.

But Tavarez kept on waiting. Spring training neared, and the right-hander was still very much unemployed. After throwing a scoreless 1-1/3 innings for the Dominican WBC team, the Nationals called again, offering the same deal. This time, Tavarez saw things in a different light.

Or rather: the light was a little hazy, perhaps with some lasers flashing.

"Why did I sign with the Nationals?" Tavarez said told a group of reporters. "When you go to a club at 4 in the morning, and you're just waiting, waiting, a 600-pounder looks like J. Lo. And to me this is Jennifer Lopez right here. It's 4 in the morning. Too much to drink. So, Nationals: Jennifer Lopez to me."


Again, Tavarez has no guarantees. Though he has experience as a reliever and starter, he's here to get a crack at a bullpen spot. Speaking this morning, Tavarez offered something of a sales pitch: He's durable. He's willing to fill any role. He's versatile.

(Except when it comes to pop culture references about curvaceous women.)

"I would like to be a starter, but it's like my father said: 'You want Jennifer Lopez, but does she want you? No.' You just take whatever she is giving to you. So I just take whatever they give to me," Tavarez said. "They give to me as a long man, I take it as a long man. Set up man, I take it. Starter, I take it. I can do whatever."

By the way, acting GM Mike Rizzo explained that Tavarez doesn't yet have his visa. At some point, he'll have to go back to the Dominican for a day to get all the paperwork taken care of. But in the meantime, it's not an issue; Tavarez maintains an official residence in Florida, and major leaguers do not receive their first paychecks until April.

(*) Special thanks to MASN's Pete McElroy for providing the quotes. I was off talking to some others in the clubhouse when JT held court.

By Chico Harlan  |  March 15, 2009; 1:01 PM ET
 
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Next: Lots Of Walks, No Runs

Comments

Ha! Tavarez is claiming beer goggles as the reason for signing with the Nats. I'm sorry, but it seems that when someone invites you on the team bus, you might not want to throw him under it.

Well, the Nats are not proud, yet. You'd best enjoy the opportunity while you still can, scrap-heapers. I believe our man Rizzo will turn this around.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 15, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Some things apparently don't change. Lastings was just thrown out on a bad baserunning play.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 15, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Sounded like a nice defensive play by Belliard in the 2nd - is anybody else having trouble connecting to the feed from mlb.com?

Posted by: BinM | March 15, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

... oooh, yucky. I believe my Julie-love is becoming slightly tarnished. I could be a 600 pounder, but that doesn't mean I want someone to mistake me for Jennifer, or even Felipe, Lopez.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 15, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@natscan:

So, he 'beer-goggled' (thx to +1/2 St.) his way into Viera with the Nationals; At least he's honest. We'll see if he can actually make the staff in the next couple of weeks.

Posted by: BinM | March 15, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I had no problem connecting to MLB.com.

Posted by: wigi | March 15, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

What is with the Julian Tavarez signing? He does not want to be with the team and he is an awful teammate. The Nats need a cohesive group and Tavarez is a cancer. This is obviously a Stan Kasten signing. Stan is not a baseball person and should let baseball operations run the club. All Stan is good at doing is getting Tom Boswell to praise him and bury others. Until the Lerners get rid of Stan and let the baseball people make the decisions, the Nationals are destined for the cellar!

Posted by: firestan | March 15, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Or potentially offending some of the female fan base. I could be tacky and say something about how there isn't enough beer in the world to make him attractive, but I won't. Oops. Did I just type that out loud?

---

Ha! Tavarez is claiming beer goggles as the reason for signing with the Nats. I'm sorry, but it seems that when someone invites you on the team bus, you might not want to throw him under it.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 15, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I have never liked this guy, from the moment the Atlanta Braves made CRY (literally) in the '95 World Series when he was an Indian.

Why do we sign low class idiots that make stupid staements such as this. Thanks Kasten!

Posted by: jbfromfc | March 16, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

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