I’m totally queer for Julian Tavarez.
This is a guy who used to punch phones, people. He would shout to himself on the mound and take swings at imaginary ghosts and had a look about him that suggested he’d have been a good fit for the role of “Gangster Number Three” in DePalma’s Scarface. Then he comes to Boston and the guy does things like sock Joey Gaithright — admittedly, not all that bad an idea, but during a spring training game? Goodbye clubhouse karma!
But then… something happened. Before our very eyes he transformed into — as a poster on my recent FanHouse post suggested — the Dominican Millar.
Suddenly he’s playing grabass with his teammates. Offering friendly advice to Matsuzaka on how to pitch someone inside. Snuggling up to Manny in the dugout — on live TV, no less. And walking around with shoes with Papi’s face on ’em.
How does this happen? Was he put on a strict regimen of Happy Oats at the start of the season? Did he catch the “Manny and Ortiz Disease” — something I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to inject into my own bloodstream for years now. Did he get a fever-induced visit from a big-ass telephone telling him to cut the sh-t and start living a peaceful existence?
Whatever the case, I find myself in something of a quandry. On the one hand, checking the papers and rooting for Jon Lester in his valiant bid to return to the starting rotation. And on the other hand, secretly hoping that they have the good sense not to rush Young Jonny along. Because every Tavarez start is like Christmas Day in my house.