Todd Helton. Huh. Haven’t we maxed out our contractual allotment of older guys with multi-year mega-millions contracts? Don’t get me wrong; sans Drew, I might have been interested. But I certainly hope the Sox wouldn’t consider giving up anyone of value here.
I’ve already discussed Mike Lowell, and I’d certainly miss his personality as well as his defense (and his bat, if I’m right and he has another good year). And I have to think shipping out any of the top pups would be a serious mistake, let alone the names that have come up! But I’m also a little dubious about letting go of Mr. Julian Tavarez.
Tavarez had his struggles last year, but I suspect one problem was that he didn’t take well to rather inconsistent bullpen usage. There were long stretches where, as a fellow member of the pen put it, "he couldn’t sniff an inning"–and then, when he did get the call, it would be in a high leverage situation–and if he didn’t have it then, he’d just have to take one for the team. Late in the season, when he had some regular use as a starter, he started to show what he could do. If Tito’s not trying so hard to get the kids work this year, and if he’s learned he can rely on Julian, I think it’ll be a win-win situation.
And from my perspective, perhaps a win-win-win, because it’s always worth keeping an eye on Julian if you have a camera in your hand!
Following the Joey Gathright incident, a new Spring Training exercise was born: the Tavarez Trap.
Manny practices, Philly on-deck series, April 1.
Enrique Wilson’s turn, Philly, April 2.
Tavarez himself practices on Abe Alvarez, Philly, May 19.
Timlin is appalled. Did you let him do that?! Poor Abe.
Of course, it’s not all fun and games.
Philly, May 21.
A bullpen catcher has many duties. July 30.
Not sure if it helped. Hansen wonders if this is what he has to look forward to. July 30.
Conversation with Papelbon. Looks heated. August 18.
Back to business! A bunch from September 10.
I believe Lo is expressing how he feels about Tavarez’ penchant for instructing the infielders on where to throw the ball. Lo may have another idea of where to put it. September 10.
The secret to his late-season resurgence? That new third arm. September 10.
Pedroia has Julian all sized up. Go visit Dover’s blog! September 19.
September 29. Note clean uniform.
Pedroia was insufficently attentive to a possible pickoff at second, so Tavarez dove in to try it himself. He was apparently the only person on the field who didn’t realize time had been called. Or maybe it just didn’t matter to him. September 29.
Ah, Julian. May you return in 2007 to terrorize opponents and teammates alike.