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Wednesday, May 2
Selig calls Tavarez comments 'reprehensible'

Associated Press

Julian Tavarez

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs fined pitcher Julian Tavarez on Wednesday and said he will attend sensitivity training for making derogatory comments about fans in San Francisco.

Tavarez used a profanity and a word derogatory toward homosexuals following a game last Saturday against the Giants. The Cubs said his fine will go to charitable organizations.

Tavarez wasn't available for comment. The right-hander isn't speaking to reporters while he serves a five-game suspension for his role in a bench-clearing brawl during spring training.

His suspension runs through Friday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he's scheduled to pitch Saturday.

"He's got to understand, he offended a lot of people," said Cubs manager Don Baylor, who made Tavarez apologize to his teammates Sunday.

"Major League Baseball isn't going to accept anything like that from its players."

Commissioner Bud Selig called Tavarez's comments "reprehensible" and said Wednesday he will meet with Tavarez personally to discuss his behavior. Selig said, however, he was satisfied with the Cubs' disciplinary measures and will take no additional action.

Pointing out that the Cubs' Wrigley Field is in a heavily gay neighborhood, a statewide gay rights organization praised the team for acting quickly.

"In the past, anti-gay slurs have met with silence or acceptance," Equality Illinois spokesman Rick Garcia said. "The Cubs organization clearly let it be known that anti-gay sentiment is not only inappropriate, it will not be tolerated in their organization."

The amount of the fine was undisclosed. The Giants will help select which charities get the money.

"Julian and the Cubs regret the comments made over the weekend. Julian has apologized to the fans and people of San Francisco and some charities will benefit from the fine imposed," Cubs president Andy MacPhail said in a statement.

"The comments made by Julian Tavarez last Saturday in San Francisco were not only inappropriate but reprehensible," Selig said in a statement.

"Mr. Tavarez embarrassed himself, his team and the game of baseball. There is no excuse for such language and there is no place in our game for bigotry.

"While I am terribly offended by the comments and remain vigilant of baseball's responsibilities as a social institution, I am satisfied with the disciplinary measures taken by the Chicago Cubs. I will meet with Mr. Tavarez and personally make sure he understands the severity of the situation and that major league baseball will not tolerate this kind of behavior."

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