Pitcher proceeded to blow up, injure hand

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.

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.