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Tavarez' tantrums

Red Sox reliever Julian Tavarez, who could face disciplinary action for punching Tampa Bay's Joey Gathright in the face during yesterday's game, has been suspended three times with three teams for his part in brawls, and has had a couple of off-field incidents.

The history:

May 31, 1996 - While with the Indians, Tavarez threw a fastball behind the Brewers' Mike Matheny and in the brawl that ensued, flipped umpire Joe Brinkman onto his back. He was suspended three games for the pitch, and apologized to Brinkman, saying it was inadvertent.

March 26, 2001 - While with the Cubs, Tavarez was suspended for his part in a spring-training brawl that began when Russ Davis of the Giants, believing Tavarez had shown him up after striking him out, charged the mound. Tavarez, who said Davis was yelling obscenities at him, retaliated with a karate-style kick. Tavarez was suspended five games, Davis three. Tavarez also was fined $16,000 and ordered to take sensitivity classes.

April 28, 2001 - While with the Giants, Tavarez was fined and ordered to take sensitivity classes after saying ''Why should I care about the fans? They are nothing but a bunch of [expletives] and [pejorative term for gays] here. That's what they are.''

June 14, 2003 - While with the Pirates, Tavarez was one of six players suspended for coming out of the bullpen and throwing punches during a brawl with the Devil Rays. Tavarez claimed he was acting in self-defense. D-Rays manager Lou Piniella said the fight was subsiding until ''Tavarez came out of the bullpen and started throwing right hands.''

Aug. 20, 2004 - While with the Cardinals, Tavarez was suspended 10 games for applying pine tar, an illegal substance, to his cap.

Oct. 18, 2004 - While with the Cardinals, Tavarez breaks two bones in his nonpitching hand after punching a dugout phone during Game 4 of the NLCS. He later was fined $10,000 for throwing a fastball behind the head of Houston's Jeff Bagwell in the same game.

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