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Tavarez Slapped with 10-Game Suspension

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Julian Tavarez, as he left the field Friday following his ejection. (UPI photo)

By AP/KWMU

Cincinnati, OH – Cardinals relief pitcher Julian Tavarez was suspended for ten days Tuesday for applying a foreign substance to balls while pitching last Friday.

Tavarez appealed the penalty, which was set to start before Tuesday night's Cardinals-Reds game. As it was, the Tavarez gave up the winning run Tuesday night in a 4-3 Cardinals loss.

No action will be taken until a hearing is held. "The incident that day seemed like it was a very minor thing, and I'm shocked that it would be worth 10 days," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "So, we'll let the process take care of itself, and that's all I'm going to say."

Tavarez was ejected during the opener of Friday's doubleheader against Pittsburgh after umpire crew chief Joe West inspected the pitcher's grimy hat. West said Tavarez and Cardinals and manager Tony La Russa "as much admitted" it was pine tar on his cap.

Tavarez threw the "pine tar hat" into the stands as he left the field after his ejection. That was after he put his arm around plate umpire Ron Kulpa and suggested the two get a beer after the game.

The suspension was imposed by Bob Watson, vice president of on-field operations for Major League Baseball.

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