That's what I first thought when I heard the Brewers had acquired the veteran reliever that I was unaware was even still in the big leagues. "He's gotta be like 60 by now," I thought, "How is he going to help anything?" The things that first came to mind when I thought of Julian Tavarez (pronounced Joo-lian... or is it Hoo-lian?) was him breaking his hand on the bullpen phone in the 2004 playoffs, hitting lots of batters (Top 100 all-time with 91 career hit batsmen), starting a brawl or four along the way, and playing for more teams than Todd Zeile (not really, but almost). Oh, and the thing that everyone thinks of, dude is fucking UGLY. I'm usually not one to throw stones when it comes to a dude's looks. No woman is ever gonna refer to me as a good lookin' man, except maybe a stripper trying to extract a few extra Kroners out of me (successfully). But damn man, I'll make an exception for Tavarez. So add that all up and you get an aging, hot-headed, ugly, super journeyman reliever that was discarded by the Red Sox. Whoopty-fuckin-doo!
However, last night when he was predictably thrown into a tight game like 15 minutes after getting into town, he showed me something that may change my opinion on the matter. He did something that has been soooo rare for Brewer relievers this year; he came in and threw STRIKES (gasp)! Now, I'm not saying that this is the acquisition that is going to reverse the fortunes of this team. I know I'm putting way too much into his first appearance in a Brewer uniform. And I know that there will probably come a time when he ends up hurt or getting shelled in several appearances and he'll look like the donkey that I expected him to be. And I know that one of the people he mowed down last night was Tim Hudson, who should NOT have been batting for himself at that point. But if someone else (Mota) would've come out of the bullpen and walked Hudson on 4 pitches it would've been a shock to absolutely no one. All I'm saying is that it was nice to see a guy come out and throw strikes for a change. Relievers help their cause immensely by not coming in and putting 2 guys on base right away. Hopefully we get this on a consistent basis out of Joo or Hoo-lian.