The Clock's Ticking for Hernandez

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 27, 2006; E07

Washington Nationals right-hander Livan Hernandez knows today will be his final start before Monday's trade deadline, and he is savvy enough to understand he could be dealt.

"It's not what I want, and I don't want to see it," Hernandez said. "But I know it could happen."

Four of Hernandez's last five outings have resulted in quality starts, and he said yesterday that his surgically repaired right knee feels "very good." He expects to be healthy the rest of the year.

"I know people don't like my results," he said. "But it's difficult when I'm not healthy. Now, I think I'll be good this second half, and I know I'm going to be Livan next year."

Hernandez and other tradable players -- such as left fielder Alfonso Soriano -- are at least part of the reason Nationals President Stan Kasten will be making the nine-game road trip to the West Coast that begins tomorrow.

"This time, I really need to be there, because it's our first time around together," said Kasten, who will work with General Manager Jim Bowden.

Tavares Being Sued

Former Nationals president Tony Tavares is being sued by an ex-employee who claims Tavares slapped him in the face.

In the suit filed Friday in D.C. Superior Court, former director of ticket sales Joseph M. Deoudes alleges Tavares confronted him May 8 in Deoudes's office at RFK Stadium and asked, among other things, "Do you want to fight me?" before slapping him.

Deoudes alleges assault and battery and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

In an interview yesterday, Deoudes's attorneys, Plato Cacheris and Barry Coburn, said Tavares's attorney hadn't yet accepted the summons.

Cacheris said Deoudes didn't file criminal charges at the time of the incident because "Joe was interested in getting an apology, and he didn't get it."

Reached by telephone yesterday, Tavares said: "The charges are completely false. The entire suit is baseless. I look forward to defending my good reputation in a court of law." He declined further comment. A spokesman for Major League Baseball, which owned the team at the time and hired Tavares, said the league was aware of the suit, but had no comment.

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