A new bed for Beckett, please

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beckett-090929-4pm.standard[1].jpgRest easy Red Sox fans, Josh Beckett’s aching back did not come about as a result of pitching, but from an inability to, umm, rest easy (from the Globe):

“It was just something that you wake up with,” Beckett said. “It wasn’t like I felt anything when I was throwing. You just you wake up and you’re locked up.”

Instead, he pointed to the road trip.

“Three different crappy beds on the road, one getting in at 5 o’clock in the morning. I just don’t think that all that stuff really sat well with my back,” Beckett said. “It was unfortunate that you wake up on the day you start and don’t really feel well enough to be able to do that. I think we made the right decision. I feel a lot better today.”

This is certainly good news for the Red Sox, as Beckett has the most impressive playoff line of any of their starters: 7-2, 2.90 ERA, .943 WHIP, 96 Ks in 87 innings. He, along with the blossoming Jon Lester, give the Red Sox an edge in just about any matchup.

So no more crappy beds on the road for Josh Beckett. Let him sleep on a pile of feathers if need be. Or on one of these. Anything to keep that back in good shape.

Of course, I’m not sure what you can do about the blisters.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.