McGwire's lawyers feared prosecution in 2005

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The legal jeopardy Mark McGwire faced in 2005 was all rather murky at the time, but when things are murky is when things are dangerous.  As the Daily News reports, his lawyers certainly feared that he’d be dragged into BALCO, the FBI’s Project Equine or some mystery Florida steroids investigation if he testified, and that’s the reason he didn’t say anything. If I were advising him I probably would have told him to take the Fifth, public relations be damned, but in the event he was able to essentially do the same thing with his “I’m not here to talk about the past stuff.”

So Jon Heyman: still think McGwire was a pansy for not testifying? 

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.