Shameless Self-Promotion: hear me talk on the phone at 2PM

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If you have always been dying to pair up the image of my bald head and pasty skin with an annoyingly nasly voice, by all means, head over to Hotstove.com at 2PM Eastern today to hear me hold forth on the Mets, Joe Mauer, the teams that did the most and the least to improve themselves this offseason and other stuff.

Bonus: since I’ll be doing it via telephone from my den, you may get a chance to hear my four year-old son in the background complaining that he’s hungry and asking me to turn on Spongebob and stuff.  Good times.

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.