The San Francisco Giants want to get into the basketball business

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The San Francisco Giants may join the bidding for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. The California iteration of the franchise is 48 years-old, so it makes sense that the organization that employs Brian Sabean would be interested. Heck, if the deal goes through he’s likely to play the entire basketball team at second base and have it bat leadoff.

The real reason for the potential investment: there’s talk of an arena near AT&T Park which the Giants could develop and operate, luring the team across the Bay from Oakland to San Francisco. At the same time, the team would like to realize financial synergies via its partial ownership of the regional sports network that broadcasts Warriors games.

Which kind of puts the whole Oakland A’s-San Jose thing in perspective.  The Giants have the money to literally buy other sports franchises, build arenas, become landlords and exploit the property via favorable broadcasting deals. Meanwhile, they’re threatening legal action and demanding tribute from Major League Baseball due to the mere possibility that the Athletics — one of the rinky-dinkiest operations in professional sports — might set up shop 50 miles to the south of them.

Hard to have any sympathy for them, really.

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.