Forbes says Yanks are most valuable brand in sports

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Fresh off their 27th World Series championship, Forbes magazine named the Yankees as the most valuable team brand in sports on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

According to Forbes, the Yankees brand is now worth $328 million (21 percent of their $1.6 billion total team value), supplanting English soccer team Manchester United’s value of $285 million (16 percent of their $1.835 billion value). Man U were ranked as the No. 1 brand in 2009.

The list is largely dominated by soccer teams, but as far as American pro sports franchises, you’ll also find the Cowboys (No. 4), the Red Sox (No. 8), the Mets (No. 9) and the Patriots (No. 10). You can view a slideshow of the entire top 10 on the Forbes website. My question? Where are the Long Island Ducks!?

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.