Athletics present Dallas Braden with a diamond ring

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Dallas Braden logo.jpgThe Athletics celebrated “Dallas Braden Day” on Friday to commemorate the pitcher’s perfect game against the Rays on May 9, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

As part of the celebration, the team presented him with a diamond ring, complete with 51 diamonds on the front — for his uniform number — and 27 diamonds along the edges — for the 27 outs he recorded en route to the 19th perfect game in major league history. Yes, Billy Beane went to Jared’s.

I’m currently searching for a picture of the ring, but all I have right now is Landon Powell and Braden standing near a pretty nifty logo on the left field wall. It’ll have to do.

According to Jane Lee and Alex Espinoza of MLB.com, his
grandmother was presented with a matching pendant
. You can watch her throw out the first pitch here. Like Dallas, she’s a southpaw.

Braden has dropped each of his last two starts since throwing the perfect game. He left Wednesday’s game against the Tigers due to illness, but is expected to make his next start.

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.