We’ve seen some pretty unfortunate sponsorships and naming rights in the recent past. Who can forget that Minute Maid Park was once known as Enron Field? More recently, the Mets took quite a bit of heat when rolling out Citi Field. But BP may have picked the worst year possible to be the title sponsor for the interleague series between the Cubs and White Sox.
According to the Associated Press, fans rained down boos when the “BP Crosstown Cup” was presented behind home plate before Friday’s game.
According to Michelle Lodge of CNBC.com, the three-year sponsorship was announced on April 26, six days after the oil spill began. Naming rights aside, I’m a little confused here. What happens if the teams split the six games? Seems to me that BP should have had some sort of contingency plan in place.
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.