Yet Johnny Cueto continues to walk the streets, a free man

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Here’s a pressing and important debate in today’s Post-Dispatch that in no way is designed to enflame the passions of Cardinals fans angry at Johnny Cueto. The headline: “LaRue’s out, Cueto’s in: Is that fair?”

While the contours of the actual debate which follow are reasonable enough, the headline just slays me. The obvious implication being that a player’s punishment in cases like Cueto’s should match the injuries suffered by their victims and if you disagree, well, you had better explain yourself.

I say we just go one step further and make things totally fair. Jason LaRue is out for the season with concussion?  Hold Cueto down and beat him in the head until he too is concussed.

Like all rules, baseball’s new “eye-for-an-eye” discipline system would have its tough cases — who among us would have felt comfortable putting Carl Mays to death for his transgression? — but justice must be firm and swift in such matters if fairness is to be ensured.

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.