Must-click link: The tortured life of Eric Show

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Those of us who have even heard of Eric Show probably can only say a few things about him.  He pitched for the Padres in the 80s. He gave up Pete Rose’s 4,192nd hit. He was kind of a freaky John Birch Society guy.  He had serious substance abuse issues that led to his death.

As is always the case, however, there is much more to the story.  A great — but harrowing — place to start is Tom Friend’s riveting piece on Show at ESPN.com today.

And may none of us ever be judged or defined solely by our worst moments on this Earth.

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.