Ike Davis will play tonight

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We usually hear about Yom Kippur and baseball when the holiday impacts a Jewish player during the playoffs. This year Yom Kippur does not occur during the playoffs — it begins at sundown tonight and lasts until sunset tomorrow — and Ike Davis certainly does not have any playoff plans this year. But his team does play the Braves tonight and they still have some hope, rendering his decision to play or not to play at least somewhat meaningful for baseball purposes. What say you Ike?*

The verdict: Davis left the decision to his mother.

She leaned
toward sitting out, but told Davis to do whatever he felt was right.
Davis then decided he will play in Friday’s series opener against the
Atlanta Braves.

I guess “asking your mother what she wants and then doing the opposite” is, in its own way, leaving the decision up to her. In this Davis is a lot like my boy is turning out to be. Hopefully for my and Mrs. Davis’ sake our sons put us in nice nursing homes one day. They owe us that much.

*For the record, Davis does not practice Judaism, nor was he brought up doing so, but according to the linked article his mother is Jewish and practiced herself and she had relatives who died in the Holocaust, and the decision to play or not to play was a serious consideration for the family. 

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.