Andy Van Slyke would like to be considered for the Pirates job

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Don’t blow it again, Pirates: say no to Van Slyke! Hire Barry Bonds for the manager job!

Andy Van Slyke, in town with fellow alumnus Dave Parker for a
season-ticket holder event, took the opportunity to inform president
Frank Coonelly about his interest in the club’s managerial opening.

Van Slyke acknowledges that he may not be an ideal candidate, what with no managerial experience on any level. But that doesn’t matter, because his philosophy is sound:

“I think it would be absolutely arrogant for any manager to come in
here and think he’s going to be the difference. [As if] by his mere
presence, he could be the one to turn it around. I don’t care if Casey
Stengel stepped out of the grave and walked into spring training, any
manager would need a pitching staff with an ERA and numbers that [the
Pirates’ staff] didn’t have this year. Everything begins and ends with
pitching. Until that aspect improves dramatically … it’s an unfair
expectation for anyone to expect different results here.”

This is pretty brilliant when you think about it.  Van Slyke is freely admitting that he has no experience and going one step further in saying that, if he were hired, the team should not expect positive results from anything he himself does.

He still may not get the job, but man, if he does, he’s gonna have some awesome job security.

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.