The Phillies’ plane had a close call on the way home last Friday

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GEORGE: You know Keith, what I’ve always wondered, with all these ball clubs flying around all season don’t you think there would be a plane crash?  If you think about it . . . 26 teams, 162 games a season, you’d think
eventually an entire team would get wiped out.  It’s only a matter of time:

The plane carrying the Phillies back from San Francisco Friday morning had a close call while trying to land at Philadelphia International Airport.

Eyewitness News has learned the Phillies’ chartered Delta 747 was just seconds away from landing when an air traffic controller told another plane to move onto the runway for takeoff. The Phillies’ plane in fact was closer than FAA guidelines generally allow.

Thankfully everything turned out OK.

In other news, how cool is it that a baseball team get a 747? They hold like 400 people. Even if you trick the thing out for maximum luxury with big seats and stuff, they still hold, what, 150 or 200? What’s the size of the team + traveling entourage? Not that big I don’t figure, even for the playoffs.  I guess what I’m driving at here is that the Phillies playoff plane could have had a dance floor in the thing, and unless and until I’m told otherwise, I’m going to assume that it did.

(thanks to Jonny for the heads up)

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.