Bryce Harper to have his jersey retired

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For those of you doing the math, Bryce Harper’s college jersey will be retired before Sparky Anderson’s Tigers jersey will be:

The College of Southern Nevada will retire the No.34 jersey worn by Bryce Harper on Friday. Harper, 18, played in 66 games with the school after skipping his senior year of high school to accelerate his eligibility to be drafted.

Every fiber of my being wants to snark about this, but really, it’s not like there’s going to be a bigger star come through the College of Southern Nevada any time soon, so good for them.  The only criticism I can even potentially lob at this move is that they should wait a couple of years until Harper is a big, big star and then tie it into a huge extravaganza involving the returning big leaguer and all of that.

In other news, I’m reading a biography of my favorite painter, Edward Hopper, right now.  After years of getting slightly depressed that more and more people who are way younger than I am have achieved fame, riches and notoriety, I am somewhat pleased to read that, at my age, Hopper was still a year away from anything approaching real recognition.

Not that I’m petty and insecure or anything.

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.