Earl Weaver is auctioning off a ton of memorabilia

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Whenever I hear about a baseball figure auctioning off stuff I worry that they’re broke or something, but in this day and age it’s more likely that they’re merely trying to simplify their estate plan.  That seems to be the case with longtime Orioles’ manager Earl Weaver, who is auctioning off all kinds of things:

Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver is auctioning off 47 of his treasured keepsakes, including his 1966 World Series ring and jerseys received as gifts from Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray.The former Baltimore Orioles skipper will earn tens of thousands of dollars from the sale, but Weaver says he doesn’t need the money and isn’t keeping any of it.

“I have four children. They have children, and their children have children,” said Weaver, who turns 81 in August. “I don’t know how to divide whatever memorabilia there is among them.”

The article lists a lot of the things he’s selling and Weaver talks about how, when you have a ton of grandchildren and great grandchildren, most of whom don’t love baseball as much as you do, it’s way easier to simply liquidate the collectibles.

He also says something briefly about remembering the stuff that led to his acquisition of said collectibles, and that resonates with me. I’m not a pack rat. Aside from some baseball cards in the basement I don’t keep much. I don’t begrudge those who are fond of keepsakes, but the memories of people and places in my life are far more valuable to me than the keepsakes themselves.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: there is no word if Weaver’s auction items include any Terry Crowley cards, books on tomato plants or treatises on team speed.  And if you don’t know why I mention that, I suggest that you use Google to find out.  And if you do, dear God, make sure the volume is down on your computer and that there are no minors within 1000 yards of you when you find what you’re looking for.

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.