Tony La Russa responds to criticism from Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman

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Thinking the Reds-Cardinals rivalry could use some more juice? Me neither. But this will certainly kick things up a notch.

Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman was highly critical of the Cardinals on Monday, one day after the Reds completed a three-game sweep of their division rivals. Among other things, Brennaman called Sunday’s starter Chris Carpenter a “whiner and excuse-maker” while describing Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan as “infantile” for yelling at Reds closer Francisco Cordero after he hit Albert Pujols with a pitch.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was away from the team during the series because a case of shingles, but told the Associated Press today that he didn’t appreciate Brennaman’s commentary.

“He earned the right to get into the Hall of Fame,” La Russa said. “And now he ought to keep earning that respect instead of abusing it.”

The Cardinals and Reds won’t meet again until until a three-game series beginning July 4 in St. Louis. Don’t worry, they’ll bring the fireworks.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.