They’ve already got the knives out for Erik Bedard in Boston

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Erik Bedard hasn’t so much as picked up a baseball in Boston yet, but the press is already out to get him. Here’s Gerry Callahan in the Herald:

Bedard is a hard-throwing left-hander with the proverbial good stuff, but when you take a look at the complete package, it’s obvious he belongs in Boston about as much as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie belongs on an Abercrombie & Fitch billboard. Bedard doesn’t like the media. He doesn’t like crowds. He doesn’t like attention. He doesn’t like day games. Some people wonder if he even likes baseball. His disdain for the press is legendary…

I’ve noticed that the only people on the planet who care if a player is nice to the press is … the press.  I’ve also noticed that when a guy’s biggest sin is not being nice to the press, you suddenly learn all kinds of horrible things about him and his attitude and all of that.  It’s uncanny!

(thanks to MooseInOhio 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.