Memorabilia dealer arrested for selling phony jerseys

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Shocking: a guy selling allegedly game-worn jerseys turns out to have been passing out fakes.  Doubly shocking: the word “Authentics” appeared in the name of his business. You just can’t trust anyone these days!

Steven Jensen, co-chief executive officer of Vintage Sports Authentics, was accused in Manhattan federal court of mail fraud and wire fraud. Christopher Cizin, a postal inspector, said in an affidavit that a buyer from the Bronx paid about $3,000 for a jersey represented as one worn by Rodriguez as a Seattle Mariner in 1995. An authenticator and a former Mariners equipment manager said it was not authentic.

Best part: he was arrested at a memorabilia and collectibles show.  I wonder if the timing of that was designed to send a message to the other hucksters in the room that they’re being watched.

Ugly business. Don’t let anyone sell you memories. Make ’em and keep ’em yourself.

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.