The Mets — and particularly New York native John Franco and first-game-back home run hitter Mike Piazza — played an instrumental role in ushering baseball back into action following the 9/11 attacks. It should not be surprising, then, that the Mets have called back Franco and catcher Mike Piazza to take part in the team’s remembrance of 9/11. Franco will throw out the first pitch with Piazza behind the dish.
In addition, Mets players will wear caps representing New York police, the fire department and other uniformed officers and first responders during the September 11th game, just as the 2001 team did.
The Mets get a lot of stuff wrong. They’ve rarely gone wrong when it comes to this kind of thing, however. Nice to see them doing good stuff like this.
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.