In defense of Theo

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The knives that have been out for Theo Epstein and Terry Francona over the past few days has been great fun.  Only problem is that it obscures the fact that, hey, those guys did more for Red Sox baseball in the past few years than anyone else had for the previous 80+.

The response to that has been “anyone coulda done it!”  Bah.  As Andrew Mooney of the Globe notes in his “In defense of Theo” story today, even if you’re a hardliner and believe that Epstein benefited from Dan Duquette’s work in winning that 2004 title, the 2007 title was authored by him and the people who worked under him.

I can’t help but think that everyone in Boston is gonna wake up one day and realize that they’ve let their manager and GM go a bit too easily.

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.