Tony La Russa has a book coming out

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What happens when you have a lot of genius about you but you are retired and thus have no one on whom to inflict it?  You write a book, that’s what:

Retired St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is ready to look back on his amazing career.
William Morrow announced Monday that “One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season,” is tentatively scheduled to come out this fall. The book will be co-written by Rick Hummel, a longtime reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The “ten and a half games back” no doubt refers to the deficit in the wild card the Cardinals had late in the season.  Which means that, in addition to Rick Hummel, the Atlanta Braves should get a co-writing credit.

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.