Ivan Rodriguez puts on a new spin on the ceremonial first pitch

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Ivan Rodriguez officially put a bow on his 21-year major league career this evening at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The 14-time All-Star and 13-time Gold Glove winner was honored during a pregame ceremony, after which he was slated to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to former teammate Michael Young. Pudge walked out to the front of the mound while Young crouched behind home plate. Pretty standard stuff. However, the pair decided to call an audible.

Rodriguez instead went back behind the plate and fired one down to Young, who stood behind second base. You can watch the throw here.

The two words that come to mind are “appropriate” and “awesome.”

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.