TBS will get the wild card single game play-ins; MLB Network to get some division series games

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MLB is going to hold a conference call for media to this effect here in a minute, but Richard Sandomir already has the scoop:  TBS will broadcast the two wild card play-in games in both 2012 and 2013.

On a personal level I like this because I simply prefer TBS’ baseball production to FOX’s. I will sort of regret not being able to hear Joe Buck talk about how the one-game playoffs are just like the NFL playoffs and how much better and exciting it is.

This, from MLB’s press release that just came in, I’m less happy about:

MLB Network will exclusively televise two Division Series games in each of the next two years, marking the first time MLB Network will air live Postseason games. MLB Network has produced weekly original game telecasts since its inaugural season in 2009.

As a person who has one of the few cable carriers in the country who does not carry MLB Network, allow me to say: bah!

UPDATE:  I was just informed — by a friend at MLB Network of all places — that my cable company does have it.  It’s only in single def, so it’s not ideal, but I do have it.  Amazingly, my cable company never mentioned it and still says “we’re working on it” when I call them to ask them to carry MLB.  So I guess if they themselves didn’t know they had it, I can be excused for not realizing I had it.

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.