Snoop Dogg to throw out first pitch at White Sox game

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Before the White Sox and Twins finish their three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago tonight Snoop Dogg will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

It takes a lot to upstage Cole De Vries’ big-league debut, but that might just do it.

Or maybe this is just me feeling nostalgic and elderly, because Snoop Dogg’s debut album, Doggystyle, was the first CD purchased by a 10-year-old me after getting a boombox for Hanukkah in 1993.

Great album, by the way. I recommend buying it for any pre-teen celebrating a religious holiday, because nothing makes parents prouder than a 10-year-old who memorizes the words to “Gin and Juice.”

Also worth noting: Tonight will presumably be the first time Joe Mauer will be in the same place as the actual Snoop Dogg, rather than this cutout version from Mauer’s high school days in St. Paul:

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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.