Please don’t try to explain why you love baseball to anyone ever

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Whenever I hear someone talk about how baseball “was the only thing my dad and I could talk about together,” it doesn’t make me think of baseball as some great coming-t0gether thing. It makes me think of how sad it must have been to grow up in a house where you didn’t have anything else to talk to your dad about.

Or mom. Let’s not forget mom.

All of which is why I nodded my head as I read Lindy West’s piece in Jezebel yesterday in which that “baseball is all about fathers and sons …” rebop is shown to be pretty empty. It may apply in one’s own circumstance, but as a means of explaining the appeal of baseball to others, it’s really, really hard for most people to relate to and makes you sound silly after a while.

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.