Charlie Manuel: “we don’t scare nobody”

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Charlie Manuel let ‘er rip after yesterday’s sweep-securing loss to the Dodgers:

“I thought we lost that edge quite a while ago, if you want to know the truth. We don’t scare nobody. I’ll tell you something, we used to have a swagger. We used to be kind of cocky in a real good way. And teams used to definitely fear us. I definitely don’t see that fear no more. I don’t see that. I’m sorry. No, I don’t see where we scare anybody. Nobody backs down from us. Matter of fact, they come right at us. They take it right to us.”

I dunno. Doesn’t seem like swagger or fear or anything like that is the issue. The issue is that their cleanup hitter is Ty Wigginton, their second hitter is Juan Pierre and the guy leading the offensive charge yesterday was Mike Fontenot.  It’s the quality of the players, not their attitude, that is causing the Phillies problems right now. For that you can blame injuries and the front office, not Cholly or determination or a swagger deficit disorder.

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.