That’ll help: the Brewers have fired their bullpen coach

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John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez have basically poured fifteen gallons of kerosene on the last couple of weeks of the Brewers’ season, lit their Zippo lighters, said a bunch of pithy, villainous one-liners, dropped their lighters and walked away over the stream of fire heading towards the building and then didn’t even flinch as the explosion went off behind them.  Just ruthless performances in that regard from the both of them. Real Kyzer Soze stuff.

So, logically, the Brewers have done something about it:

 

That’s showing ’em, Doug Melvin. Let everyone know that there is real accountability in Milwaukee. The next guy who answers the bullpen phone and watches with his arms crossed as Axford and K-Rod warm up will know that they gotta mind their Ps and Qs.

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.