Tony La Russa calls out Nyjer Morgan in his upcoming book

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I’m kind of torn here: I find both Tony La Russa and Nyjer Morgan kind of insufferable, so when one calls out the other — as La Russa does to Morgan in his upcoming book — I’m not sure what to do!

“When you play a team 18 times during the regular season, there’s bound to be some sparks, especially when both clubs have similarly aggressive styles,” La Russa says about the Brewers. “That’s good competitive action, but what Morgan said in that same tweet – that we’d be watching the postseason on television – didn’t fit into that category, and neither did his actions in that game. What he did was: Unwise. Uncalled for. Not forgotten.”

After the game, Morgan tweeted taunting words about the Cardinals, including a reference to Pujols as “Alberta.”

OK, I have to side with La Russa. For one thing, even if he annoys me sometimes he’s been around the block and is an all-time great. But more importantly — as I wrote last year — Nyjer was out-of-bounds and was seriously lacking some self-awareness last year when he cranked up that nonsense.

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.