Deep Thoughts: the Quad-A Cafe

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Someone mentioned “quad-A” players earlier. I tend to call them AAAA-guys, but you know who I mean. Players who are too good for Triple-A but can’t seem to cut it in the bigs. Mat Gamel was the one mentioned in the comment, but there are a bunch of them floating around.

Extremely bored, I started daydreaming and imagined the Quad-A guys all meeting for a convention. An annual get-together or something where they talk about the challenges of having no place. Maybe it’s more of a support group thing, during which these guys deal with the unique problem of sometimes being so much better than those around them, sometimes being worse, and never having peace and comfort because of it.

But then I just thought, nah, they need a bar. The Quad-A Cafe, maybe.  I mused to Twitter what it might be like.  I then got a bunch of great responses:

@suss2hyphens: It would have a low ceiling and go on for years.

@SouthSideSox: The menu consists of a few cups of coffee.

@SSS_UGod:  And some pop, but not as much as you’d like.

@guyd10: Clearly would have a coffee maker, but the coffee would only be available in September…

@DangerousMabry: It would boast a list of 135 whiskys. But they’d all be Canadian.

@stevesimas: They’d have a “B” grade from the Dept. of Health in the window.

@EvansiPhone4s: servers would always be missing 1 tool

@SteveGlauber: TVs always set to ESPN2

@RDansky: The BPro guys would constantly be clamoring for it to get a shot at a better location.

@EnnHaitch: Might just be really inconsistent.

@matthiasbostick: after a bad zagat review, people on the internet would argue about whether it had been given a fair chance

Pull up a chair and let the bartender of the Quad-A Cafe, Roberto Petagine, pour you an OK, but not spectacular drink.  Then, if you’re hungry, allow our cook, Ken Phelps, to make you a totally adequate burger that does not quite meet your expectations.  But make sure you behave yourself or else our bouncer, Jeff Clement, will throw you out.

Wait, who am I kidding? If Jeff Clement could throw anyone out he wouldn’t be at the Quad-A in the first place.

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.