Video: Remembering Earl Weaver, “The Earl of Baltimore”

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MLB Network put together an excellent retrospective on the remarkable career of Earl Weaver, who passed away yesterday at the age of 82. This is a sad day in Baltimore, but there’s a lot to be celebrated.

While Weaver’s fiery style naturally commanded a lot of the attention, he was simply ahead of his time from a strategic perspective, embracing statistical analysis before many even thought about doing it. Heck, he looks progressive even now. And on that note, I’m going to call my parents to see if they threw out my copy of Earl Weaver Baseball.

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.