Mr. ________

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We all know that Jeff Conine is “Mr. Marlin.”  At least I hope we know that, because that sort of thing is worth knowing. But who is the “Mr.____” of all the other teams? Rob Neyer takes a stab at it today over at Baseball Nation. And it’s a pretty good stab.

There are a few some might take issue with, of course. I bet if you asked 100 Reds fans of a certain age who their “Mr. Red” is 87 of them would say Pete Rose and not Johnny Bench, but since Rose is excluded from everything else I get why he’s excluded here. I tend to think that “Mr. Yankee” should be someone who never wore another team’s uniform, so I’d probably go with Gehrig or DiMaggio over Ruth. After all, this isn’t about the best player, just the one that typifies the franchise in some important way.

Anyway, fun mental exercise.

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.