75% of baseball teams’ political donations went to conservative causes in 2012

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Via Nathaniel Rakich, here’s a report from the Sunlight Foundation chronicling political donations by Major League Baseball teams, as well as the league itself, in 2012. Shockingly, rich business owners who aren’t big fans of regulation and change spend the bulk of their dough on conservative causes: indeed, 75% of all political donations from teams, team executives and owners went right rather than left.

The league itself — via Major League Baseball’s political action committee — splits the half million dollars or so it spends on legislative races almost 50/50, Democrat/Republican.

Players don’t donate all that much, but when they do, they tend to go with the GOP as well:

Current players that donated to conservative candidates include White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham, Yankees designated hitter Travis Hafner, Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie and San Diego Padres pitcher Huston Street. Tony Gwynn, Jr. of the Dodgers, and son of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, was the only player we found donating to liberal causes. But a few baseball legends serving as special assistants to their clubs also gave to Democrats, including Hank Aaron and Lou Brock …

Again, given the demographics of ballplayers, it’s not terribly shocking here.

Interesting stuff. Give it a read.

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.