Otis Nixon arrested with “a crack pipe in his pocket”

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Longtime big leaguer Otis Nixon, who just a few months ago was accused of scamming the families of prison inmates out of money, was arrested over the weekend after police found him in possession of crack cocaine.

Alexis Stevens of the Atlanta Journal Constitution has more details:

Nixon, 54, had a crack pipe in his pocket and a crack rock in his vehicle when he was stopped on I-575 early Saturday, according to a Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office reported obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. …

“Otis admitted to me that the substance was crack cocaine but it didn’t belong to him,” a deputy wrote in the report. “Otis said the crack cocaine and the pipe belonged to his son.”

Nixon passed a field sobriety test and is currently being held on $11,880 bond.

Even when he was a leadoff man/center fielder who stole 620 career bases Nixon always looked like he was about 50 years old, but now that he’s actually 54 years old he appears to be about 104 in the mugshot. Bad times.

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.