The Giants pay $700K in back wages to clubhouse workers

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Scroll past the story about the new male strip club in the Castro and you’ll find this item in the San Francisco Chronicle:

. . . the San Francisco Giants have agreed to pay $700,000 in back pay and penalties to 74 batboys, cooks, clubhouse attendants and other workers after a federal audit concluded the team’s salary practices were improper … The Giants paid them a flat “game rate” salary, although under state and federal law, they’re supposed to be paid by the hour. And the batboys were getting about $55 a game – no matter how many hours they worked.

Which, yes, is a violation. But given that players and coaches tip these guys out, often very handsomely, it’s not like they weren’t getting paid well. Rules are rules though. And with the wage system — which the article says the Giants went to in 2012 — I’m guessing they’re still getting tipped nicely.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.