David Ortiz thinks Shaughnessy’s PED accusations were culturally insensitive

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I was going to say “racist” but Ortiz doesn’t actually say that. I think the phrase “culturally insensitive” is stupid. I dunno. Here are his words, translated from Spanish, over at ESPN Boston. You decide what he thinks:

“Yesterday, the guy came to see me and asked some questions about steroids, and when you see the writing, it basically focuses on the fact that I’m Dominican and that many Dominicans have been caught using steroids. And what about the Americans?” Ortiz said.

“If you’re from the Middle East, because there are some people there who put bombs and terrorize civilians, I have to see you like that, as well? If you are a white American, I have to call you a racist because white Americans were in the Ku Klux Klan?

Know what? The part where Shaughnessy noted that a reason for his suspicion was because Ortiz was Dominican wasn’t the part that agitated me the most. Maybe Shaughnessy was ham-handed in saying it, but if forced to explain himself I think there’s a non-racist/insensitive explanation having to do with the undeniable fact that PEDs are more freely-available in the Dominican Republic and that many high-profile PED cases of recent years involved Dominican players.

But I am with Ortiz generally in that Shaughnessy’s overall suspicion is baseless and unfair, and I think his points made later in the article about how he’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t are good ones.

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.