Unfazed by comebacker, LaTroy Hawkins still refuses to wear a cup

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Mets reliever LaTroy Hawkins took a comebacker to the manhood area last night against the Dodgers, an experience that Hawkins later said felt like getting “kicked by a mule.”

The Mets, mercifully, granted Hawkins a night off after his incident, but the right-hander seems to have not learned a lesson from any of this. Hawkins told the media today that he still won’t wear a cup. Via ESPN’s Adam Rubin:

“I never have. I never will,” Hawkins said. “I tried it a couple of times in the minor leagues. It wasn’t comfortable. I’ve thrown a lot of innings. I’ve been in a lot of ballgames. This is the first time I got hit. It won’t change.” 

Hawkins added, “Me and my wife are done having kids, so we’re good. Twelve years ago I would have.”

I can think of safer ways to sterilize oneself, but to each his own.

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.