Why did it take seven hours for the Nats to postpone yesterday’s game?

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It wasn’t until after 3pm yesterday afternoon that the Nationals officially announced the postponement of their game with the Braves in the wake of the Navy Yard shootings. Before that there were a lot of mixed signals — first Nats players and coaches were told to stay away from the park, then they were told to come and did show up — with many people wondering how they could play a game in the wake of the nearby chaos.

Today Adam Kilgore and James Wagner report about the communications and decision making process that went into the postponement. It’s a good story that shows you just how complicated such decisions are.

Actually, not so much how complicated the decisions are — I think, after a short time, everyone was on the same page — but how complicated carrying out the decisions are.

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.