Reckless driving charges against Yasiel Puig dismissed

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Back in April, you may recall, Yasiel Puig was arrested for reckless driving when he was pulled over after doing 97 m.p.h. in a 50 m.p.h. zone at 1AM. Those charges have been dropped, reports the Chattanoogan newspaper:

Judge David Bales presided over the case. After reading the charges, he read a letter written by the Dodgers’ Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Lon Rosen on Puig’s behalf. The letter detailed Puig’s involvement in the Los Angeles community and called him “an asset.” Rosen said that Puig was active in several charity organizations that worked with underprivileged youth in the area. The letter also said that Puig had attended charity fundraisers for an orphanage in Zambia.

The prosecutor recommended the charge be dropped and the judge took pains to say that Puig was not treated any differently than an otherwise good person without a criminal record is treated in such a case.

Of course, I presume Scott Miller and Bill Plaschke will write columns now saying how he should’ve been given six months of hard labor in order to tame this wild beast or somesuch.

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.