NESN and Jenny Dell part ways

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It was reported in January that NESN had reassigned sideline reporter Jenny Dell when it was revealed that she was in a romantic relationship with Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks. Now that reassignment has become a full-blown parting of ways:

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, who oversees all of NESN’s on-air operations, acknowledged Thursday morning that Dell has decided to pursue other opportunities outside of the sports cable franchise after she and Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks acknowledged on New Year’s Eve that they were in a relationship.

I think it’s fun that that a reporter having a relationship with a player is a conflict of interest but the team’s chairman controlling the content of the network is not, but I guess that’s not worth exploring too deeply, huh?

In any event, I expect Dell will land someplace comfortable soon. She’s seen as a rising star. Places like Fox and ESPN have baseball programming out the wazoo and a need of faces to put on the screen around and during it. She won’t be out of a job for long.

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.