Reporter calls Ian Kinsler as self-absorbed as A-Rod

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Wow, that escalated quickly. Ian Kinsler certainly stepped in it yesterday, but it’s nor more of a faux pas than you see a handful of times a year. A guy talking smack about his old team and old boss. It happens and it usually blows over pretty quickly.

But Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News weighed in on Ian Kinsler in Twitter last night, casting him in more stark terms than one might expect:

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I’ve never spoken to Kinsler and haven’t talked in an in-depth way with anyone who has covered him closely. But man, “too close to call” with A-Rod on the self-absorption scale?

Is the fact that this isn’t a widespread take on Kinsler a function of Fraley having a singular and non-representative view of Kinsler? Of everyone thinking that but, unlike in New York, the Texas press corps not making a big point of reporting that sort of thing all the time? Or is it part of the same dynamic which gives us A-Rod coverage: reporters making character judgments with less-than-perfect information?

Either way, kinda surprising, really.

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.