The Mets have Cole Hamels’ number. Why?

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Mulder: He psyched the guy out, he put the whammy on him!

Scully [skeptical]: Please explain to me the scientific nature of “the Whammy.”

Sorry. Just remembering my 1990s crushes. I was inspired to by this, from Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com:

Fifteen to twenty years from now, when Cole Hamels’ playing days are over, several sticking points will come up in most conversations about his career.

The 2008 World Series.

The $144 million contract.

The durability.

The lack of run support.

And those damn Mets.

The Mets have had Hamels’ number for most of his career. Yet the Mets have stunk for most of Hamels’ career. So why do they always seem to hit him so well?  Seidman investigates why this is. His answer makes a lot of sense. And no, it has nothing to do with hexes, curses or the whammy.

But the truth is out there.

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.