Venters’ suspension rescinded entirely (story updated)

CINCINNATI – The Braves got a got a welcome piece of  good news Friday when standout reliever Jonny Venters’ four-game suspension was rescinded entirely.

The decision came three days after a hearing in Washington, D.C., where the Braves appealed the suspension the rookie left-hander received after hitting Milwaukee slugger Prince Fielder with a pitch on July 17.

Venters continued to pitch during the appeals process, and the Braves hoped he wouldn’t have to miss all or most of a three-game series that began Friday at Cincinnati, the National League Central leader.

“I was ready for it to get over with,” said Venters, who found out just after noon Friday when teammate Mike Dunn sent him a text message congratulating him. “I was kind of down about it the last few days.  It was a relief [to have the suspension overturned]. I feel good about it.”

So did his teammates, who were pleased to have the young sinkerballer available Friday to face the power-laden Reds in their home run-friendly ballpark.

Venters ranked second among NL relievers in lowest ERA (1.07) and sixth in lowest opponents’ batting average (.170).

“Our best reliever,” closer Billy Wagne said. “It’s big. When you’re looking at coming into a place like this, you need all your horses. If he misses anytime it hurts us in that bullpen. It should have never have happened to begin with. But knowing it’s been wiped away, it’s big for us.”

Venters’ $2,500 fine was also reduced, though he wasn’t sure by how much.

It’s common for suspensions to be reduced, but not thrown out entirely. The decision came from John McHale Jr., Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of administration. Manager Bobby Cox, who participated in Tuesday’s hearing, was thrilled with the ruling.

“It was not intentional,” he said of the incident with Fielder. “It was completely accidental.”

During the 90-minute hearing., Venters and several Braves officials spoke, including general manager Frank Wren,  Cox and pitching coach Roger McDowell.

“I just kind of explained what happened,” Venters said, “that I understood why we were there, how it looked, but that I’m not that kind of player. Guys who know me know I’m not that kind of player.”

The team’s video coordinator  showed other errant pitches Venters threw this season, in situations where there would clearly have been no intent to throw at batters. Cox said Venters had hit more than 30 batters in his pro career, all but one left-handed (Fielder bats left-handed).

“That’s just the way I miss, the way the ball [travels],” Venters said.

Venters and Cox were both ejected after Venters hit Fielder in the back with a sinking fastball in the eighth inning. The ejections came after the home-plate umpire issued a warning following the pitch before, a slider over Fielder’s head.

Fielder had homered in the previous inning off Tim Hudson. The Brewers’ stout slugger was also hit by a pitch the night before by Tommy Hanson, one batter after Ryan Braun homered.

Cox conceded after the July 17 game that the situations didn’t look good and he understood why the Brewers would be angry, but was adamant about Braves pitchers not throwing at the Brewers.

Cox was also ejected from the the July 17 game at the same time as Venters, because of the warning that had been issued. Cox already served a one-game suspension.

In his past 20 appearances before Friday, Venters had a 0.42 ERA and .143 opponents’ average.

263 comments Add your comment

Chip4Prez

July 30th, 2010
1:31 pm

SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET… Way to go, MLB.

Tideguy

July 30th, 2010
1:35 pm

Hopefully, that means Bobby can avoid a fine on this.

Rey

July 30th, 2010
1:37 pm

This is great news. Things haven’t been so good for Braves nation this past week.

BTW….I still think we made a huge mistake trading Escobar away.

Patrick

July 30th, 2010
1:37 pm

Wow, great stuff. Good gift for Bobby’s last year I’d say.

coach joe

July 30th, 2010
1:37 pm

does bobby get his game back? save it for next year?

Bryan G.

July 30th, 2010
1:37 pm

That’s great news for the Braves since we’re a bit short handed in the pen

someguy

July 30th, 2010
1:39 pm

Carl Crawford anyone?

Geoff

July 30th, 2010
1:39 pm

i can see them busting out a power point presentation during this whole thing… awesome stuff for Braves… now time to win this game tonight and get some momentum our way

GT Fan

July 30th, 2010
1:39 pm

Great news. We have to have Venters until we get O’Flaherty back.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

July 30th, 2010
1:40 pm

No one can say that Venters can’t hit the broad side of a barn (especially one that showboats). Good for MLB, glad to see they got one right.

ThePriceisWrongBitch!

July 30th, 2010
1:41 pm

Nice! Figured this might happen since it took 3 days to get a verdict.

Now, let’s go out and get a steady OF bat and bring Blanco back up and we will be good to go!

Pierson Brave

July 30th, 2010
1:42 pm

Great news! Good to have you back DOB.

Anon21

July 30th, 2010
1:42 pm

Excellent news, and richly deserved. Good for MLB for being unafraid to admit when an umpire made a mistake.

jz23

July 30th, 2010
1:43 pm

Wait, Bud Selig’s crack team got something right?

Mike S

July 30th, 2010
1:44 pm

OK, this is good news for the Braves as losing Venters for the Cincy series would have seriously hurt — BUT how humbling it must be to base your defense on how poor your CONTROL of the baseball is. ROFL

Reality

July 30th, 2010
1:44 pm

No trade rumors from the Braves…only crickets……………………..

BuckheadBrave

July 30th, 2010
1:45 pm

Looks like Chicago got Edwin Jackson so this may be irrelevant BUT they may flip him. Looks like the White Sox wanted a middle of the rotation starter, why didn’t we offer KK for Andruw Jones? Andruw is playing so cheap we could eat most of KK’s salary to push this thing along, we are paying him for nothing as it is. He has better stats overall that Edwin Jackson aside from the W-L which isn’t always the pitchers fault. I think we could have moved KK i feel like Frank Wren is a little to timid or defeatist to try these things, he just assumes it won’t happen.

TM

July 30th, 2010
1:46 pm

So…. is it safe to say that Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez over reacted?

Boy, there’s a stretch!

How about MLB suspending A. Hernandez or levying a fine on him? Now, that would make some sense.

observor

July 30th, 2010
1:47 pm

Would love to hear the reactions to this from that whining, moaning baby of a manager in Milwaukee and ‘Jabba the Hut’ Fielder.

Fredi

July 30th, 2010
1:47 pm

MLB did this to detract the attention given umpire bias aimed at the Braves. A border line pitch, whether low, inside, or outside is a strike to other pitchers but is a ball to ours. This happens much too often.

Fredi

July 30th, 2010
1:48 pm

Wait… the word ours is used a little prematurely. Sorry.

912 Dawg

July 30th, 2010
1:49 pm

Anybody hearing any Braves trade rumors?

BobtheBlogger

July 30th, 2010
1:52 pm

Anticipating the suspension, Cox rode Venters like a rented mule the last few games, so he can’t pitch tonight anyway. He might as well have received a short suspension.

kbrab

July 30th, 2010
1:54 pm

I’m hoping we go back to Toronto and find a way to pick up Vernon Wells. I know he’s too expensive for the Jays and he might fit salary-wise after this year if Chipper retires.

Casey Stinkle

July 30th, 2010
1:54 pm

What is Wren doing there defending Ventors?? Shouldn’t he be spending some quality phone time??

Runnin

July 30th, 2010
1:54 pm

Great! Now let him close some games as well.

Braves95WS

July 30th, 2010
1:55 pm

DOB any trade rumors floating around out there?

Heisenberg

July 30th, 2010
1:55 pm

Angel Hernandez, Bill Hahn, & Cowboy Joe West are the 3 worst umpires in all of baseball. They do not have something against the Braves specifically, they all seem to think the game is about them and were overwhelmingly voted worst by players and teams.

912 Dawg

July 30th, 2010
1:55 pm

Just read where Jayson Stark said that the Braves are showing interest again in Cody Ross.

LuisG

July 30th, 2010
1:57 pm

coach joe
July 30th, 2010
1:37 pm
does bobby get his game back? save it for next year?

So funny!

justin

July 30th, 2010
1:58 pm

Jayson Stark is saying that the Braves are now back Cody Ross hard and heavy. Also, that they may be talking to Toronto about Kevin Gregg, and/or Downs.

Heisenberg

July 30th, 2010
1:58 pm

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
1:58 pm

Braves are close to Ellsbury!!

Tomahawk Mafia

July 30th, 2010
1:59 pm

Buckhead Brave, you make it sound so easy. With ideas like that you need to be in the Braves front office.

eric the elder

July 30th, 2010
1:59 pm

This action can be attributed to exactly one person: Bobby Cox. When he says, “We don’t play that way,” MLB nods in agreement and, out of respect for Bobby, they make a rare decision.

I’m as tough on Bobby as anyone (well, almost), but we have to give him credit for this one.

AlabamaBrave

July 30th, 2010
1:59 pm

Other teams are making moves to improve themselves. As of now, Frankie is just sitting there. This team, as it is comprised now, might make the playoffs but it won’t get past the first round.

StingerSplash

July 30th, 2010
2:00 pm

Now, Bobby said they didn’t throw at guys in retaliation for home runs.
But … do they throw at guys in retaliation for something else? Seems to me Maddux once took matters into his own hands and smoked somebody.

Fan in DC

July 30th, 2010
2:01 pm

Excellent news; can he play center field?

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:01 pm

Jessee

July 30th, 2010
2:02 pm

Get back to cooking Heisenberg

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:02 pm

I want ELLSBURY SO BAD!!! lol

Rhino

July 30th, 2010
2:02 pm

Huge break for the Braves. Now go take down the Reds!

http://www.rhinorant.com

Joe

July 30th, 2010
2:02 pm

MLB has said Braves have interest in Fielder. I hope not.
Just say no to Ross!!!!!!

bigstack19

July 30th, 2010
2:03 pm

Why the heck did that idiot Bob Watson suspend him to start with? Someone above him in the MLB office must have told him he was an idiot for suspending him.

DamntheButcher

July 30th, 2010
2:04 pm

We need Bobby to get thrown out of 7 more games this year and that will be 162 I think or basically 1 season of Baseball he has been thrown out of.

BuckheadBrave

July 30th, 2010
2:04 pm

I don’t know if we would match up well with Boston for someone like Ellsbury now that Escobar is gone. The Sox REALLY liked Escy.

NickGranite

July 30th, 2010
2:05 pm

“I’m hoping we go back to Toronto and find a way to pick up Vernon Wells. I know he’s too expensive for the Jays and he might fit salary-wise after this year if Chipper retires.”

At around .250 and 7 homers, Chipper has already retired.

The Abs Man

July 30th, 2010
2:06 pm

Great news on Jonny V….

Shockingly, incompetent boob Angel “No-Clue” Hernandez blew report way out of proportion….

How ’bout suspending dreadful umps like Angel fur games?

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:06 pm

i know why didnt we just trade escy to the sox for ellsbury and let infante play ss

NickGranite

July 30th, 2010
2:06 pm

“MLB has said Braves have interest in Fielder. I hope not.”

I think negotiations are stuck on the amount of meal money Fielder wants.

Heisenberg

July 30th, 2010
2:06 pm

Ellsbury play CF, but the BoSox with all their injuries would seem to be in the market to add an outfielder…not subtract one

Brooklyn Braves Brawler

July 30th, 2010
2:06 pm

DOB, what can you tell us about this Michael Noboa, 2B that they got from the D’Backs for cash?

Thanks

912 Dawg

July 30th, 2010
2:06 pm

Where have you guys read that the Braves are interested in Ellsbury?

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:07 pm

but apparently the article said the sox are looking for bullpen help? maybe joe thatcher or a braves young arm for ellsbury?

AlabamaBrave

July 30th, 2010
2:08 pm

Where does it say that Joe?

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:08 pm

ive read it on FANHOUSE MLBTR and here: http://thebravechop.blogspot.com/

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

July 30th, 2010
2:08 pm

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:09 pm

joe thatcher is specifically named at MLBTR

BuckheadBrave

July 30th, 2010
2:10 pm

I mean aside from the excitement someone would bring just being a new face, does Ellsbury REALLY give us anything that Melky doesn’t? He doesn’t hit for power, isn’t that what we are looking for.

CSpin

July 30th, 2010
2:10 pm

::cricket, cricket:: <—sound of braves trading block

Michael Scharff

July 30th, 2010
2:11 pm

Terrific News!! Now, hopefully we can get O’Flaherty back up to strength, and, hopefully, we will start swinging the bats again this weekend. The Phils are hot on our tail…

Joe

July 30th, 2010
2:11 pm

921 check the link @1:58 and @ 2:01.

CSpin

July 30th, 2010
2:12 pm

Interesting thought, DamntheButcher. An entire season of getting tossed. Wow.

BuckheadBrave

July 30th, 2010
2:12 pm

Other than being a steal threat, which is rendered useless by Bobby’s managing style.

Anon21

July 30th, 2010
2:12 pm

Ellsbury? The guy’s injured and bad. I hope to God Frank Wren is not barking up that tree.

Cody Ross? Eh. Better than Ellsbury, but not really an impact player, which is what we need right now.

I would be thrilled if we could acquire Josh Willingham from the Nats. Now THERE’S an impact player. But for whatever reason, the Nats are not shopping him. In fact, I’m starting to think the Nats have it in for the Braves in a big way. Keeping their closer through the end of their series with the Braves, then shipping him to Minnesota today, just in time for the Phillies to come to town. Thanks for throwing the NL East to the Phils, Rizzo!

912 Dawg

July 30th, 2010
2:13 pm

oh ok thanks. Are the Prince Fielder rumors true? That would be kinda weird if the Braves got him because of the recent drama with him and Venters.

ruppert

July 30th, 2010
2:14 pm

He was let off because the Brewers pegged Heyward and Glaus the next night “pitching inside” and nobody was ejected for Glaus even though there was a warning already issued.

BuckheadBrave

July 30th, 2010
2:15 pm

where are all these rumors MLBTR shows nothing. If we got Fielder would we flip Glaus? Platoon him with Chipper?

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:16 pm

im convinced that willinham is not a significant upgrade over diaz, and his D isnt to hot either. the only reason ellsbury might be worse on d in the UZR department is because of the monster in boston, and ellsbury is a perenial .300 hitter with huge speed. the ultimate leadoff hitter.

BuckheadBrave

July 30th, 2010
2:16 pm

I think it would work if Fielder was the everyday 1st baseman and Hinske became a permanent member of the OF rotation and Glaus acted in Hinske’s roll as back up 1b now and a matt stairs type of the bench in the post season.

onebravosfan

July 30th, 2010
2:17 pm

Ellsbury would be sweet…not for Delgado or Vizzy but certainly for Dunn and Cordier…

Heisenberg

July 30th, 2010
2:18 pm

Fielder would create a problem by blocking Freeman. Unless we think we can flip Fielder in the off season or God forbid trade Freeman for Fielder. That would be dumb.

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:19 pm

the joe thatcher/REDSOX looking for arms link, hints at moving ellsbury too.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/07/red-sox-have-explored-trades-for-many-relievers.html

ArtyDodger

July 30th, 2010
2:20 pm

Bet when Fielder heard this, he headed straight for a couple of dozen polish sausages.

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:20 pm

the link up top credits FANHOUSE @ 2:01

AlabamaBrave

July 30th, 2010
2:21 pm

2:21 and Wren has done nothing

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:21 pm

i dont want that fatty fielder

Heisenberg

July 30th, 2010
2:22 pm

But of the BoSox are interested in trading an outfielder, I could be tempted by Cameron if he is healthy so long as the price is not to steep.

Anon21

July 30th, 2010
2:22 pm

Heisenberg: Fielder’s contract expires at the end of this season. He blocks no one.

But I doubt the Braves will work out a deal for him, to be honest. I am just betting that Bobby is not at all a fan of his makeup.

912 Dawg

July 30th, 2010
2:22 pm

I would do a Schafer and Chavez trade for Ellsbury. Just to get Chavez out the bullpen

JRW7

July 30th, 2010
2:23 pm

Great news for JV! When Bobby says BRAVES pitchers don’t throw at other teams hitters, huuh? Bobbys full of B. S.!! And I like Bobby Cox. Come on BRAVES, we have to suck it up and play better. Every since BW blew those 2 saves, and MCOUT hit into that rally killing doubleplay, We have played like crap. GO BRAVES!!!!

Joe

July 30th, 2010
2:23 pm

Heisenberg U right. forget Fielder and play freeman.

Ellsbury is a joke. He has only played 9 games this year and had rib injury problems etc. Whats he gone do stay on DL. Time for Wren to get serious and stop picking up dead wood rejects.

played in college

July 30th, 2010
2:24 pm

and i never understood the hit the batter in retaliation approach. I mean, the batter is trying to get on base. Why give him a free ticket? because you are frustrated?

How about simply strike the jackwagon out? Man up and blow some freakin pills past his arse. Take out your filth spoon, and scoop him a dollop of nastiness. Rare back and rock some freakin Grade A NASA rocket fuel into the mitt. Skin that smokewagon and fire a bullet. Spin some 12 to 6, drop off the table, heavy rotational snapdragon curvaceous voracious love his way and have him grab some pine!

Heisenberg

July 30th, 2010
2:24 pm

I believe Fielder is under club control via arbitration through 2011.

Anon21

July 30th, 2010
2:25 pm

Bobby Boy: Yeah, Willingham is a big upgrade over Matt Diaz. Diaz is a platoon guy; Willingham can hit righties reasonably well, and he’s got a much better track record.

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:27 pm

i think ellsbury is like pods, only younger and better and faster and a consistant .300 hitter. and you know what this injury was his first major one so dont play the durability card.

ThePriceisWrongBitch!

July 30th, 2010
2:27 pm

DOB-

Why not start a new blog on trade options since we are a day away from the deadline? Seems that most of the blogs are filling up with trade chatter anyway…

BuckheadBrave

July 30th, 2010
2:27 pm

still dont see where the braves are being mentioned with any of these people

roja

July 30th, 2010
2:28 pm

Sadly, the Nats have no need for a closer against the Phils for the same reason that the Phils have no need for one against the Braves

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:29 pm

I heard this argument yesterday anan. and DIAZ HAS A BETTER CAREER AVG AGAINST RH PITCHING! .271 for diaz. .265 for willingham. Diaz maybe a platoon player but then so is willingham.

JRW7

July 30th, 2010
2:29 pm

I agree with you REY, I also think the BRAVES made a mistake when they traded Yunel Escobar, I think it was a huge mistake and a kneejerk reaction by BC and FW!!!!

912 Dawg

July 30th, 2010
2:30 pm

@ThePriceisWrongFemaleDog, That’s what i’ve been thinking.

Heisenberg

July 30th, 2010
2:30 pm

Willingham works for me if they would then move Heyward to CF. Then play matchups with 1B, LF, and RF depending on pitcher.

Joe

July 30th, 2010
2:30 pm

Bobby boy, He has hit 300 only one time I believe.

Greg

July 30th, 2010
2:31 pm

I wish the Braves would go for Adam Dunn. We have a low priced first baseman to send with prospects. It is interdivision but I am not concerned about the Nats for a while.

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:31 pm

BTW ellsbury is a high OBP guy. takes his BB. and we need a leadoff hitter. i dont get why people are so put off by this.

Tami

July 30th, 2010
2:32 pm

FANTASTIC news! I kind of figured when MLB took so long trying to decide whether or not to rescind the 4-game suspension that they might have been leaning towards rescinding completely. What a relief to see it actually come to fruition!

Joe

July 30th, 2010
2:32 pm

Willingham has no arm (like Nate) and not that great on D. check the scout reports.

Bobby Boy

July 30th, 2010
2:34 pm

well ellsbury hit .300 in 2 of 3 season so far. and the other he hit .280.

Joe

July 30th, 2010
2:34 pm

greg, Dunn cost to much for the cheap Braves (Liberty Mutual).

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