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Power Outages Widespread; JP/Constable Offices Close in Troup

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 12:31 pm

thumb_power_linesEAST TEXAS — Thousands of East Texans have been affected by power outages in the wake of Wednesday night’s storm system. The Smith County Justice of the Peace and Constable Pct. 3 Offices shut down for the day Thursday due to a prolonged outage. The Precinct 3 offices are located at 313 E. Duval Street in Troup. Electricity was expected to be restored late Thursday night and normal office hours should resume on Friday, July 25, according to a county news release. KETK reports at least ten area counties have reported significant outages. According to Oncor, some places may be in the dark until early Friday morning.

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Daycare Worker Fired; State Officials Are Investigating

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 11:30 am

LONGVIEW — A Longview church has fired a daycare worker, after church officials say she hit a child with a shoe. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report a state investigation is now in place at Oakland Heights Baptist Church. The church’s childcare center fired the employee in June. Afterwards the church notified state officials about the incident. The Worker reportedly hit the child with a shoe as punishment for taking his shoes off.

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Commissioners Reject Two Resolutions on Immigration

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 11:26 am

thumb_joel-bakerTYLER — Smith County commissioners have rejected two resolutions addressing possible housing for illegal immigrants. Commissioner Terry Phillips believes an overwhelming number of illegal immigrants in the county would be both a health risk and a safety concern. County Judge Joel Baker agreed with Phillips but said the county has no authority to deny cooperation with the state or federal government. Baker told KETK, “I agree that the borders need to be secure and this immigration issue needs to be dealt with in an appropriate manner, and it’s not being dealt with in an appropriate manner. But we cannot as a commissioners court effect the proper change.”

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Two UT Football Players, One from Athens, Charged with Sex Assault

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 11:53 am

image_handler.aspxAUSTIN (AP/Staff) – A University of Texas police spokeswoman says two Longhorns football players, including an East Texan, have been charged with felony sexual assault and their arrests are pending. Spokeswoman Cindy Posey says the players charged Thursday are wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander. Sanders, who is from Athens, also faces a charge of improper photography. Further details were not immediately available. It was not clear if either player has an attorney. Sanders, a junior, has played in 23 career games and started seven last year. He has 39 career receptions for 376 yards and one touchdown. Sanders was suspended for the 2013 season opener after a drunken driving arrest. Meander is a redshirt freshman who did not play last season.

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Date Set for Inmate’s Death Trial

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 12:11 pm

madewellGREGG COUNTY — A trial date is set in federal court for a lawsuit in which a mother claims her son died because he was denied his prescription drugs while an inmate at the Gregg County Jail. According to the Longview News-Journal, jury selection is Feb. 9 in Marshall. Betty Madewell seeks unspecified monetary damages in the March 2013 death of her 51-year-old son, Bobby Joe Madewell Jr. Betty Madewell claims the county denied her son prescriptions for Xanax and hydrocodone. The county, which has since amended its jail drug policy to be wider, denies Madewell’s claims. Read more …

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Boil Water Notice Issued for Area East of Tyler

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm

thumb_boilingwater-2SMITH COUNTY — Due to power outages in the Tyler area, the Texas Commission on Environment Quality has ordered Jackson Water Supply to issue a boil water notice. KETK reports the notice affects the area north of FM 850, but not inclusive of FM 850. The road is located in the Jackson and Chapel Hill area. The public will be updated when it is no longer necessary to boil. If you have questions concerning this matter, please call Jackson Water Supply at 903-566-1320 or 903-343-9713.

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East Texas Lawmaker Seeks Ruling on Historical Racing

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 1:39 pm

thumb_Dan-FlynnAUSTIN (AP/Staff) – An East Texas lawmaker is asking the attorney general to weigh in on whether a state commission has the authority to allow a new form of betting called historical racing. Republican State Rep. Dan Flynn of Van is requesting a review of devices that are like slot machines and allow people to bet on horse and dog races that have already happened. Race track owners have asked the Texas Racing Commission to allow the machines as a way to help their struggling industry. They say it’s another form of legal betting. The public still has several days to comment and the commission could vote as early as next month. But Flynn says it amounts to an expansion of gambling and would require a two-thirds vote from lawmakers and approval from voters.

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Missing Longview Teen is Safe

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 11:27 am

Hannah Nicole BarkerLONGVIEW — A missing Longview teenager is back home. The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office had asked for help finding Hannah Nicole Barker, 15, who has last been last seen last Sunday. Jay Webb, administrative lieutenant of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, said Tuesday that Barker is believed to have run away from her home on Peggy Ruth Road. Webb said that he wants to thank the public for its assistance. He said the girl has returned home and is safe.

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Faulkner Sprayground Maintenance

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 11:26 am

Faulkner Park SpraygroundTYLER — The sprayground at Tyler’s Faulkner Park will be closed on Thursday, July 24, for maintenance. It is expected to reopen on Friday, July 25. Faulkner Park is located at 410 W. Cumberland Road.

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Calls for Troops at Border Echo Previous Requests

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 11:34 am

Rick Perry7McALLEN (AP) — Texas Governor Rick Perry was speaking to voters in Iowa as much as Texas when he deployed as many as 1,000 armed National Guard troops to the Mexican border in South Texas. The one-time and possible future presidential candidate is in the waning months of his final term as governor and appears to be considering another run for the Republican nomination. Under the federal law, National Guard troops can enforce state laws but will be able to do little more than call immigration authorities if they encounter immigrants who successfully cross into the United States. Texas says the deployment will cost the state $12 million each month. In early 2009, while he was running for re-election, Perry asked the Obama administration to deploy 1,000 troops along the border.

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State Hopes to Trace Source of Intestinal Parasite

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

Texas Department of Health ServicesAUSTIN (AP) — State health officials are trying to trace the origin of an intestinal parasite that has infected 77 Texans so far this year. In a statement Wednesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services says 77 cases of cyclosporiasis have been reported around Texas this year, including 69 in the last month alone. The intestinal illness involves watery diarrhea and is caused by the parasite Cyclospora, which is spread through food and water. Last year, Texas reported 351 cases, more than any other state in the country. In most previous years, the number of cases totaled only in the single or low double digits. State health officials recommend thoroughly washing fresh produce, although Cyclospora can be difficult to wash off. Cooking will kill the bug, however.

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Texas Needs Extra Year for New Teacher Evaluations

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

Michael WilliamsAUSTIN (AP) — Texas will need an extra year to unveil a new teacher evaluation system that’s required as the state seeks relief from some curriculum standards mandated by No Child Left Behind. State Education Commissioner Michael Williams wrote the U.S. Education Department on Wednesday saying a pilot evaluation program would be delayed 12 months. Last year, Texas sought a federal waiver from the 2001 No Child Left Behind law, even though then-President George W. Bush modeled it after academic standards he’d overseen as Texas governor. That waiver required implementing a new teacher evaluation system. Texas hasn’t updated its evaluation regimen in 17 years, though, and now says it will need more time. The Association of Texas Professional Educators applauded the move, saying new teacher evaluations shouldn’t be implemented hastily

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Man Charged in Hot-Car Death of Granddaughter

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 11:36 am

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (AP) – North Texas police say they’ve charged a man in the death of his granddaughter for leaving the child in a hot vehicle for eight hours after forgetting to take her to day care. North Richland Hills police said in a release Wednesday that James Hollingsworth, 59, is charged with injury to a child/recklessly by omission. He turned himself in Wednesday, posted bond and has been released. Police say Hollingsworth gave his daughter a ride to work April 22 and then was supposed to take 20-month-old Aurora Hollingsworth to day care. He instead returned home, leaving the child in the vehicle. When he later picked up his 11-year-old grandson from school, the boy told him something was wrong with Aurora. Hollingsworth then called 911.

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Man Gets Life Sentence for Fatal Shootings

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

Brian Berry2SAN ANGELO (AP) — A West Texas man has avoided a possible death sentence after accepting a plea deal in the fatal shooting of his estranged wife and her brother. Brian Berry, 41, was sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to capital murder in the deaths of Keri Berry and Brandon Block in July 2013 at Keri Berry’s home in Wall. The San Angelo Standard-Times reports Berry also received a 20-year prison sentence for shooting Block’s wife, who survived. He was ordered to pay more than $18,000 in restitution. Capital murder is punishable by death or life imprisonment. Prosecutors said last year they would have sought the death penalty against Berry if the case went before a jury.

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Man Arrested after Body Found in Law Office

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Jestin Wayne HookerLUBBOCK (AP) — Police have made an arrest in connection with the death of a man whose body was found when officers answered a call about an after-hours disturbance at a West Texas law office. A release from Lubbock police says Jestin Wayne Hooker, 27, was arrested on a charge of homicide hours after he was detained for questioning. Jail records show Hooker, who was described in the release as a roommate of the victim, does not yet have an attorney. Officers before dawn Wednesday responded to the downtown offices of Shackelford, Hawkins & Searcy. The name of the man who died and a possible cause of death were not immediately released. Police Sgt. Jason Lewis says arriving officers found the body inside the building.

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Yankees edge Yu Darvish, Rangers in rain-shortened game

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 11:37 pm

A wet field gave the New York Yankees one weird win.

Brett Gardner hit a tiebreaking homer off All-Star ace Yu Darvish, and New York beat the Texas Rangers 2-1 Wednesday night in a rain-shortened game called in the fifth inning under bizarre circumstances.

Once the rain stopped, the grounds crew did its best to dry out the field. But both managers expressed concern about players getting hurt on the soft basepaths, and the game was called after an unusual delay that lasted 1 hour, 49 minutes.

“The field was just not playable,” umpire crew chief Dale Scott told a pool reporter.

During the delay, the last-place Rangers reached an agreement to trade closer Joakim Soria to Detroit for minor league pitchers Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel.

David Phelps (5-4) pitched out of a jam just before the storm, and Francisco Cervelli doubled twice to help the Yankees win for the fifth time in six games on a 10-game homestand following the All-Star break.

Chase Headley had a double in his first start for New York after he was acquired in Tuesday’s trade with San Diego. Read more …

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Agent: Aminu agrees to deal with Mavericks

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Forward Al-Farouq Aminu has agreed to a two-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks with a player option for the second season, agent Raymond Brothers said.

The Mavs could only offer Aminu, the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft, the veteran’s minimum.

The 6-foot-9, 215-pound Aminu, 23, has averaged 6.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in four seasons for the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans. He averaged 7.2 points and 6.2 rebounds for New Orleans last season, when he was primarily a starter.

Aminu, who has twice had 16-point, 20-rebound performances against the Mavs, will provide depth for Dallas behind small forward Chandler Parsons and power forward Dirk Nowitzki.

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Sources: Mavs, PG Nelson near deal

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 11:41 pm

By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

The Dallas Mavericks are closing in on signing former Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, according to sources briefed on the talks.

Sources told ESPN.com that Nelson and the Mavericks, barring an unforeseen snag, are on track to formalize a contract Thursday, when Nelson visits Dallas.

ESPN.com reported Tuesday that the Mavericks had arranged to fly Nelson into town for a face-to-face visit Thursday in the hopes of finalizing a deal via use of their $2.7 million room exception.

Dallas has been in the market for another veteran floor leader all summer to help fill the void created by Jose Calderon’s exit in June. The Mavericks had to part with Calderon to reacquire center Tyson Chandler in a trade with the New York Knicks.

After initially focusing on Mo Williams, who maintains an offseason home in the Dallas area, Mavericks officials have been engaged in serious negotiations with Nelson over the past week to give coach Rick Carlisle another trusted ball handler.

Longtime Maverick Devin Harris is the projected starter at the point after landing a four-year deal worth more than $16 million this month. Newly acquired point guard Raymond Felton and second-year point guard Gal Mekel are also on Dallas’ roster, but the Mavericks have made the signing of another point guard their top remaining priority after securing the services of Chandler Parsons as their new starting small forward. Read more …

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Cowboys’ Romo (back) fully cleared for camp

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 11:40 pm

By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

OXNARD, Calif. – The Dallas Cowboys believe quarterback Tony Romo has made a complete recovery from December surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back.

Meanwhile, defensive end Anthony Spencer and defensive tackle Amobi Okoye “won’t be ready to go for a while,” coach Jason Garrett said. Spencer, who played in only one game last season, is recovering from microfracture knee surgery. Okoye, who signed with the Cowboys in May, did not play in 2013 due to what has been described as a personal medical issue.

The Cowboys exercised caution with Romo by keeping him out of competitive drills during the offseason, although he resumed his throwing program before the beginning of organized team activities. Romo’s reps will be closely monitored during training camp, but the Cowboys do not believe any extra limitations are necessary.

“He’s been working very hard on his conditioning and his throwing, and we do anticipate him being ready to go for all aspects,” Garrett said. “Like with anybody else coming off of an injury, though, we’ll evaluate him on a day by day basis and just see how he’s doing. In a situation like this, you want to monitor his throws. You want to make sure his reps are quality reps, that he’s not just out there banging balls, so to speak. So we want to make sure we’re very thoughtful about that, really like we would any player who is coming off an injury, and evaluate how he’s handling the work and continue to progress with him or dial it back a little bit. Read more …

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Cowboys’ Jones says Garrett not under gun

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 11:39 pm

By Todd Archer | ESPN.com

OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones doesn’t view 2014 as a win-or-else year for his head coach even as Jason Garrett enters the final year of his contract.

“In terms of the record of this team, this is not a make-or-break situation for Jason and members of this staff,” Jones said at the Cowboys’ opening training camp news conference. “We’ve got a job to do. We obviously want to zero in on what we have to do this afternoon and what we do the next day and the next day and the next day.

“I know firsthand that we’ve got a relationship, that I have a relationship (with Garrett) and there’s nobody that has a better feel for me than Jason, in terms of the relationship. We both know where our expectations are and when it’s looking good and when it’s looking dire. And I don’t expect it to be the latter.”

Garrett has a 29-27 record since taking over in the middle of the 2010 season for Wade Phillips but has posted three straight 8-8 records in which the Cowboys have missed out on the playoffs with Week 17 NFC East losses each time.

The Cowboys have retooled their roster since Garrett took over. Only eight of the 90 players on the current roster remain from when Garrett became Phillips’ replacement. Read more …

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Rangers deal closer Soria to Tigers

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 11:38 pm

By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

NEW YORK — The Texas Rangers traded closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers for two pitching prospects on Wednesday night.

The deal was pending physicals and sends rookie right-hander Corey Knebel and right-handed minor league prospect Jake Thompson to Texas.

Knebel will be assigned to Triple-A Round Rock, with Thompson going to Double-A Frisco.
“Corey Knebel is a big physical right-handed guy with back of the bullpen speed and demeanor,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “A power fastball, curveball combo, a lot of success at (the University of Texas).”

Knebel, 22, made eight relief appearances for the Tigers this season allowing six earned runs in 8 2/3 innings.

He was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a second stint with the Tigers on July 19. His first appearance in the big leagues came against the Rangers on May 24 in Detroit.

Daniels said the fact Thompson, from Rockwall, Texas, was being assigned to Double-A at his age was a positive given the amount of talent at that classification.

Thompson, 20, had gone 7-4 with a 3.06 ERA in 18 starts for Lakeland (High-A) and Erie (AA) this season. Read more …

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Strong offseason fueling Brandon Weeden

Posted/updated on: July 18, 2014 at 10:44 am

By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas – Brandon Weeden’s bid to be the Dallas Cowboys’ No. 2 quarterback in 2014 got a lot easier when the club decided to release Kyle Orton.

Barring something unforeseen, Weeden, who signed a two-year deal in the offseason, will be Tony Romo’s backup. But Weeden does not look at the move as “weight off my shoulders.”

“Given the situation Kyle has been in in previous years in Dallas, he’s been the backup quarterback, so I think if he was there it would be one more obstacle I would have to kind of hurdle,” Weeden said. “But at the same time I can’t really get wrapped up in putting all of my attention on that. I need to do what I did in the [organized team activities] and continue to play well and get better. I think hopefully things will work out that way regardless.”

The Cowboys felt confident enough to jettison Orton, who skipped the entire offseason program and minicamp, in part because of what Weeden did in the spring. With Romo recovering from back surgery and being kept out of competitive drills and Orton missing, Weeden took all of the first-team snaps.

“I think the reps I got in the OTAs were kind of irreplaceable,” Weeden said. “If I was in a situation where God forbid something happened to Tony and I’m asked to play, those are the guys I’m going to battle with, so those reps I got were invaluable. I know I won’t get many of those in [training] camp, but fortunately I had 12 practices where I was able to get out with those guys. Now it’s, ‘Let’s get to work.’ I’m ready to get to California and get things rolling.”

Orton had the same benefit last year of taking all of the offseason snaps in 2013 as Romo recovered from surgery to remove a cyst from his back. When Romo hurt his back in Week 16 against the Washington Redskins, he was able to step into the season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles and play well. He completed 30 of 46 passes for 358 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, but a late turnover sealed the Cowboys’ loss.

“[Gavin] Escobar and [Jason] Witten are two totally different players. Dez [Bryant] and Terrance [Williams] are two totally different players,” Weeden said. “You kind of learn what certain guys’ strengths are and little nuances of what they do. That’s the thing more than anything. You kind of get a feel for what Dez likes on fades and all that stuff a certain way where Terrance might like it another way. You’ve got to learn what each guy likes. When you’re with so many new guys it takes time. You always want more time, but it’s nice to have the reps I did get there to get a head start.”

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Mack Brown joins ABC studio team

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 1:22 pm

ESPN.com news services

BRISTOL, Conn. — Former Texas coach Mack Brown will serve as a studio analyst for college football games on ABC.

Brown stepped down in December after 16 years with the Longhorns, winning the national title after the 2005 season.

“I’m so excited and grateful to be joining ESPN’s college football coverage team,” Brown said in a news release. “We’ve been talking about it for a few months, and I think it’s a great opportunity to continue to be an active part of a game I love so much. People who know me know I’m a football junkie, so I’m really looking forward to watching and studying teams, sharing thoughts, and talking football with all of the passionate college football fans across the country each and every week.”

Brown will appear on “College Football Countdown” and offer pregame, halftime and postgame commentary for the games on ABC, including “Saturday Night Football.” He will work with host John Saunders and former Florida State quarterback Danny Kanell.

ESPN also said Thursday that former Miami and North Carolina coach Butch Davis will serve as an analyst for ESPN2′s studio coverage on Saturdays.

“I’m thrilled with the opportunity to be an analyst on a sport that has been a part of my coaching life at every level,” Davis said in the release.

Davis was fired by the Tar Heels in 2011 during an NCAA investigation. He led the Hurricanes back to national prominence while coaching them from 1995-2000. In between, there was a mostly unsuccessful NFL stint with the Cleveland Browns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Two Texas WRs face felony charge

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 1:21 pm

ESPN.com news services

AUSTIN, Texas — Two Longhorns football players have been charged with felony sexual assault, and their arrests are pending, a University of Texas police spokeswoman said.

Spokeswoman Cindy Posey says the players charged Thursday are wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander. Sanders also faces a charge of improper photography.

Texas coach Charlie Strong said in a statement that both players have been suspended from the football team.

“We’ve been monitoring and addressing the situation with Kendall (Sanders) and Montrel (Meander) since it was brought to our attention,” Strong said. “It’s been made clear to everyone on our team that treating women with respect is one of our core values, and I’m extremely disappointed that two young men in our program have been accused of not doing that. With the recent charges against them, they have been suspended indefinitely from our football team and will no longer participate in any team functions.”

Sanders, a junior, has played in 23 career games and started seven last year. He has 39 career receptions for 376 yards and one touchdown. Sanders was suspended for the 2013 season opener after a drunken-driving arrest.

Meander is a redshirt freshman who did not play last season.

ESPN.com’s Max Olson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Mark Cuban has right hip replaced

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm

By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban posted a video to Instagram of him taking his first steps a day after having his right hip replaced.

Mark Cuban @mcuban

24 hours after a total hip replacement taking my first steps. Why did I wait so long to do it !… http://instagram.com/p/q1ohzXO213/
9:59 AM – 24 Jul 2014

This is the second total hip replacement that Cuban, 55, has undergone. He had his left hip replaced in 2007, months before participating in the ABC show “Dancing With the Stars.”

Cuban suffers from osteoarthritis, a painful disease that affects millions. Osteoarthritis causes protective cartilage on the ends of bones to wear down over time. Cuban exercises on a regular basis, routinely conducting interviews from the StairMaster in the Mavericks’ weight room before home games.

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Neftali Feliz: Closer today, beyond?

Posted/updated on: July 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm

By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

NEW YORK — At least for one day, the Texas Rangers have anointed Neftali Feliz as their closer.

Feliz will be in that role for Thursday afternoon’s series finale against the New York Yankees. Texas traded closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night for two pitching prospects.

Feliz was a dominant force as Texas’ closer in 2010 and 2011 before being moved to the starting rotation.

“If there’s an opportunity, I would like to become the closer again,” Feliz said. “I did it for a couple of years, and I will take advantage of the opportunity and do the best that I can.”

Manager Ron Washington said he’s unsure whether Feliz can close on consecutive days. It will depend on the number of pitches he throws in a given appearance, but Washington thinks Feliz is ready to do it.

“I’m going to give him the ball and tell him to do what he feels he needs to do with it,” Washington said. “This is what, Neftali’s fifth year? I can’t motivate Neftali. That [being the closer again] should motivate him enough. You got a chance to close and that’s what it is, a chance.”

Feliz is 0-1 with a 2.61 ERA since he was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on July 4 to work out of the bullpen. After allowing a home run to Melky Cabrera in Sunday’s loss to Toronto, Feliz has retired the past eight hitters he’s faced.

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Today in History for 24th July 2014

- Historical Events 1673 - Edmund Halley enters The Queen's College, Oxford, as an undergraduate 1929 - President Hoover proclaims Kellogg-Briand Pact which renounces war 1942 - Irving Berlin's musical "This is the Army" premieres in NYC 1958 - Ted Williams is fined $250 for spitting at Boston fans again 1965 - Bob Dylan release "Like a Rolling Stone" 1982 - "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" closes... Read more on HistoryOrb.com

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