Sheriff’s Office Nabs Suspect in Multiple Burglaries
December 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm
TYLER – Detectives with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Monday arrested Jordan Reed Wright, 19, of Flint, who was wanted on a burglary warrant. On November 20th, the Sheriff’s Office posted a wanted notification on its Facebook page and Twitter account and issued the same notification to the news media. An anonymous tip was then received, which led to Wright’s arrest, according to officials. He was arrested for burglary of a habitation and is a suspect in numerous burglaries and thefts in Smith County. He is being held on a $100,000 bond in the Smith County Jail. If you have information on a crime, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office can be contacted at 903-566-6600.
One Dead, Two Seriously Injured in 2-Vehicle Kilgore Wreck
December 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm
KILGORE — The Kilgore Police Department is seeking information regarding a fatal two-car accident which occurred Tuesday afternoon. According to KETK, at approximately 3:14 p.m., officers responded to the intersection of State Highway 135 and Goforth Road to a report of a major two-vehicle traffic crash. Initial investigation revealed an SUV traveling southbound on SH 135 struck a car which entered the intersection from the westbound lane of Goforth Road. The driver and only occupant of the car was identified as Oren Owens, 78, of Kilgore. The driver of the SUV was identified as Bobby Green, 81, of Gladewater. The sole passenger in the SUV was identified as Lilly Green, 79, of Gladewater.
Lifesaving efforts were made by Kilgore Police, Kilgore Fire, and Champion EMS with all involved parties. Lilly Green was transported to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. The drivers were also taken to an area medical center. Green has serious injuries and Owens sustained critical injuries. The Kilgore Police Department Major Crash Investigative Team responded to the scene and is investigating the crash. Anyone with further information is asked to contact KPD Traffic Officer Carolyn Wink.
Trial Rescheduled in 2012 Murder, Aggravated Assault
December 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm
TYLER — The trial for a man suspected of murdering Keeston Dwone Fields and seriously injuring John T. Woods will be rescheduled, according to the Smith County District Attorney’s Office. KETK reports the trial for Marquel Jermon Scott, who is charged with murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, has been declared a mistrial. Officials say that was at no fault to the defense or the prosecution, but because of a problem with a witness statement. Scott is accused of shooting two people in the early morning hours of November 29, 2012, at the the Hyena’s Clubhouse, located in the 2100 block of North Grand. There was no immediate word on a new date for the trial . Scott’s bail totals were $1.25 million.
Arrest Affidavit Reveals More on Marshall Murder Case
December 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm
MARSHALL — A Marshall man charged with killing his wife left her blood-covered body in the bathroom of a hotel room after stabbing and cutting her multiple times, according to an arrest affidavit filed in the City of Marshall Municipal Court. That’s the report from KETK and the Longview News-Journal. The incident happened at the Baymont Inn and Suites in the 5300 block of East End Boulevard in Marshall. Officers responding to a disturbance call Sunday morning arrived to find two children in the lobby who said “they think their dad killed their mom,” the document indicated.
Brad Allen Dunn, 35, was arrested Sunday afternoon in Cass County. On Monday, he was charged with murder in connection with the death of 31-year-old Kari Rene Dunn. Dunn, who had been held under $5.1 million bond in the Cass County Jail, was transferred Tuesday afternoon to the Harrison County Jail, said Lt. Jay Webb of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office. The case led to an Amber Alert after Dunn allegedly kidnapped his four-year-old daughter. The girl was found safe when her father was taken into custody Sunday south of Linden. The girl was turned over Sunday evening to family members.
Cornyn Discusses Obamacare in Tyler
December 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm
TYLER — Senator John Cornyn visited Tyler Tuesday to speak with small business owners about the effects of Obamacare. KETK reports the new healthcare bill is creating uncertainty for their future, so the senator has a plan. “What we need to do is empower people to make their own healthcare choices by having affordable alternatives for them and their families,” says Cornyn. He believes that a government- regulated program is not the answer, but rather one that focuses on two main points: “bringing down the cost through using market and choice, and making sure the doctor-patient relationship is respected.”
Cornyn believes business owners do need to prepare themselves for what lies ahead during the next three years of Obama’s presidency. “Unfortunately, what they’re having to do is to make very hard decisions in terms of cutting down the size of their work force to come beneath the 50 employee cap,” Cornyn remarked. While the city of Tyler is currently booming in economic and job growth, Cornyn says Obamacare could have a long-lasting negative effect. He says, “30% of our work force is tied to the medical sector; it could impact our economy at the macro level. We could see a lot of down-sizing.” Cornyn urges residents to reach out to Texas representatives if you want to voice concerns.
Gregg County Authorities Seek Theft Suspect
December 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm
LONGVIEW — Sheriff Maxey Cerliano and the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office request assistance in identifying a suspect in a theft case. On Monday, November 25th, at about 8:00 p.m., a theft occurred at Walton’s Automotive Group at 3945 Highway 259 in Longview. A suspect in a white pick-up truck entered the property and took a receiver hitch valued at $2000 from a vehicle on the lot. At left is a photo of the suspect vehicle from surveillance cameras on the lot. The truck appears to be an older model Ford F-150 single cab pick-up with custom wheels and no tailgate or rear bumper. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Investigator Floyd Wingo at (903) 237-2532 or Crime Stoppers at (903) 236-STOP.
Authorities Catch Two Suspects in East Texas Robberies
December 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm
NACOGDOCHES — Nacogdoches County sheriff’s deputies say they’ve captured the culprits in two robberies that occurred over the weekend — and KETK reports one of them already is talking. 22-year-olds Jaquae Fobbs and Gakavion Bagley are charged with holding up two convenience stores — the first one Saturday morning in Garrison, the other one two hours later in Henderson. Authorities say the pair made off with some cash and assaulted a clerk during one robbery. Deputies believe the driver of the getaway car is still at large.
Police: Robber Demands Cash, Bottle of Wine
December 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm
RUSK — Rusk Police are looking for a man who they say robbed the Pic-N-Pac located in the 1200 block of West 6th Street. They tell KETK a black male wearing dark pants and a black gray hooded jacket entered the store just after 10 Tuesday night. The clerk told officers he walked around the store before pulling out a semi-automatic handgun. Police say he demanded money and a bottle of wine from the cashier. The robber left the store with an undisclosed amount of property. He was seen leaving, as a passenger, in a silver colored 4-door sedan traveling east bound on Loop 343 towards U.S. HWY 69. If you have any information on the man seen in these photos, call the Rusk Police Department at 903-683-2677 or 903-683-6978.
Veterinarian Reprimanded, Fined in Identity Sharing Case
December 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm
LONGVIEW — A Longview veterinarian has been reprimanded and fined $500 by state regulators for sharing his identity. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Barton Owens let the Humane Society of Northeast Texas use his license and his name to get medications and vaccines. Officials say the society purchased them between April and December of 2012. Owens works at the West Loop Animal Hospital in Longview. He says he thought the shelter was only using his name to purchase non-prescription drugs for a discount. Humane Society Shelter Director Scott Holloway, who took the job six months ago, said the practice cited by the veterinary board no longer occurs at the shelter. Holloway added Owens probably was only trying to do a good deed for local animals in allowing his name be used by the shelter.
Man Captured in Child Sex Assault Case
December 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm
LUFKIN — Angelina County law officers have captured a local man wanted for aggravated sexual assault of a child, according to the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office. KETK reports Richard David Simmons, 41, is named in the felony warrant. Simmons had earlier been the subject of a Crimestoppers call for assistance in locating him. Details regarding his arrest were not immediately available.
Man Captured on Felony Warrants
December 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm
LUFKIN — The Lufkin Police Deparment has captured a man who was wanted on felony warrants. KETK reports area law enforcement officers, working off information provided by an anonymous Crime Stoppers tipster, located and arrested Michael Delane Boddie. One of the warrants was obtained by Angelina County Precinct Two Constable Trae Trevathan, following an investigation into the burglary of the Angelina County maintenance barn located on Farm to Market Road 706. Details as to what charges Boddie faces were not immediately available.
Tyler Apartment Damaged by Fire
December 4, 2013 at 3:52 pm
TYLER — A Tyler apartment has suffered minor fire damage. It was reported around 9:15 yesterday morning at the Meadowbrook Apartments at 4600 Paluxy Drive. Firefighters quickly determined the source and extinguished the fire, which caused only minor damage. There were no injuries reported and no occupants were displaced as a result of the fire. Investigators have determined that the fire started in a concealed space in the ceiling as a result of an electrical malfunction associated with the heating unit.
Downtown Tyler Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Thursday
December 4, 2013 at 6:03 pm
TYLER — City of Tyler crews spent last week and the first part of this week decorating downtown with thousands of Christmas lights in time for the 28th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. It’s to be held on the T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza following the Jaycees Christmas Parade scheduled for 6:00 Thursday night. The centerpiece of the ceremony, a 28 foot Leyland Cypress donated by Jackie and Debbie Merket of Merket Christmas Tree Farm in Beckville, has been covered in more than 9,600 lights.
The tree will be lit by one-year-old Micah Emory Read, who was named the 2013 Miracle Child, representing the Children’s Miracle Network at Trinity Mother Frances Health System. Micah was born 14 weeks early, weighing just 2 lbs. 4 oz. and 14.25″ long. Micha was introduced at an event Tuesday morning. There will also be live music by the East Texas Christian Jazz Band and a performance by Candy Crocker School of Dance.
2013 Longview Christmas Parade Route and Related Road Closures
December 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm
LONGVIEW — The annual Longview Christmas Parade is scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Due to the possibility of rain, event organizers with the Longview Chamber of Commerce will make a decision on Thursday morning around 11 a.m. whether to postpone the parade until Tuesday, December 10. Drivers and pedestrians are reminded that construction is still ongoing on Green Street from Methvin Street to Tyler Street. Pedestrians are encouraged to exercise caution especially in the area around the intersection of Green Street and Methvin Street.
Spectators are encouraged to bring their own food and beverages. No vendors have been permitted to sell food or beverages during the parade. Once again, Santa is the final entry in the parade. Officials ask that you not walk or drive across the parade route until the parade is complete and barricades have been removed by officials.
Several downtown streets will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning at 5:30 p.m. on the day of the parade. Barricades will be placed around an approximate eight-block staging area east of Gregg County Court House and the 300 block of E. Methvin Street. Access to the outdoor drive-through locations of Texas Bank and Trust will be permitted until 6 p.m. Drivers should use extra caution when driving near the parade route and staging area. Most downtown streets should re-open later that night.
To accommodate ongoing downtown Christmas at the Courthouse activities, some downtown streets will remain closed following the parade. Southbound Fredonia Street from Whaley to Methvin will be closed through 5:00 p.m., Monday, December 9. In addition, all of Fredonia Street between Whaley and Methvin will be closed Friday and Saturday December 6 and 7.
For information about the Christmas Parade or other Downtown Christmas events, contact the Longview Chamber of Commerce at 903-237-4000.
Texas Man Sentenced in Kansas for Cattle Fraud
December 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm
WICHITA, KAN. (AP) — A 50-year-old Northeast Texas man who admitted cattle fraud in Kansas has been sentenced in Kansas to 21 months in federal prison. The U.S. Attorney’s office says William P. Cadle, of DeKalb, Texas, was sentenced in federal court in Wichita. Cadle admitted defrauding First National Bank in Independence, Kan., in February 2012 by lying on a loan application about the number of cattle he owned as collateral.
Former Paramedic Sentenced in Pipe Bomb Case
December 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm
DALLAS (AP) – A former paramedic in a tiny Texas town devastated by a fertilizer plant explosion has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty in an unrelated pipe bomb case. Bryce Reed was sentenced Wednesday in Waco. Federal authorities arrested Reed a few weeks after the deadly April 17 blast in West and accused him of trying to hide components of a pipe bomb. Authorities have not linked Reed to the blast, which killed 15 people.
Emergency Psychiatric Center to Open in Spring
December 4, 2013 at 3:54 pm
AUSTIN (AP) – The first psychiatric emergency center in Central Texas is scheduled to open in the spring to help address a shortfall in mental health services. The 17-bed facility will be housed at University Medical Center Brackenridge and is expected to serve 2,500 adults by June and 10,500 adults by 2016. It’s expected to ease the burden on hospital emergency rooms that have struggled for years to juggle patients needing short-term medical care and people in crisis.
El Paso Mom Back in Texas amid Dead Baby Case
December 4, 2013 at 3:55 pm
EL PASO (AP) – A West Texas woman who is believed to be the mother of a baby found dead in the New Mexico desert has been extradited from Michigan for allegedly violating parole in a separate case. Records show that Jenna Farrey was being held without bond today in El Paso County Jail. Authorities believe the body found in the desert is that of her 5-month-old son, Jackson. Her husband was extradited back to Texas last month and also remains jailed.
Cornyn Gets Democratic Opponent
December 4, 2013 at 3:55 pm
AUSTIN (AP) – A wealthy Dallas dentist who spent lavishly while running unsuccessfully for Congress last year is challenging longtime incumbent U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. The Texas Democratic Party says it received David Alameel’s paperwork Wednesday. Alameel has been promising to enter the race for days. Cornyn is expected to cruise to his party’s nomination in March.
DPS: Disputed Roadblocks Won’t Return to Valley
December 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm
AUSTIN (AP) – The top law enforcement officer in Texas says state troopers won’t relaunch disputed traffic checkpoints along the border despite praising the effectiveness of a recent three-week operation. Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said Tuesday that criticism surrounding trooper roadblocks in the Rio Grande Valley in October and September led him to discontinue the operation. McCraw said his agency now won’t attempt to use checkpoints again without legislative support. Civil rights groups accused DPS of trying to target immigrants who are in the country without legal documentation. McCraw firmly disputes those allegations and says the intent was safety. Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says efforts are now under way to reallocate $60 million in the state budget and put those funds toward a new border security surge.
Producer Testifies He Believes O’Neal Stole Warhol
December 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A reality television producer has told a jury that he believes Ryan O’Neal stole an Andy Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett from the late actress’ home. Craig Nevius testified Wednesday he made the conclusion, in part, based on conversations he had with Fawcett. Nevius collaborated with Fawcett on the reality series “Chasing Farrah” and a documentary on her battle with cancer. He provided the University of Texas at Austin with photos and video footage that are being used as evidence in the university’s fight against O’Neal over ownership of the artwork. O’Neal testified on Monday that he was given the portrait by Warhol in 1980 and removed it from her condominium with permission of the trustee of Fawcett’s estate. The actress left all her artwork to her alma mater.
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Apache Men and Women Sweep Region XIV Doubleheader
December 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm
The Tyler Junior College Apaches won both the men’s and women’s Region XIV basketball games on Wednesday night at Wagstaff Gym. The Apache Ladies defeated San Jacinto 119-66 in game one. Shernise Robertson scored 28 points to pace the Tyler rout. TJC opens conference play with a victory.
The men’s game was a much different affair. Tyler pulled away down the stretch to defeat the Angelina Roadrunners 74-62. Dominque Shaw and Todd Eaglin paced the Apaches with 17 points each. Faith Pope added 14 points and 15 rebounds. Tyler Miller contributed 12 points off the TJC bench. The Apaches even their Region record at 1-1.
Dirk rescues self, Mavs vs. Bobcats
December 3, 2013 at 11:15 pm
Dirk Nowitzki recovered from a rough start to score 25 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, and the Mavericks kept the Charlotte Bobcats winless in Dallas with an 89-82 victory Tuesday night.
Nowitzki, who was 1 of 10 from the field in the first half, and Monta Ellis took over late after struggling most of the game. They scored the last 19 points to help the Mavericks outscore Charlotte 29-15 in the fourth.
Al Jefferson scored 19 points, and Gerald Henderson and Kemba Walker had 16 apiece for the Bobcats, who are 0-10 in Dallas and 1-17 overall against the Mavericks. That’s the worst record in the league for one team against another.
The Mavericks had lost four of their previous five and got the win to wrap up a stretch of seven home games in nine outings. Dallas, which is 2-6 on the road, starts a four-game trip Wednesday night in New Orleans.
Nowitzki put Dallas ahead for good 79-78 with a free throw after Josh McRoberts was called for a technical after getting whistled for a foul while Nowitzki was setting up with Ellis for a pick-and-roll with 3:08 left.
Ellis hit a driving layup on the same possession, and then a jumper after Anthony Tolliver missed a 3-pointer. Ellis finished 22 points and five assists.
Dallas was up 83-78 when Ellis jumped high for a rebound after a miss from Walker. Nowitzki hit a long jumper at the other end to turn the game into a free-throw exercise.
A cold-shooting first quarter provided a preview of a sluggish offensive game in the fourth quarter, when the teams either misfired or couldn’t get off a shot in 10 consecutive possessions with the Bobcats leading 73-70.
A 3-minute scoreless stretch ended with three straight made shots — two jumpers from Nowitzki over McRoberts and a bucket from Jefferson on an assist from McRoberts.
The 6-foot-10 McRoberts had three assists, including one on a running behind-the-back pass to Henderson for a fast-break dunk to cap an 11-0 run in the first half.
Dallas guard Jose Calderon played after missing one game with an ankle injury and had back-to-back 3-pointers to give Dallas a lead in the first half. He finished with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from long range.
The Mavericks scored the first five points of the fourth quarter on a runner in the lane from Vince Carter and a 3-pointer from Nowitzki to get within 67-65.
Carter got Dallas within 72-71 on an open 3-pointer from the right wing after an extra pass from Jae Crowder, but Ben Gordon scored at the other end to push Charlotte’s lead back to three.
Charlotte went ahead by 12 with a 10-run early in the second half. Henderson had a three-point play for a 54-42 lead after making a jumper earlier, and Walker hit a 3-pointer.
The teams combined to shoot 28 percent in the first quarter (11 of 40). … Bobcats G Michael Kidd-Gilchrist left the game in the second half with a fractured left hand.
Rangers ship Gentry to A’s in 4-player deal
December 3, 2013 at 11:16 pm
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
The Texas Rangers wanted more power in the outfield and the Oakland Athletics wanted more defense, so the clubs swapped outfielders with Craig Gentry going to the A’s in exchange for Michael Choice as part of a four-player trade.
The deal also included pitcher Josh Lindblom heading to Oakland and infielder Chris Bostick going to Texas.
Choice will be on the Rangers’ major league roster; Bostick has been assigned to Class A Myrtle Beach.
The 24-year-old Choice is a native of Fort Worth and played at nearby Mansfield Timberview High School and the University of Texas-Arlington. The A’s selected him with the 10th overall pick in the 2010 draft. He made his major league debut this past September and was 5-for-18 (.278) in nine games, making two starts in right field and one in left. He was a Pacific Coast League All-Star with Sacramento, batting .302 with 14 homers and 89 RBIs in 132 games. It was his first season in Triple-A.
“Michael is a guy we followed in his amateur days literally down the block,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “He has a chance to hit and hit for power, is athletic and can play all three outfield spots.”
Daniels said the Rangers have put an emphasis on run production and feel Choice can help them with that now and in the future. Daniels was not ready to name Choice a starter but said he’d have the opportunity to compete for a spot in spring training.
The GM did not rule out signing another bat before the offseason is out, though he added that the club could take its time and doesn’t feel it has to do anything else.
Gentry, who turned 30 on Saturday, hit .280 with two homers, 22 RBIs and 24 stolen bases in 106 games with the Rangers last season. He can play center field and the corner outfield spots and is a solid defender. He also has exceptional speed.
“Craig has been a big contributor and a big piece of our club, an underrated piece of our club,” Daniels said.
But with Leonys Martin penciled in as the center fielder, the Rangers could afford to deal Gentry.
Bostick, 20, hit .282 with 14 homers, 89 RBIs and 25 stolen bases at Class A Beloit. He was drafted in the 44th round by Oakland in 2011.
Lindblom, 26, was acquired by the Rangers from Philadelphia as part of the Michael Young trade at this time last year. And that came a few months after he was dealt from the Dodgers to the Phillies at the trade deadline.
The trade puts the Rangers at 38 players on their major league roster.
Stars break tie in 3rd to fend off Hawks
December 3, 2013 at 11:17 pm
No 11-round shootout this time. Just a series of big stops for Kari Lehtonen.
Lehtonen had a season-high 47 saves, Antoine Roussel converted a penalty shot in the third period and the Dallas Stars snapped the Chicago Blackhawks’ six-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night
“It’s fun if it goes well, but if things don’t go well it can get kind of ugly,” Lehtonen said. “I had no problem getting all those shots today. I was feeling good.”
It sure looked that way.
Valeri Nichushkin had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who had dropped four of five, including consecutive shootout losses at home in their previous two games. Alex Chiasson and Erik Cole also scored.
Patrick Sharp scored his 200th goal with Chicago in the Blackhawks’ first home game since a 5-1 victory over San Jose on Nov. 17. Patrick Kane had two assists, giving him 21 points in his last 15 games.
The defending Stanley Cup champions hit the road while the circus took over the United Center and responded with an impressive 6-1-0 trip, including an epic tiebreaker during a 2-1 win in Dallas on Friday night that matched the record for longest shootout for each franchise.
“It’s nice to be home from that long road trip, but sometimes there’s a letdown, and you can’t let that happen,” defenseman Duncan Keith said. “We were guilty of that tonight.”
Second-period goals by Nick Leddy and Johnny Oduya helped the Blackhawks erase a 3-0 deficit, but they went 1 for 5 on the power play in their second regulation home loss of the season.
The Stars appeared to be headed for disappointment before Roussel skated in on Corey Crawford and was awarded a penalty shot after Niklas Hjalmarsson hacked away at him with his stick.
Roussel then beat Crawford with a backhander into the upper right corner at 3:01, and Lehtonen stepped up with a series of solid saves to help the Stars hold on for their seventh victory in their last eight road games.
“I felt like we played defense the whole game,” Roussel said. “We didn’t have much energy. Our goaltender played unbelievable and kept us in the game.”
Dallas was once again without forward Tyler Seguin, who missed his second straight game with concussion-like symptoms. He leads the team with 12 goals.
The Stars jumped on an ill-timed line change by the Blackhawks to grab a 1-0 lead at 13:47 of the first. Nichushkin got a pass from Cody Eakin and sent a low wrister past Crawford for his third goal of the season.
Chiasson then tipped home a long slap shot by Alex Goligoski for a power-play score with 1:10 to go in the period, and Nichushkin found Cole in front of the goal to make it 3-0 early in the second.
“Very generous on the first three goals against us,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We had one of those starts where we were trying to get ourselves into the game mentally. I don’t think we were sharp on the plays and the goals against.”
That sure changed in a hurry.
Sharp’s long slap shot got by Lehtonen at 9:39 for his third goal in four games, prompting the Blackhawks to turn up the pressure. Leddy converted a one-timer and Oduya’s slap shot from the boards went off Chiasson’s stick on the way to the net for his third goal.
The goals by the defensemen just 65 seconds apart tied it at 3 with 2:46 left in the period and led to a standing ovation from the crowd.
The Blackhawks continued to generate quality opportunities in the third, but Lehtonen was there each time. He had a solid stop on Brandon Saad before Roussel’s penalty shot, and then made a great save on Sharp to keep the Stars in front midway through the period.
“In the third they were coming hard and we were playing smart,” Lehtonen said. “There were a couple of breakdowns, but nothing crazy. It wasn’t a pretty win, but we’ll take it.”
Crawford had 14 stops. .. Stars C Ryan Garbutt was helped from the ice after he took a slap shot to his right leg in the first period, but returned to the game. … Blackhawks D Michal Rozsival played in his 800th NHL game. … Blackhawks C Michal Handzus was scratched due to an illness. … In addition to Seguin, the Stars also scratched D Jamie Oleksiak and C Travis Morin.
Texas deals speed, defense for power, upside
December 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
If my Twitter account in the past hour is any indication, trading Craig Gentry is not something the Texas Rangers’ fan base wanted or expected. I’ll be honest: I didn’t expect it, either.
Essentially, the Rangers are trading the speed and defense of Gentry, who just turned 30 (admit it, you didn’t think he was that old), for the power and upside that a raw Michael Choice possesses. The Oakland A’s add a player who, frankly, could annoy the Rangers the next few years like so many A’s do. Gentry has hit for a decent average, albeit in a platoon role, and once he gets on base, he makes things happen. He’s scrappy and aggressive and a good clubhouse guy. It makes the A’s better.
The Rangers are betting on Choice for the short and long term. They see a player who can be honed and become a valuable — and affordable — piece for a while. After all, he was drafted a few years ago and made his big league debut this past September. It’s a risk in that he’s an unknown quantity, but the fact that he’s hit and shown power throughout his minor league run has the Rangers thinking it can translate to the big leagues.
The play of Leonys Martin also makes Gentry expendable. He was not an everyday player in Texas, and the Rangers believe Martin has shown that he can be. Without feeling that way about Martin, perhaps the club is more hesitant to part with Gentry. Engel Beltre also factors into this deal. He is out of options and can now be on the roster as that guy who can go in for defensive purposes or give you some speed on the bases. And Beltre is 24.
This deal does not mean the Rangers will simply head off to Disney World next week and ride some rides rather than talk to teams and agents at the winter meetings. This doesn’t have to take them out of the market for a proven outfield bat. But it also buys them some time. They have a hitter they can insert in left field and see how it goes, if they want to. They can also survey the market and not feel rushed about making a deal. If they want to go after a big name, they can. But as general manager Jon Daniels said, they don’t have to.
Does Choice answer all of the Rangers’ questions in the outfield? No. But they are closer to an answer now than they were 24 hours ago. Texas likes to give young players who it feels are ready for big league duty a chance to do that. Choice will have to earn his spot, but he’ll be given every opportunity to do so. This isn’t someone the club acquired to be a fourth outfielder in the years to come. If the Rangers get a Shin-Soo Choo, for instance, then Choice might spend this season platooning if he makes the club out of spring training. But he might get a chance to play every day in 2014. In other words: The trade gives Texas some options.
I see where both teams are coming from on this one. The A’s get speed, defense and a player motivated to show he deserves more playing time. The Rangers get someone with power potential at the upper levels, something they have in the lower levels of the minors, but not close enough to push for a big league spot.
I’m not forgetting about Josh Lindblom or Chris Bostick. But this deal is more about what the two outfielders do for each club. It should be interesting to watch.
It’s another indicator that Daniels doesn’t mind dealing within the division. He was asked about that on a conference call Tuesday and said he’s a little more hesitant as opposed to a trade that isn’t in the AL West, but he won’t let that stop him.
“I think you always try to understand what the other team is trying to accomplish, but biggest thing is getting what you feel fits with your club,” Daniels said.
The Rangers feel that they did that. I’m sure the A’s do, too. We’ll see what happens and how it all plays out.
Cowboys with options at strongside linebacker
December 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm
By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com
IRVING, Texas — Like all coaches, Jason Garrett prefers to have options.
When he had options to make changes in the starting lineup earlier in the season, he was not afraid to make changes, be it Brian Waters for Mackenzy Bernadeau at right guard, Orlando Scandrick for Morris Claiborne at cornerback or Ernie Sims for Bruce Carter at weakside linebacker.
Injuries have taken away some options, but the Cowboys have an option at strongside linebacker with Kyle Wilber playing well in his two starts and Justin Durant coming back from a hamstring injury.
Wilber had 13 tackles, two quarterback pressures and a tackle for loss in the wins against the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders. Durant, who earned praise from defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, has 28 tackles, two quarterback pressures and one tackle for loss in nine games.
“It’s just good to have those guys playing,” Garrett said. “We’ll figure out the best guys. It was just nice to see Kyle Wilber step in there and be a contributor. We talked about it the other day – really, really productive in both games, around the football, making plays on the ball, tackles for loss. So that’s been a real good thing for our team that he’s been able to step up and really step up and have more of a role at that position than he did at the defensive end position. That’s certainly been positive for us. But Justin Durant has done a real nice job for us when he’s played this year. So just having both those guys is good for our team.”
Wilber might finally be settling into a position that fits him most after the Cowboys tried him at outside linebacker in a 3-4 last year and at defensive end in their 4-3 this year.
“He’s just been productive,” Garrett said. “He’s been around the ball. He’s made tackles. He’s made tackles for losses. He’s made plays on the ball, fumble recoveries, caused fumbles. It’s just a really good thing. We thought he was a good football player coming out of school, [and] that’s why we drafted him in the fourth round. The scheme that we were playing, we felt like he was best suited to play the outside linebacker, essentially a rush linebacker, in a 3-4 scheme. I think he probably benefitted from some of the times that he’s dropped in that 3-4 scheme and he draws from some of that experience playing as an off-the-ball linebacker. But you literally saw him get better diagnosing things over the last couple weeks. Sometimes he was a little hesitant at the beginning, but I think he was seeing schemes better and pulling the trigger more quickly and just making more plays – a real positive thing for our team.”