Francis fuming after JAAA’s Carter mix-up

first_imgBEIJING, China:MVP Track Club’s head coach Stephen Francis was again left fuming after confirmation arrived that Nesta Carter’s entry as a replacement for the injured Kemar Bailey-Cole in the 100m at the World Championships was rejected by the IAAF because of an administrative error by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA).Team manager and JAAA treasurer Ludlow Watts defended the process, but Francis, who, just a few days ago, questioned the competence of the management team, was again on the attack, accusing the JAAA of nepotism, and called for greater accountability and professionalism.The JAAA were told by the IAAF’s chief technical delegate that their request to add Carter as a replacement for Bailey-Cole, who suffered an injury on the team’s training camp in Tottori, Japan, could not be facilitated because the JAAA had not properly registered Carter as a reserve.”He (Carter) is definitely out because the entries closed on August 10. After August 10, there can be no additions to the entries. The problem is that the JAAA – I don’t know if it’s Mr (Garth) Gayle, the general secretary, or Mr (Ludlow) Watts, the treasurer; whoever did the entry form made a horrible mess of the entry form,” said Francis.”Normally, for every event you are allowed four entries. On the day before the competition, you have to then declare which three of the four will run. That’s the typical procedure for all championships,” Francis continued. “If somebody has a wild card then you are allowed a fifth entry, who is the wild card person. So it is standard, you enter the four people so long as you have all four qualified; it’s something that we know from ‘Champs’ days.”The coach questioned whether those placed in charge of the team were simply there for their ties to the JAAA rather than their competence. He demanded that stiff action be taken against those responsible for the mess-up.TECHNICAL FORM”The problem is that those people are not supposed to be doing the entries. The entry is a technical form which should be passed to the technical people. Somebody is supposed to be double-checking, and we still have the same thing,” he added. “The practice of the JAAA of the nepotism and only using the members of their executive and so on to manage these teams is rubbish and needs to stop. There are a lot of persons outside the JAAA hierarchy who we can call on to manage and ensure our athletics is right.””Furthermore, there is no accountability, there is none! Those responsible should be on a plane on their way home. On top of the pile of errors that have already been made, including the 16-hour travel from Tottori and the lack of hotel rooms on the first night, those people should be immediately sent back to Jamaica!” Francis blasted.Meanwhile, Watts, who had told The Gleaner that an appeal was filed, maintained that he felt there was no reason to bar the entry of the athlete, contending that they had followed the regular process.”As customary, we would have used anybody from the pool to run the 100m if there is an injury, and in the past that has been the case,” said Watts. “So we have done nothing differently from what obtained in the past.””What has maintained in the past is once an athlete is entered on the Jamaica team, that athlete is capable to compete once he meets the qualifying standard. We have an injured athlete who got his injury after the deadline on August 10. We chose to use the next in line, Nesta (Carter) to compete in the 100m.They said they would have to discuss it with the chief technical delegate. They came back a day later and said it could not be done,” Watts said.last_img read more

Ambulance, MoPH vehicle collide on Camp Street

first_imgAn ambulance and a vehicle attached to the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) were on Monday involved in a three-vehicle accident at the intersection of Camp and Middle Streets, Georgetown.The ambulance involed in the accident at University of Guyana, Turkeyen junctionBased on reports received, the accident occurred about 11:00h while the emergency medical transport was returning from the Diamond hospital, East Bank Demerara, carrying a patient who had been suffering seizures.The woman driving the Ministry’s vehicle reportedly failed to heed the sirens, causing her to clip the side of the ambulance at the busy downtown intersection. The force of the impact thereby caused the medical vehicle to hit a parked car.As a result, one of the transformers attached to the electrical pole near the parked car was dislodged. Field officers attached to the Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) were quickly dispatched to the scene to prevent further damage.All of the occupants walked away with just minor injuries from the accident. A nurse as well as another man sustained minor injuries.Meanwhile, the patient being transported managed to arrive safely at the Georgetown Public Hospital, but remains in the emergency section owing to the pre-existing condition.The ambulance was damaged on its side while the fender of the Ministry’s vehicle was detached. The parked vehicle suffered the majority of the damage, being struck at the back and side.This accident comes just one day after another ambulance was involved in a similar accident at the University of Guyana, Turkeyen junction. However, this collision was not as severe, with only minor damage being done to the car struck.last_img read more

Events taking place on Saturday

first_imgThere are all kinds of events taking place today:09:00 AM-04:00 PM Farmer’s Market09:00 AM Salvation Army Compassion Ride09:00 AM Sub Zero Running Club – Group Run10:00 AM Drag Racing – Season Ending Points Race10:00 AM-03:00 PM Fall One-Stop Registration01:00 PM-04:00 PM OSCARE Childcare 20th Anniversary Celebrations05:00 PM 1st Annual Chances Charity Golf & Poker Tournament05:00 PM Fiesta Mexicana06:15 PM-10:15 PM Huskies Try-OutsAll Day Event 10th Annual Rivers Day Photo ContestHere are a few more events happening around the region thanks to Hello North:All Day Event Northern Lights Space & Science CentreAll Day Event WAC Bennett and Peace Canyon Dam ToursFor more Fort St. John Events visit Advertisement –last_img read more

Guardiola fears bans could derail City

first_img0Shares0000Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s team has three key players that are one yellow card away from earning suspensions © AFP/File / Lindsey PARNABYMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Dec 2 – Pep Guardiola admits he is concerned about potential suspensions when leaders Manchester City face West Ham United looking to equal a Premier League record on Sunday.Victory over West Ham would mark a 13th consecutive league victory for Guardiola’s team, equalling the record for the most straight wins in a single season, currently owned jointly by Chelsea last season and Arsenal in 2001-02. That Arsenal team went on to win a 14th game at the beginning of the following campaign and, should they beat West Ham, City will have the chance to tie that record when they travel to Old Trafford to face title rivals Manchester United seven days later.But three key players — midfielders Fernandinho and Leroy Sane, plus captain Vincent Kompany — are one yellow card away from earning suspensions that would rule them out of the eagerly-awaited Manchester derby.And that has raised the prospect of Guardiola resting one or more of those players for struggling West Ham’s visit to Eastlands.“We will see tomorrow in the training sessions what we will do. Of course they can play or rest,” said Guardiola, whose side are eight points clear at the top.“Vincent Kompany was two months injured, he played a game then again three days later.“Fernandinho played a lot of minutes but this is an important game, we can’t think about United.“I’m worried about the bookings but West Ham as well. We’ll see the team.“The last game we didn’t play David Silva from the beginning, I rotated and maybe I will again. Nine games in one month is a lot.”City will be hoping for a more routine victory against West Ham than in their last three games, all of which have required late winning goals from Raheem Sterling, who has already topped his best ever goalscoring season with 13.– Social issues –The City manager has been keen to credit Sterling for his dramatic improvement, but believes the England winger taking his advice and limiting his use of social media has been a key factor.“If the reason why he’s scored a lot of goals is because he’s out of social media then I’ll say it to all the players!” said Guardiola.“Before he was more active (on social media) and now he’s more passive.“Of course, they are free to do whatever they want but after that, they have 30 million comments and you can’t avoid it, people criticise you because you show a picture.“If you want to do it, fine. But people can criticise your family because of how they dress.“Enjoy it for yourself and nobody needs to know what they are doing in their private lives. There is no rule but we have our advice as a club.”David Moyes has endured a difficult start to life at West Ham and heads to City still looking for a first win in his fourth game since taking charge.“I was hoping it would be a bit easier, to be honest,” he said.“In football you just never know. It’s a big task and a big job, but it’s a good challenge and they have good players here.“I think we’ll be OK. We have got a good team.”The Hammers’ prospects of getting something from the game haven’t been helped by a lengthy injury list.Jose Fonte, James Collins, Sam Byram, Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez are all sidelined.West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart is ineligible to face parent club City, opening the door for Adrian to start.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Mighty Gor make history by progressing to CAF CC Group Stages

first_imgFrancis Kahata scored the all important goal that sailed Gor through, just a minute after Harun Shakava had scored an own goal. Despite Thabo Mnyamane’s goal that took SuperSport 2-1 after 68 minutes, Gor managed to hold on for the historic feat that assures them of at least Sh27mn in grants.K’Ogalo missed two first team players in Jacques Tuyisenge and Ernest Wendo, but head coach Dylan Kerr still fielded a strong side. Meddie Kagere spearheaded the attack with support from Bernard Ondiek and George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo.Philemon Otieno who had played at right back over the last two games was drafted back into midfield to take charge of Wendo’s absence while Joachim Oluoch started off at right back.Boniface Oluoch training. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUKeeper Boniface Oluoch was kept busy between the sticks by the hosts in the opening 45 minutes as the hosts piled pressure in a bid to get that single goal that would put them squarely back into contention.In the 15th minute, the hosts had a chance when Sipho Mbule dragged a shot from distance but it flew over the bar. Seven minutes later, Mbule attempted to turn provider releasing Luke Le Roux, but the latter’s cross was well collected by Oluoch.In the 28th minute, Oluoch was forced into a save again, this time making an easy catch to pick out Thabo Mnyamane’s freekick.SuperSport had forced Gor to play on the back-foot but the Kenyan champions had a chance two minutes to the break when Ondiek broke through but his effort went inches wide.In the second half, the hosts started off with punch in attack. Dylan Stoffels had two chances, first with a shot that was well saved by keeper Oluoch and the second, he took a heavy first touch off a Jamie Weber cross allowing the defense to clear.The pressure finally bore fruit in the 59th minute when Shakava cleared a cross into his own net, but the joy was short-lived as from a quick restart, Kahata put the ball beyond the keeper from a George Odhiambo cross.Gor Mahia’s Meddie Kagere vies for the ball with SuperSport United’s Mogan Gould during the first leg of a CAF Confederation Cup play-off round in Machakos on April 8, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaAt this point, SuperSport needed at least two more goals to assure themselves a place in the group stages and they kept the pressure. In the 68 th minute, they made it 2-1 when Mnyamane found space to shoot, beating Oluoch.The second goal added adrenaline to Matsatsantsa and Oluoch was forced to make two great saves off Darren Smith one on one.On the opposite end, Reyaad Pieterse also made a great save to deny Gor Mahia. The Kenyans managed to hold on to the score and despite Kerr marking his third loss since joining Gor, he had done just enough to make history with K’Ogalo.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000A Gor Mahia die hard fan singing the K’Ogalo anthem with passion. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYANAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18- Record 16-time Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia have made history by becoming the first Kenyan team to progress to the group stages of continental football in the new era of CAF club games.Despite losing 2-1 to SuperSport United in the return leg of the play-off round in Pretoria on Wednesday night, the Kenyan champions advanced on the away goals rule after the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate.last_img read more


first_imgBy Rachel Jones STAFF WRITER Brian Frlekin knew he had to do something about the blank exterior wall of Slavko’s, the family business on Pacific Avenue in San Pedro. “There used to be a lot of graffiti on that wall. They’d just go by and tag it,” Frlekin said. “I have a big bucket of paint and had to go out and paint it all the time.” Through friends he met Frankie Guardado, who offered to use spray cans for good and paint a mural on the wall. The bright, food-themed mural was completed in 2006, and Frlekin said he’s noticed a decrease in graffiti not just on the store, but all around San Pedro. “It’s really died down in town, so I just want to keep seeing that, and show (kids) more positive ways of doing things,” Frlekin, 35, said of the tagging. Guardado attracted up to 30 young viewers on days that he painted, and Frlekin would bring out lunch for the crowd. “I told them how I didn’t like the graffiti and I talked to all the kids out there. They started seeing things my way,” he said. Guardado, now 19, painted the whole wall in about two weeks with the spray paint. “That’s what I work with,” he said. “I can work with paintbrushes, but it’s more frustrating. Spray cans are more my thing, I have more control.” A few days after the mural was completed last year, the wall got tagged once more. “I got that settled,” Guardado said. “I know a lot of kids out on the street that like to do that; I used to do that when I was a little bit younger.” He recognized the tagging and talked to the culprit, who promised to leave the wall alone. “If it’s a clear plain wall, that’s when the graffiti writers want to go out,” Guardado explained. “If there’s something there, they respect that and leave it alone.” “We haven’t had any more graffiti for a long, long time,” said Slavko’s owner Jim Frlekin, Brian’s father. They noticed the decrease particularly in the summer, which used to be the most popular time because kids were out of school. Since the Slavko’s mural, Guardado has done a few other paintings for businesses around San Pedro, and recently started working as an apprentice at Harbor Ink. The budding tattoo artist said that he often got in trouble after dropping out of San Pedro High School, but art has helped him get back on track. “I want to do something good, and that’s what I want to get good at,” he said of his art. The Frlekins are happy that they were able to turn the blank wall into something positive for everyone. “It was good for us, and we helped those kids out at the same time,” Jim said. His son agreed, calling it a “win-win-win situation” – the mural eliminated the tagging problem, helped Guardado show his art and brought in more business to the store. “To not have to deal with tagging or anything, shoot, it was well worth it,” Frlekin said. Slavko’s Harbor Poultry is located at 1224 S. Pacific Avenue in San Pedro, and the mural can be seen when driving north along Pacific. rachel.jones@dailybreeze.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Fallujah-fight killings hard to prove

first_imgNearly three years after the battle of Fallujah earned Marines more Navy Cross medals for heroism than any other action in Iraq, prosecutors are investigating whether a squad killed captured insurgents. Several Marines from Camp Pendleton are under investigation and the former squad leader, now a civilian, has been charged in federal court with two counts of voluntary manslaughter. But getting charges to stick could prove difficult as prosecutors try to assemble concrete evidence from a battle that reduced much of the city to rubble and caused extensive casualties. Over the course of the 53-day battle, about 130 Marines were killed, more than 1,000 were wounded and about 1,000 insurgents were killed, Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Hughes said. There is no tally of civilian deaths. “It’s a little bit difficult to take a firefight three years after the fight and try to piece together whether or not a crime took place,” said Doug Applegate, an attorney for Jose Nazario Jr., the former squad leader. “No crime scene could have been preserved; there’s no physical evidence or DNA.” Nazario, 27, who has left the Marine Corps, pleaded not guilty earlier this month in federal court in Riverside. Recent cases against Marines over actions in Iraq highlight the challenges prosecutors face. A case brought against eight members of a squad in the killing of an Iraqi man last year in Hamdania resulted in only one murder conviction, despite confessions and testimony from several of the defendants. A year after the alleged shootings in Fallujah, a different squad was involved in the killings of 24 civilians in Haditha, but prosecutors have yet to make any convictions in the case. Observers say it will be even tougher to prosecute the alleged killing of prisoners in Fallujah by members of a squad from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. There are no forensics, the building where the shootings supposedly took place was destroyed and the identity of the victims is unknown, lawyers for some of the squad members said. Prosecutors have identified the men Nazario allegedly shot only as “human beings” they call John Doe No. 1 and John Doe No. 2. Already, the officer overseeing the case has dismissed a murder charge against one squad member, Sgt. Jermaine Nelson. Lt. Gen. James Mattis could still decide to charge Nelson, but in the Hamdania and Haditha cases he showed a tendency to give troops the benefit of the doubt. “It’s a very difficult case,” said Gary Solis, a former Marine Corps prosecutor and judge who teaches law of war at Georgetown University Law Center. “I’m sure glad that I don’t have to do it.” The investigation was triggered by a former corporal from the squad, Ryan Weemer, in the process of applying for a job with the Secret Service. Investigators claim Weemer described the killings during a polygraph test that included a question about whether he had participated in a wrongful death, according to his attorney, Paul Hackett. Weemer has not been charged with any crime. Nazario’s criminal complaint states the squad had been taking fire from a house in Fallujah. After the troops entered the building and captured several insurgents, Nazario placed a call on his radio. “Nazario said that he was asked, `Are they dead yet?”‘ the complaint states. When Nazario responded that the captives were alive, he was told by the Marine on the radio to “make it happen,” the complaint says. Thad Coakley, a major in the Marine reserves and a former Camp Pendleton prosecutor, said Nazario’s case is more likely to go to trial than it would in military court. That’s because federal prosecutors presented evidence to a secret grand jury with no rebuttal from the defense. In the military system, a defendant can challenge evidence at a hearing to determine if there will be a trial. Lawyers say it is highly unusual for civilian prosecutors to go after a former U.S. serviceman for an alleged war crime. Kevin McDermott, another of Nazario’s lawyers, said prosecutors pursued charges by employing a little-used 2000 law written primarily to prosecute civilian contractors who commit crimes while working for the U.S. overseas. McDermott said he knew of only one other veteran, former Army Pvt. Steven D. Green, to be charged in civilian court. Green is accused of raping and murdering a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, then killing members of her family. He faces a possible death sentence when he is tried in federal court in Kentucky. Still, Coakley said, winning a conviction in either forum would be difficult. “It’s almost impossible, in my opinion, to prove anything (in this case) beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said. If Nazario’s case goes to trial, Applegate said he would educate a civilian jury about the realities of combat. “How do you convey to a jury confusion in the fog of war?” Applegate said. “We are going to have to convey that a guy who might cross the street under a white flag on your block might shoot your best friend on the next block.” The battle of Fallujah in fall 2004 is ingrained in Marine Corps legend. It was the second time that year Marines tried to take the city. The first fight in April 2004 came after the killing and mutilation of four Blackwater private security contractors, whose bodies were strung from a bridge. Marine, Army and Iraqi units assembled for a second assault and on Nov. 7, 2004, after weeks of propaganda efforts to make civilians leave, an intense bombardment began. Ground forces entered Fallujah on Nov. 9 and faced some of the heaviest fighting seen so far in the war in Iraq, often engaging in hand-to-hand combat. “It was brutal, brutal warfare,” said author Nat Helms, who spoke to more than 100 Marines for a book about the battle. Members of Nazario’s squad are alleged to have shot the captured insurgents on the morning of Nov. 9, about 30 minutes after losing a comrade to sniper fire, Helms said. His book, “My Men Are My Are My Heroes: The Brad Kasal Story,” is named after a Marine sergeant who was praised for his actions in a different firefight in Fallujah. Helms said many Marines acted heroically. “If you want to blame people for conduct in this war, blame those that started it,” Helms said. “Don’t blame them for being warriors.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Myanmar lifts ban on assembly

first_imgCRACKDOWN: Curfew imposed during uprising ends. U.S. calls the move”cosmetic.” By The Associated Press YANGON, Myanmar – Myanmar lifted a curfew on Saturday and ended a ban on assembly imposed during a deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protests – the latest sign the military rulers are confident they have fully crushed the largest demonstrations in two decades. The White House dismissed the move as “cosmetic,” a day after President Bush announced new penalties against the military-run government. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“The actions of the regime are `cosmetic’. What we need are signs of serious intent to move toward a democratic transition,” presidential press secretary Dana Perino said. The relaxing of restrictions imposed Sept. 25 was announced from government vehicles driven through the streets of Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. “The curfew and ban on assembly has been revoked effective today, because security and stability has improved,” according to the announcement issued from a speaker atop one of the vehicles. It was not immediately clear if the restrictions were also lifted in Mandalay, another major city and a focus of last month’s anti-government demonstrations. The lifting of the 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew and ban on gatherings of more than five people indicates the junta believes it has stamped out the uprising that was sparked in August by public anger at a sharp rise in fuel prices. Small protests quickly grew into anti-government demonstrations tens of thousands of people strong and spearheaded by legions of the country’s respected monks. It was the largest showing of dissent in the tightly controlled state in nearly two decades. The junta responded by detaining thousands of demonstrators and shooting into the crowds, killing as many as 10.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img


first_imgThe Milford Inn is to reopen for business next week in time for the Christmas season.The Milford Inn is to reopen.The famous hotel, which was shut down a year and a half ago, will be managed by Neal Blaney family under a lease-back deal that was finally agreed in recent days after lengthy negotiations.And in the first big vote of confidence in the reopening the Milford GAA Club has already booked their annual dinner dance at the hotel on December 29th. The decision to reopen the Inn is being seen locally as a positive sign of brighter days ahead for Milford where far too many young people have been left without jobs.The Milford Inn is also seen as a very important component in the commercial life of Milford where a large numbers of the workforce were employed.The hotel has been closed since April last year when it was put into voluntary liquidation due to difficult trading conditions.The Tirconail Tribune reports that arrangement to reopen the hotel has been brokered between the liquidator and the representatives of the Blaney family and will operate as The Milford Inn Ltd. In the coming days a full Christmas programme will be put in place and party nights and the list of seasonal events will be published next week.The premises has been bought from the liquidator by a group of investors – however they will not hold any management profile in the company.The deal agreed between liquidator Tom O’Brien of Mazars, Dublin and Farren and Roarty Accountants will see the Blaney family lease-back the premises from the investment company and they will hope that the goodwill built up over forty years will return to support the new venture into the future.We understand the Blaney family has also secured the right to buy-back the Milford Inn at a future date, but Neal Blaney would only say that they were delighted to be back in business in Milford where the Inn has always been the flagship in their customer base.Confirming that the premises will be run under the Milford Inn brand name, Mr. Blaney told the Tribune he is delighted to see a bit of good news for the area where much needed work jobs be created once again. When the Milford Inn went into liquidation it was reported that over fifty full time jobs had been lost.Confirming the reopening of the Milford Inn Hotel Neal Blaney said that Seamus Farren had been successful in convincing financiers from outside of Donegal to invest in Milford.Mr. Blaney said this had been a major achievement at a time when dozens of similar opportunities were available elsewhere.The hotel was later put on the market for sale by Dublin auctioneers, Morrissey’s on behalf of the Liquidator, Mr. Tom O’Brien of Mazars with a price tag of €800,000 and it is believed a number of interested parties made enquiries. There was widespread astonishment on the morning of April 5th last year when the owners of the Milford Inn Hotel posted a notice on Facebook saying they wished to confirm that the Hotel has gone into liquidation due to financial difficulties and the business was to remain closed until these issues are resolved.For some time before it closed down the hotel had operated under the Best Western Brand and its closure caused widespread shock. The management moved quickly to redirect their substantial wedding portfolio to other family run hotels at the Silver Tassie and Water’s Edge.The premises is to be reopened on a phased basis, The initial phase will see up to twenty jobs created as the bar and dining rooms come back return.Neal Blaney said that he was optimistic despite the downturn and he hoped that the volume of business generated by a loyal customer base would still be there. He also believes that the reopening of the Milford Inn is very important for Milford and Ramelton where much of its staff have an historical affinity.Since its establishment in 1971 the Milford Inn has been a landmark venue in the Fanad and Rossguill areas and it was founded by the late Neil T. Blaney as a basic roadhouse and small restaurant. It soon became renowned for the famed Blaney hospitality, food, drink and welcome.Now some 42 years later, the new generation of the Blaney’s hope that that record will once again play a prominent role in the commercial life of the Milford area.FAMOUS DONEGAL HOTEL TO OPEN ITS DOORS AGAIN IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS was last modified: November 14th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:blaneydonegalMilford Innreopenlast_img read more

Angels sign K-Rod, Shields

first_imgThe Angels’ lone arbitration-eligible player that remains unsigned is reliever Brendan Donnelly. ARLINGTON, Texas – Mark Teixeira can concentrate on the part of baseball that is easy for him: playing the game. The difficult part is taken care of for at least two more years. The Texas Rangers and their All-Star first baseman agreed Tuesday on a $15.4 million, two-year contract, allowing them to avoid salary arbitration this year and next. “I’m happy to get this deal done and kind of get the business out of the way,” Teixeira said. Teixeira hit .301 with 43 home runs and 144 RBIs while starting all 162 games last season. The RBIs were the most for a switch-hitter, breaking the record of 136 by George Davis for the New York Giants in 1896. The Rangers also agreed to one-year deals with right-hander Adam Eaton ($4.65 million) and outfielder Brad Wilkerson ($3.9 million), avoiding arbitration with two players acquired in separate trades last month. NEW YORK – A-Rod plans to play for the USA. His allegiance torn between the Dominican Republic and United States, Alex Rodriguez finally made up his mind Tuesday night and decided he will participate in the World Baseball Classic as a member of the U.S. team. “He spoke to many Dominican friends and American friends, and many American players,” agent Scott Boras told The Associated Press. “If he was going to play in the classic, he was going to honor his citizenship and play for the United States.” LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers have agreed to a minor-league contract with pitcher Aaron Sele and invited him to spring training. The 35-year-old right- hander had a 6-12 record with a 5.66 ERA in 21 starts for Seattle last season before he was released in August. He then signed a minor league deal with Texas, his team from 1998-99. The Dodgers also designated right-handed pitcher Joel Hanrahan for assignment. CHICAGO – Chicago Cubs pitchers Mark Prior and Carlos Zambrano will receive big salary increases next season along with new leadoff hitter Juan Pierre. After opting out of the final year of a contract that would have paid $2.75 million next season, Prior asked Tuesday for $4 million in salary arbitration. The Cubs countered at $3.3 million. CHICAGO – Third baseman Joe Crede and the Chicago White Sox agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract worth $2,675,000 and avoided salary arbitration. The 27-year-old was third among AL third baseman with a .971 fielding percentage and fifth in home runs with a career-high 22 for the World Series champions last season. He batted .252 with 62 RBIs in 129 games. NEW YORK – Mets pitcher Victor Zambrano agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract, a raise of $900,000. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa AnitaRodriguez and the Washington Nationals’ Chad Cordero became the first two pitchers to record 40 saves before turning 24. Shields, 30, will make $2.1 million, up from $950,000 last season. He appeared in an Angels-record 78 games last season and was fifth in the American League in appearances. He was 10-11 with a 2.75 ERA and led all relievers with 91 2/3 innings pitched. He was second in strikeouts by relievers with 98. The right-hander has appeared in 197 innings over the past two seasons, the most of any reliever in baseball. The moves came a day after John Lackey and Jose Molina signed deals to avoid arbitration. Chone Figgins and Juan Rivera did the same last week. Rodriguez, 24, will make $3.775 million, up from $440,000 last season. The right-hander just completed his first full season as the Angels closer and had 45 saves in 50 chances, including 18 consecutive saves to end the season. Rodriguez’s 12 saves in September tied an Angels record for a month. He was 2-5 with a 2.67 ERA in 66 games. center_img The Angels completed contracts for the two most important parts of the bullpen Tuesday as Francisco Rodriguez and and Scot Shields each reached one-year deals that avoided arbitration. “These two pitchers have really solidified our bullpen the last few years,” Angels general manager Bill Stoneman said in a release. “They have continually responded to late-inning pressure situations.” last_img read more