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Manfred effusive with praise for Texas owners

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- As the Rangers close in on their fifth postseason berth in the last seven seasons, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred had nothing but praise for the current ownership group, headed by Ray Davis and Bob Simpson.

"Ray and his ownership group have done a phenomenal job in Texas," Manfred said at a Globe Life Park news conference on Tuesday. "When you think about it, they've consistently fielded a competitive team, a great team, a World Series team and maybe yet a World Series champion.

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ARLINGTON -- As the Rangers close in on their fifth postseason berth in the last seven seasons, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred had nothing but praise for the current ownership group, headed by Ray Davis and Bob Simpson.

"Ray and his ownership group have done a phenomenal job in Texas," Manfred said at a Globe Life Park news conference on Tuesday. "When you think about it, they've consistently fielded a competitive team, a great team, a World Series team and maybe yet a World Series champion.

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"They've brought stability to the front office and to the ownership group here. They've engaged with this community. I think the best example of that is the MLB Youth Academy, which we are working together on. I think it's an important part of baseball's future, not just Major League Baseball's future."

Simpson and Davis headed up the ownership group that bought the team at auction from Tom Hicks in August 2010. Nolan Ryan served as club president before stepping down at the end of the 2013 season.

Since then Davis has taken a more active role in running the organization, along with Neil Leibman, the Houston-based businessman who is chairman of the ownership committee.

"Maybe most important to me personally, Ray has assumed a leadership role in baseball," Manfred said. "I had the privilege after I was elected to select my first executive council. There are eight names you need to write down on a page when you do that, and Ray Davis was at the very top of that list.

"Not since President Bush was involved has there been someone from the Rangers with this sort of influence on industry issues. I can tell you from my perspective, that influence has been nothing but positive."

Barnett takes another step: Rangers reliever Tony Barnette, who has not pitched since Sept. 4 because of a strained oblique muscle in his left side, threw 25 pitches on flat ground and another 10 off the front of the mound on Tuesday. Barnette said he was throwing all out and experiencing no issues.

"Everything went well," Barnette said. "Today was an encouraging day."

If Barnette recovers with no problems, the next step would be a full bullpen session on Friday in Oakland. Barnette is hoping that one bullpen session will be enough before he is ready to pitch in a regular-season game.

Rangers beat
• Entering Tuesday, Carlos Gomez was hitting .300 with a .400 on-base percentage in eight games as leadoff hitter. Said manager Jeff Banister: "I think he has added energy to the top of the lineup. He has added on-base [ability] and power. The strikeouts are there, however he has calmed the approach down. I like the look of what he gives us."

• Outfielder Ian Desmond turned 31 on Tuesday.

• Reliever Sam Dyson earned the win in the Rangers 3-2 victory over the Angels on Monday. The Rangers now have 38 relief wins, tied for the fifth most in a season in Major League history. The 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers had 41 wins by relievers, and the 2009 Yankees had 40. The 1966 Orioles and the 1992 Astros had 39.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

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