(David J. Phillip/AP)
Column: Baseball plays parity game as well as any sport

07/31/2015 07:23 PM EDT
The Houston Astros are loading up for a pennant race. Ditto for the Toronto Blue Jays. Quit rubbing your eyes. 
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Verizon strike possible as contract deadline looms
07/31/2015 06:22 PM EDT - WASHINGTON (AP) — Verizon workers in nine states could walk off the job as soon as early Sunday if union negotiators don't reach an agreement over benefits with the wireless carrier. Full Story

School closes after venomous spiders found for a 3rd time
07/31/2015 01:42 PM EDT - MERCERSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania school district has closed one of its elementary schools due to an infestation of venomous spiders. Full Story

The Latest: Hamels, Cespedes top names dealt at deadline
07/31/2015 06:38 PM EDT - NEW YORK (AP) — Here are the latest developments as Major League Baseball hits a deadline Friday for trades where players do not first have to pass through waivers (all times Eastern): 6:20 p. Full Story

Rangers get Hamels from Phillies for 2015—and beyond
07/31/2015 04:28 PM EDT - ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — With Cole Hamels, the Texas Rangers have gotten another ace in hopes of getting back to the playoffs — in 2015 and beyond. Full Story

Longtime NPR literary critic Alan Cheuse dies at 75

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alan Cheuse, a longtime literary critic whose reviews and commentary were featured on National Public Radio for more than 25 years, has died at age 75. Full Story
J.J. Abrams broke his back filming 'Star Wars'

The 'Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens' director reveals to Jon Stewart how the Millennium Falcon door that injured Harrison Ford on set also broke Abrams' back.