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Rangers coach Doug Brocail on Harvey: I'd request bereavement if still playing

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. --Texas Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail, who has called the Houston area home since 1995, said that if he was still playing, he'd request bereavement to assist with the rescue efforts of Hurricane Harvey.

"If I was still playing, I would find a way that I would take bereavement," Brocail said to ESPN. "I would probably say, 'Hey, listen.' Especially in my later years -- I pitched in my later years until I was 42 -- if I was at that point in my career, I would have been home.

"Knowing my family is safe, knowing that my buddies that have risked their lives to go down and save lives, I'd be right there with them. It's my community. I realize I'm a coach for Texas, but we're talking about things that are greater than us. This is devastation."

"If I was still playing, I'd ask for bereavement," Brocail said, getting emotional. "And if it meant my career, it meant my career."

Back in 2008, he was in Missouri City and he and his family rode out Ike together. Now, his wife Lisa and daughter Parker are there, while his daughter McKinzie lives in nearby LaPorte with her fiancé, who is a state trooper and is assisting with rescue efforts.

His other three daughters Madisyne, Camdyn and Taylor live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Brocail went as far as looking into renting a helicopter Monday for $1,100 to fly out of Dallas to get his family -- and it's still something he's considering -- but they refuse to leave their dog.

"I don't know what we're going to do yet. I think when we get home, I'll make a decision," said Brocail, who gets back to Arlington with the team Thursday night.

Are they needed more in Houston than they are here?

"Nope," he said, his voice cracking. "I think we're all needed in Houston."

"I feel guilty as hell being here. But I think it's easier knowing my kids are safe. So you know, as a guy that has never been emotional in my life, it's been a lot of sleepless nights."

He only slept two or three hours Tuesday night, finally closing his eyes at 5 a.m. He has concerns about the overflowing Brazos River, which has risen to historic heights in the wake of so much rain. Dozens of neighborhoods have had mandatory evacuations. Authorities have said that this type of flooding only happens once every 800 years.

"I saw [Astros color analyst] Steve Sparks yesterday as they walked in. My buddy who is on search and rescue -- he's a cop there in Missouri City -- had just informed me that the levee failed and Riverstone (a residential community in Fort Bend County) was filling up.

"Well I know Steve lives in Riverstone and he like, 'Yeah, everything's good. We're high and dry.' And I go, 'How long ago were you guys high and dry?' Well, he's high and dry. But he didn't know that the levee broke. Well I ended up letting him know and his son had come down from Austin to check the house."

He can't stop watching news reports on television, particularly the Weather Channel, just feeling helpless. He won't be able to get back to Houston until after the season is over. And there's guilt in that, just like there's guilt for manager Jeff Banister, who moved to La Marque when he was six years old.

"Every time I walk by Banny and ask him how everything is, I feel like he's lying to me, just like I'm lying to him," Brocail said. It's the same thing when he sees outfielder Delino DeShields, who has family and friends there. "Every time we look at each other, you can see your feeling in what they're feeling."

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