Don't blame White Sox fans for bad attendance

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White Sox’ GM Kenny Williams says that he’s prevented from making any major deals as a result of lower-than-expected attendance:

“Well, if I’m being completely honest money is more of the issue
now. We expected a little more support than we’ve gotten . . . We’ve
been probably pretty short or a little aggressive in our projections
and we might have to take a lot closer look at it, because, the Dodgers series was certainly an eye opener for us.”

One big thing that Kenny doesn’t mention here is that the attendance
for the Dodgers series he cites had a whole heck of a lot to do with
the fact that the White Sox overreached on ticket prices, classifying
that game as a “premium” game under their pricing structure despite the
fact that White Sox-Dodgers isn’t exactly a storied rivalry or
anything. According to some angry White Sox fans who emailed me at the
time, the cheapest ticket in the house for that series was $33, which
is pretty ridiculous when you think about it. If they’re doing that
with one series, they’re probably doing similarly inefficient things
with other series.

All of which means that Williams should think about blaming his own
front office before implicitly blaming fans for their lack of support.

Sean Manaea pitches the first no-hitter of 2018

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Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea delivered his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox in a decisive 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Any thought of a perfect game was banished in the first at-bat, when Mookie Betts drew a leadoff six-pitch walk to open the first inning. From there, Manaea was nearly flawless, holding the Sox to four total baserunners and striking out 10 of 30 batters faced — a career record.

Manaea was gifted a three-run lead thanks to RBI doubles from Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien‘s solo shot off of Chris Sale in the fifth inning. While the Red Sox managed to draw two walks off of Manaea, they didn’t come anywhere close to plating a run. Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning with an infield hit down the first base line, but strayed out of bounds and later saw his hit reversed on a call of batter interference.

Entering the ninth inning, the 26-year-old lefty was sitting at just 95 pitches through eight frames of no-hit ball. He quickly deposed Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts with a groundout and fly out, then walked Benintendi on seven pitches. Any threat the Red Sox might have posed was soon eliminated, however, as Hanley Ramirez ground into a force out to complete the no-hitter.

Manaea is the first A’s pitcher to toss a no-no since Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays eight years ago. The last time the Red Sox were on the losing end of a no-hitter was also against an AL West rival, when the Mariners’ Chris Bosio clinched a 2-0 no-no on April 22, 1993. Manaea’s feat is even more outstanding given how dominant the Red Sox have looked this season: prior to Saturday’s defeat, they boasted a 17-2 record and had yet to be shut out during the regular season.