The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is
running the second part of an interview with Chipper Jones. It’s not
quite as lengthy as the previous interview, but here’s a couple quick highlights:
- Despite his comments in the past
(“I’ll believe it when I see it.”), Jones believes Bobby Cox is “for
real” about stepping down as manager after 2010. Cox will still have an
imprint on the team as he will move into a consulting role, but Jones acknowledges that “it’s going to be culture shock” if
he decides to play in 2011, especially if the Braves hire someone he
has “played with or against.”
- Jones is proud of the fact that he
is the “last one standing” among the great 90s teams, and like Cal
Ripken and Tony Gwynn, has played his entire career in one city.
- Jones would be “OK with it” if his
career ended today, but the only thing that keeps him going is trying
to reclaim the National League East and go back to the World Series.
He’s encouraged with the direction of the team, especially
pitching-wise but notes that “we just need to get a little offense and
defense to go along with it.”
As David O’Brien notes at the end of
the piece, this interview was conducted two days before the Braves
traded Javier Vazquez for Melky Cabrera and a pair of prospects. Frank
Wren has taken some heat for the move, but in doing so, the Braves
added around $9 million in payroll flexibility. Wren has already Troy
Glaus to the lineup, and there are plenty of indications that he isn’t done.
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.