Greenberg: we're going to miss opening day

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Not a big surprise, but prospective Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg said yesterday that his team will be unable to finalize the deal for the team before Opening Day, as had been previously hoped.  The new target is mid-April. Worth noting that this is not the first time the Greenberg group has missed a deadline. They went eight days past their original exclusive negotiating window back in January.

Greenberg said he isn’t concerned about the reports of angry creditors,
the deal being “a mess” or any of that stuff, and that this delay is just one of those things that happen.  Can’t help but wonder, however, if the fact that Tom Hicks is getting squeezed really hard right now, as opposed to the usual types of impediments to deal making, isn’t the big problem. It’s his debt that’s causing the holdup with the creditors, and he seems less able to pay it off today than he was even a couple of weeks before.

Note to Tom Hicks: if Greenberg invites you out on a hunting trip, or hiking in canyon country or for a ride out on his yacht or something between now and mid-April, you probably want to take a pass on it.

Sean Manaea pitches 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.