The Rays are "kicking the tires" on Zack Greinke? OK, sure.

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It’s crazy season, and when crazy season happens it actually helps for someone to throw a completely nuts rumor out there just to give us a nice break from actually thinking about deals. To make us laugh. To make us ponder the very ridiculousness of the trade deadline itself.  Here’s the leader in the clubhouse for the most off-the-wall thing thrown out there thus far:

Just
heard this: Rays “kicking the tires” of Royals pitcher Zach
Greinke…Would take a large ransom, but the Rays have pieces to do it

That’s from Tom Krasniqi of Bright House Sports Network down in Tampa. I guess how much credence you give that sort of thing has everything to do with what the definition of “kicking the tires” is.

Does that mean a couple of guys in the Rays’ front office said “man, it would be nice to have Greinke” while ordering their fourth beer at last night’s happy hour?  Does it mean people actually think it could happen? If I called the Art Institute of Chicago and asked them to give me Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” in exchange for my picture my son did, am I “kicking the tires on ‘Nighthawks.'” I really have no idea.

All I do know is that while the Royals may very well trade for Jeff Francoeur because they just can’t help themselves, even they aren’t dumb enough to trade Zack Greinke.

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.