Who's the next Cubs manager? Would you believe Fredi Gonzalez?

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On the same day Ryne Sandberg officially interviewed for the Cubs managerial job, word leaked out that the team may have someone else in mind:

Don’t be surprised if former Florida Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez
winds up a leading candidate to replace Lou Piniella within the next few
weeks.

Sources say that Gonzalez is at the top of general manager Jim
Hendry’s wish list in the early stages of the process and that he
prefers a manager with major-league experience — with Class AAA manager
Ryne Sandberg considered the strongest, if not only, serious candidate
without that.

Hurm.

I don’t own any stock in Ryne Sandberg Enterprises or anything, but I’m curious to hear the argument against hiring him (“we want someone with MLB experience” seems rather weak to me). He’s almost certainly the fans’ choice, and he has paid his dues in the minors.

It strikes me that whoever is going to manage the Cubs next is going to have a tough time as the team tries to rebuild. If you put the unpopular choice in there and he loses, won’t that add an extra layer of angry to all of this in the eyes of the fans?

I admit that’s politics and that politics is not the best reason to hire a manager. But in this case I don’t think you can simply ignore the politics either — and it’s not like Sandberg is unqualified or anything — which makes going with someone who isn’t Sandberg a dangerous choice for Jim Hendry.

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.