Catching up with Omar Minaya

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The Mets will kick off their season against the Marlins in a little over 30 minutes, so what better time to check in with former general manager Omar Minaya than right now?

Minaya spoke with George Vecsey of the New York Times yesterday and said that he thinks the Mets are “capable of contending” this season, citing the Braves missing Bobby Cox, the Marlins’ youth and the Phillies’ injuries. He also thinks first baseman Ike Davis could hit 30 home runs this season.

And then there’s the obvious question about his legacy, specifically the massive multi-year contracts he handed to Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez. If Minaya has any regrets about the pair of moves, he isn’t saying.

“Look, obviously, Luis Castillo and Ollie Perez didn’t work out,” he said of the second baseman and pitcher who were finally cut adrift this past month, at considerable ongoing cost. “But I can’t tell you in retrospect I wouldn’t have done it.”

He’s totally owning those mistakes. You have to respect that.

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.