Report: Giants preparing to demote CEO Bill Neukom

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The defending World Series champion Giants will be left out of the postseason picture this October.

As you might expect, that’s not sitting well with some members of the organization. Members who have the power to make changes at the very top.

According to Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News, the Giants’ executive owners committee — a group consisting of the franchise’s 10 primary investors — has decided that CEO and general managing partner Bill Neukom will be removed from his role at the conclusion of the 2011 season.

The timing may seem odd given San Francisco’s triumphant run last October, but Purdy says the issues with Neukom go beyond this year’s second-place finish. According to insider sources, Neukom did a poor job of keeping the executive committee “informed about his choices and actions” during his tenure as chief executive officer. Instead, Purdy writes, “some of the owners first read about those decisions in news reports.”

It’s doubtful many details will leak about which decisions specifically caught the ire of the other investors. And the Giants are likely to announce this move as a front-office “restructuring” rather than a firing or demotion.

Neukom joined the Giants’ ownership group in 1995 and became the first principal owner to guide the club to a World Series crown since Horace Stoneham in 1954, when the franchise was located in New York.

Sean Manaea thought he was throwing a one hitter

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Tossing a no-hitter doesn’t just require physical excellence; it’s a mental feat, too. Which is why it may have helped that Athletics hurler Sean Manaea didn’t realize his no-hitter was intact until the eighth inning of Saturday’s 3-0 win over the Red Sox.

While the first few innings passed uneventfully, Sandy Leon managed to reach base in the fifth inning after skying a ball to shallow center field. It wasn’t a clean hit, of course — shortstop Marcus Semien dropped the ball on the catch and was promptly charged with an error to preserve Manaea’s no-hit bid.

That was news to Manaea, who told reporters that he didn’t realize he still had a no-hitter going until he saw the scoreboard in the eighth inning. “Until the eighth, I thought it just like was a one-hitter,” he said. “I looked up in the eighth and saw there were still zeros and was like, whoa, weird.” The delay of that realization may have calmed his nerves as he continued to blank the best team in baseball, eventually capping his 108-pitch, 10-strikeout effort in the ninth.

A few fun facts about the feat:

  • Manaea’s no-hitter was the 12th of its kind in franchise history, dating back to Weldon Henley’s no-no against the St. Louis Browns in 1905.
  • The most recent pitcher to do so for the A’s was fellow left-hander Dallas Braden, who completed the club’s second-ever perfect game against the Rays in 2010. Surprisingly, Manaea managed to make even more efficient use of his pitch count than Braden did during his perfecto; he fired just 108 pitches against the Red Sox, a hair under the 109 pitches used by Braden against the Rays.
  • Manaea himself, however, is just the seventh Athletics pitcher (and third lefty) to toss a no-hitter. Legendary southpaw Vida Blue pitched two no-nos for the team, including a combined no-hitter that also featured Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad and Rollie Fingers against the 1975 California Angels.
  • Until Saturday, the Red Sox had the second-longest streak without being no-hit in the majors, at 3,987 games… a record that was only eclipsed by the A’s own streak.
  • With a 17-2 record and .895 winning percentage, the Red Sox were the most successful team to be no-hit in major-league history. Prior to Saturday’s loss, they averaged 6.4 runs per game and had yet to be shut out by any team in 2018.
  • Since 1908, 46 no-hitters have been pitched against AL East teams: four against the Blue Jays, five against the Rays, eight against the Yankees, 13 against the Red Sox and 16 against the Orioles. Mariners lefty Chris Bosio was the last pitcher to no-hit the Red Sox, a feat he accomplished almost exactly 25 years ago on April 22, 1993.