Potential candidates to replace Bud Selig

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The other day I noted that there was no clear successor to Bud Selig when he steps down at the end of 2012.  From my lips to Maury Brown’s keyboard, for today he runs down some of the possibilities over at The Biz of Baseball.

None of the candidates Maury mentions are bad. Sandy Alderson and Stan Kasten are smart guys and smart is good. Rob Manfred has been in the trenches and that works. While the idea of Andy MacPhail troubles me a bit inasmuch as no one would probably be talking too seriously about him if he didn’t come from a family line of executives, he has been in the sorts of jobs that would give him experience here. A legacy-saved, let’s call him.

Ultimately, though, brains aren’t going to trump everything. Or even be the most important thing. Not saying Selig isn’t smart — he is — but his biggest skill is in consensus building among the ownership group. It’s what allows him to basically do anything he wants. Making the owners mad is what causes coups. Coups like the one that brought Selig into power in the first place.

Which makes me wonder if another current owner isn’t the most likely replacement. Someone who saw that Selig moved on from the Brewers, made a tidy profit on his team and then made a healthy freakin’ salary for nearly 20 years on top of it, all the while transforming his legacy from used car salesman to one of the preeminent sports executives of all time.

Whatever happens, it will be fun to watch.

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.