Look, I just feel like we need to get out in front of this stuff now, OK? So just know that you’re all on notice of the following ethical considerations:
1. Anyone who describes Albert Pujols going to Miami in terms that even remotely refer to the LeBron James situation shall be fined $200 and then shunned from whatever social and/or professional group to which they belong;
2. If you ignore rule number one and then go so far as to describe Pujols as “taking his talents to South Beach,” you will be fined, shunned and then flogged with an obvious stick. And we’ll make you pick the very obvious stick with which you shall be flogged; and
3. Anyone who anoints the Marlins as the 2012 NL champions based on a Pujols signing shall be fined, shunned, flogged and then shall be forced to watch every single game the 2011 Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies played. And then you’ll have to write a report about it.
This would be huge news, folks. Let’s not try to make it even huger with unwarranted hyperbole and kneejerk reactions. Cool?
Of course it is.
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.