Brian Wilson will start spring training at full speed

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Know what we did all last winter but haven’t done at all this winter? Talked about Giants closer Brian Wilson.  How zany he is and all of that. Really, I haven’t thought about him at all since the last “BECAUSE I”M BLACK OPS!” Taco Bell commercial aired during the World Series.  Guess that happens when your team is no longer the world champs and your season ends in injury.

But Wilson is back on the radar. For baseball reasons, as Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that he’s been playing “hard catch” — which I did not know was a thing, but is apparently a thing — and will be able to begin bullpen sessions with the rest of the Giants staff when they all get to Scottsdale next month.

And if he’s pitching again and back to normal it will only be a matter of time before he does something zany again. Just you 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.