Not necessarily strong rumors. Not from any baseball insider types who usually chatter about goings on in MLB. But this story from NBC Chicago about rumors of the Cubs moving to the south side to play in U.S. Cellular Field while Wrigley Field undergoes a renovation is interesting enough.
To be sure, the story leads with the Cubs’ denial of such a thing, with a spokesman for the Ricketts family saying “I have never heard of a done deal of moving home games to the ‘Cell.'” But of course, that insertion of “a done deal” is an equivocation, no? If there were a done deal lots of people would know about it. What we want to know is if it’s actually being discussed as a realistic option.
Because some folks are discussing it:
Workers at U.S. Cellular tell a different story. They say they are being warned of a much busier 2013 season (as in, prepare for double the games). Bridgeport bar owners tell a similar story.
Could be empty chatter. As Neil deMause of “Field of Schemes” notes, it could be a trial balloon to gauge public sentiment. And of course, the Cubs don’t even have renovation money secured yet, so it may all be moot for now.
But it would be interesting seeing the Cubs play in U.S. Cellular Field. If, for no other reason, we’d get to see if anyone would truly care about them without Wrigley Field as part of the equation.
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.