Joe Saunders is in The Best — and the sexiest — Shape of His Life

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Ladies and gentlemen, Indians team president Mark Shapiro:

No idea what you mean, Mark.

Anyway: They keep on coming, so we keep passing them along. This one: Joe Saunders of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Part of it is pretty conventional:

[Saunders] was a regular at the D-backs’ training facility at Salt River Fields, with help and encouragement from strength and conditioning coach Nate Shaw. “Not only is it a big year for me, but it is a big year for the team. I wanted to come up here and see what I could do for myself. I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in heading into a spring training”

But there’s also a hint of TMI for those interested:

The experience of being temporarily on the job market made him stronger and wiser — and maybe even a little bit sexier.

“My wife said my butt has gotten a little bit smaller,” Saunders said with a smile, the result of all the extra work he has done to prepare for this season and beyond.

Try to get that out of your mind as you watch Saunders pitch this year, sports fans.

Games start a week from Friday, people. I predict the BSOHL stuff will dry up by then. But for now, we don’t have much more to go with.

Sean Manaea pitches 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.