Richard Sandomir of The New York Times lays out the landscape facing Major League Baseball for when its TV rights come up for bid next year. Short version: MLB is gonna make boatloads of money as ESPN, Fox, TBS, maybe CBS and, especially, NBC all look to stay in or get in the live televised baseball business.
Full disclosure: I work for NBC. And I’d squeal like a little girl if NBC got MLB rights.
Seriously, though. Such decisions are way above my pay grade. Even third-hand discussion of such decisions are above my pay grade. Gleeman and I are only permitted to talk about baseball on TV with a six day delay, and only if we know anything, which we don’t, so I can’t intelligently or coherently comment about what NBC may or may not do that I didn’t first read in an article like the linked one here.
But Major League Baseball is my beat, and I can say what having a ton of eager competitors means for the league: a ton of money. Much, much more money than Major League Baseball has ever seen from a national TV deal.
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.