Last week Bobby Valentine made headlines for saying he wanted to punch WEEI radio host Glenn Ordway following what the Red Sox manager thought was an obnoxious question.
Valentine was back on WEEI and Ordway’s show this afternoon and jokingly brought boxing gloves to the studio.
In addition to proving (or at least attempting to show) that he’s a good sport Valentine also said he plans to manage the Red Sox in 2013 “and beyond” amid speculation that he’ll be fired after the season.
Here’s the full quote, via Paul Flannery of WEEI.com:
It’s not up to me, but I think I will be, yeah. And beyond. Why would I say that I want to be here for 2013 as though that’s going to be the end of something? That will be the continuation and hopefully the beginning of something really special. Why would I think it’s going to be a year’s job?
Well, for starters because Valentine’s contract has one more year on it. But whatever.
He was also asked about Kevin Youkilis being traded to the White Sox following a reported feud with Valentine and noted that Youkilis’ batting average hasn’t risen since the deal, saying: “I just want to point out that I’m not the reason he was batting .238.”
That’s technically true. Youkils had a .233 batting average for the Red Sox and has a .234 batting average for the White Sox. Of course, his OPS has risen 100 points since the trade and he’s homered 12 times in 61 games for Chicago.
There’s more potentially quotable stuff from the radio interview, but I’m just about Valentine’d out.
Tossing a no-hitter doesn’t just require physical excellence; it’s a mental feat, too. Which is why it may have helped that Athletics hurler Sean Manaea didn’t realize his no-hitter was intact until the eighth inning of Saturday’s 3-0 win over the Red Sox.
While the first few innings passed uneventfully, Sandy Leon managed to reach base in the fifth inning after skying a ball to shallow center field. It wasn’t a clean hit, of course — shortstop Marcus Semien dropped the ball on the catch and was promptly charged with an error to preserve Manaea’s no-hit bid.
That was news to Manaea, who told reporters that he didn’t realize he still had a no-hitter going until he saw the scoreboard in the eighth inning. “Until the eighth, I thought it just like was a one-hitter,” he said. “I looked up in the eighth and saw there were still zeros and was like, whoa, weird.” The delay of that realization may have calmed his nerves as he continued to blank the best team in baseball, eventually capping his 108-pitch, 10-strikeout effort in the ninth.
A few fun facts about the feat:
- Manaea’s no-hitter was the 12th of its kind in franchise history, dating back to Weldon Henley’s no-no against the St. Louis Browns in 1905.
- The most recent pitcher to do so for the A’s was fellow left-hander Dallas Braden, who completed the club’s second-ever perfect game against the Rays in 2010. Surprisingly, Manaea managed to make even more efficient use of his pitch count than Braden did during his perfecto; he fired just 108 pitches against the Red Sox, a hair under the 109 pitches used by Braden against the Rays.
- Manaea himself, however, is just the seventh Athletics pitcher (and third lefty) to toss a no-hitter. Legendary southpaw Vida Blue pitched two no-nos for the team, including a combined no-hitter that also featured Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad and Rollie Fingers against the 1975 California Angels.
- Until Saturday, the Red Sox had the second-longest streak without being no-hit in the majors, at 3,987 games… a record that was only eclipsed by the A’s own streak.
- With a 17-2 record and .895 winning percentage, the Red Sox were the most successful team to be no-hit in major-league history. Prior to Saturday’s loss, they averaged 6.4 runs per game and had yet to be shut out by any team in 2018.
- Since 1908, 46 no-hitters have been pitched against AL East teams: four against the Blue Jays, five against the Rays, eight against the Yankees, 13 against the Red Sox and 16 against the Orioles. Mariners lefty Chris Bosio was the last pitcher to no-hit the Red Sox, a feat he accomplished almost exactly 25 years ago on April 22, 1993.