Former Padres, Tigers GM takes a job with the Nippon Ham Fighters

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Kyodo News reports that Randy Smith, the former general manager of the Padres and Tigers who, for the past few years, has worked for the Padres once again, has accepted a position as a senior advisor for the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Pacific League.

Not the sort of move you hear about every day but, as the story notes, Smith, the Padres and the Fighters have a lot of common history and overlap.

Smith ran the Padres from 1993-95 and led the club to a 166-229 while presiding over one of the more notable fire sales in baseball history. He then moved on to Detroit where, between 1996 and 2002, the Tigers posted a record of 398-554. Those, as many have noted, was not exactly the best years in Detroit baseball history.

In Japan he won’t be tasked with building a team — the Fighters were this year’s Japan Series champs — so Nippon Ham partisans should not be too concerned about him doing for them what he did with the Padres and Tigers.

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.