49ers replace sod at new stadium because, well, it stinks

49ers replace sod at new stadium because, well, it stinks
August 21, 2014, 9:00 pm
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There are rules in place that nobody wants to enforce because baseball players embrace change the way they embrace a manta ray...
Ray Ratto

The 49ers pulled up a field-width goal-line-to-goal strip of sod at its new stadium and replaced it because, well, it stinks. This tells us two things:

1. Candlestick Park is a vindictive hell-bitch, and it will punish the new stadium in different ways with different plagues forever. Next up –- vultures for seagulls, and sinkholes where the golf course parking lot used to be.

2. The end zones were untouched by the botany squad because the 49ers haven’t dug up enough turf to make it worthwhile.


The new concern over time of games in baseball is the same thing as all the old concerns about time of games in baseball. “The game’s too long for the kids,” “the players dawdle,” “there are too many commercials” -– these are code words for “the ratings are tanking, and all the cool kids have noticed that most soccer matches are done in two hours, allowing for kids to humor their short attention spans the rest of the day.”

In short, four-hour Yankees-Red Sox 4-2 games aren’t as much fun to watch as they used to be.

Now, some facts. There are rules in place that nobody wants to enforce because baseball players embrace change the way they embrace a manta ray, and baseball managers never met a loophole they couldn’t pry open with a Fisher Price tea set. So if Rob Manfred is hanging his popularity on this issue . . . well, maybe he should try another one, because he’ll never be as smart as the managers, or as stubborn as the players.


The bad news for Angels pitcher Garrett Richards is that his torn patellar tendon will cost him the next six to nine months. The good news is, Mo’ne Davis losing to Nevada in the Little League World Series was seen by more than 10 times as many viewers.

The short view: Davis has captured the nation’s imagination, and that’s how television works.

The long view: Some TV executives will think it a grand idea to show Little League Baseball games all spring and summer and drop MLB programming, because hey, who doesn’t like watching kids do something they can’t watch adults do? I mean, people watch kids compete in the National Spelling Bee, and adults use cellphones so they can avoid having to spell.


In other predictable hilarity, Davis has already lost $100,000 because of the NCAA. Of course she has, but the explanation comes from USA Today’s Josh Peter.

"Brandon Steiner, owner of Steiner Sports, a leading sports memorabilia company in New York, said he would pay Mo'ne at least $25,000 to autograph between 500 to 1,000 items and estimated she could make up to $100,000 on the deal. But Steiner said he wouldn't make the offer because it could jeopardize her eligibility to play college athletics.

"A federal judge last month ruled that the NCAA unfairly restricts college athletes from earning money based on their names and likeness -– but the NCAA is appealing the decision and it's unclear how much athletes may be able to earn in the future and retain their eligibility. (Davis) has said she wants to play college basketball, preferably at powerhouse Connecticut."

In other words, Geno Auriemma will solve this . . . eventually. Unless, of course, he ends up on Becky Hammon’s staff at San Antonio.


You hate to worry about things like secondary ticket markets for National Football League games because . . . oh, do we have to spell it out for you?

Still, according to Jonathan Horn of U-T San Diego, tickets for next week’s fourth exhibition game against Arizona are going for as little and most seats available on StubHub are going for about 15 percent of face value. The Chargers play the Cards 11 days later in the second Monday night game of the first weekend, but let’s hope this is really a statement that tells the NFL, “Oh, bite me.”


The Toronto Blue Jays are suing the Creighton Bluejays for logo infringement, alleging that the college began using the Blue Jay logo last September and that it has and will continue to "damage," "cause confusion, cause mistake, and deceive the trade and public.”

Three points must be made here.

1. The Toronto Blue Jays do not have a huge and nascent fan base in the Greater Omaha area. There is no crossover, no confusion, no anything. No human, living, dead or undecided, is confused on this matter.

2. Nobody other than Chris Creamer, the noted logo maniac, and the copyright expert in the mailroom thinks this is worthy of concern.

3. And most important of all, somebody is yanking Toronto’s chain, billable hours-wise. Whoever thought of this should dragged into the woods by the eyelids with duct-taped cymbals and tambourines applied to their bodies and abandoned near a bear cave, if only to understand the different between "important" and "shut the hell up."


Mario Balotelli’s acquisition by Liverpool not only allows the Reds to replace crazily brilliant (Luis Suarez) for brilliant craziness (Balotelli), but it gave the accountants a good hoot. There had been rumors that Liverpool had originally offered $29 million to Milan for Balotelli and were rebuffed in part because Liverpool wanted to ease a good-behavior clause into the deal. Thus, the final deal, which was for $26.5 million, almost surely must have meant that Liverpool withdrew the clause in favor of some financial relief.

Guess who will rue the withdrawal of this clause later.


And finally, the ice bucket challenge eases slowly but surely into charitable cliché, so to get our attention you have to make an effort. Don Cherry did one while wearing one of his standard issue Coach’s Corner outfits with full flower suit jacket, which worked for what it was, but Marco Materazzi, most famous for goading Zinedine Zidane into head-butting him and getting ejected from the 2006 World Cup final, did his, and in warped style –- wearing Zidane’s jersey.

Hey, infamy is where you find it, and if you have gone sufficiently crass to insult a competitor’s sister in a world championship match, why stop just because eight years have passed? I mean, the War of Northern Aggression’s been over for almost 150 years, and nobody’s keeping score on that any more, right?