Urban: Blogging From AT&T


Urban: Blogging From AT&T

Sept. 29, 2010
Burrell With Another Magical Memory (7th Inning Update)

Are you kidding?Its enough to be blessed with big-league talent.Being blessed with movie-star looks -- tall, dark and handsome -- is almost overkill. Yet the powers that be decided that wasnt enough for Pat Burrell. Lets make him a sympathetic figure, a prodigal son, and a cornerstone of a pennant race. And lets let him hit a bunch of homers, including one really late in the season in front of a full house of fawning fans.Seriously. Whomever is responsible for doling out goodness needs to relax. Pat Burrell has gotten way more than his share.Lincecum Finding His Groove (5th Inning Update)

As my Twitter followers often so eloquently note, Haters gonna hate. So its little wonder that Chris Lincecum, the father of Giants wunderkind Tim Lincecum, gets accused of being everything from a Svengali to an attention-seeker to a thorn in the side of the Giants coaching staff.None of these things are true. Not even close. Hes a father who loves and defends his son, just like every other father on earth should aspire to be.He has the utmost respect for the Giants coaches, and its not his fault that the media often seeks his opinion when Tim isnt pitching particularly well. Heck, I did it 20 minutes ago.And because Chris Lincecum is as straight-up honest a man as youll ever meet, the man for whom the description salt of the earth seems created, he gives me time when I ask for it.All I asked of Mr. Lincecum, whom I texted after the second inning, was what he thought of Tims early struggles.I think hes got it now, Chris responded. Its his legs.Sure enough, Tims thrown up nothing but zeroes since his father told me hes got it.Father knows best.Giants Fans Already Counting Chickens (3rd Inning Update)

Based on the general vibe emanating from AT&T Park before Wednesdays game against the Diamondbacks, the Giants are already in the playoffs.Theyre not, of course, but that hasnt stopped anyone from grabbing my right arm, spinning me around and saying (oddly enough, with fairly slurred speech), Shanchys pishing Game 3, right?Uh, yeah. Sure. Whatever, bro. Can I have my bicep muscle back while its only half-torn?Anyway, not to bring Bill Polian into this, and not to be a buzzkill for Giants fans on this lovely evening by the Bay, but the whole playoffs thing is far from fait accompli.And to echo my good friendcolleaguereverse-moral compass Raymond Lucious Ratto, do you really want this thing to be decided before the Padres get to town?I dont. As a childhood Giants fan and as a journalist, I want this bad boy to go down to the wire. The childhood fan in me wants the Padres to wear it, to watch as the Giants get down in celebration on the field in front of them. As a journalist, duh; the longer it plays out, the more drama I have to try to capture and convey.The Giants are down 1-0 in the top of the third. The Padres are up 1-0. Not saying I want the Giants to lose and the Padres to win, but I do want to be able to comb my hair tomorrow. Lishen, you bashtard! Leave my bysheps alone!
What's on your mind? Email Mychael and let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

Lengthy coaching search increases chances of failure for 49ers

Lengthy coaching search increases chances of failure for 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers are on the verge of having the least interesting (or appealing) job search in recent NFL history. In fact, they may have already achieved that honor.

While the other 31 teams were either already set and found their guy (or guys) in a fairly timely fashion, Jed York and Paraag Marathe are still interviewing candidates, and if reports are to be believed that their top coaching choice, Josh McDaniels, has decided to pass in hopes of finding a better gig in the next job vacancy cycle, they are now considered within football as they are outside it.

An ongoing disaster.

Since the end of the season, the 49ers have been without a head coach for 15 days, and a general manager for 17. York and Marathe have shown no particular urgency in filling either job, presumably on the theory that they can wait until February 6, the day after the Super Bowl, if need be.

The problem with that plan, of course, is that for 37 days (or 39) it’s rabbit season/duck season/rabbit season/duck season/York season, and when it’s York season, it’s also brand season.

In other words, the 49ers are currently further from New England, Pittsburgh, Green Bay and Atlanta than any other team, and while nothing really matters in mid-January for 28 of the 32 teams, the notion that a potential head coach would be willing to wait out the current cycle in hopes of doing better next time should be sufficiently galling to a fan base already revolted by its team.

This would all be different if there was a reason to be encouraged by York’s hiring history. Even the one he got right (He Whose Name Must Never Be Spoken, Michigan Division) he got wrong because he hired someone he thought he could tame and failed miserably – a clear vetting problem that lays squarely at the feet of the employer.

So no, York has shown no facility for coaching personnel judgment, and since owners hire coaches (and can’t be dismissed, as a great man once said) this delay does not represent wisdom but an increasing chance of failure.

Which brings us to Kyle Shanahan or Tom Cable, two guys who probably can’t be as picky as McDaniels.

Shanahan, the Atlanta offensive coordinator, has helped the Falcons create the most dynamic offense of the decade, but would be coming to a place where he has zero dynamic players, and therefore would be savaged almost immediately for not “coaching ‘em up,” as Chip Kelly was halfway through his first season, and Jim Tomsula was on the day of his first press conference.

Cable, the Seattle assistant head coach and offensive line coach, comes pre-condemned for coaching the Oakland Raiders in the aftermath of the Al Davis-Lane Kiffin tire fire, as well for as clocking assistant coach Randy Hanson (a lawsuit was settled in arbitration) and for allegations of domestic violence that Davis cited when he fired him after 44 games. He would not be given much benefit of the doubt because his history does not comfort, and because these are angry times in 49er World anyway.

So the speculation drags on, mostly on a low simmer, and it only makes York and Marathe look like the masters of a sinking ship. That isn’t a truly fair characterization, since by rule they have to wait on Shanahan, but when it comes to a 2-14 team (which has won one less game in the last two years in the last year of the discredited-in-house coach with no name) run by the son of a man who had his own organizational issues with the very same franchise, fair has nothing to do with it.

But look at the bright side. This could last another three weeks. At least they’ll know they didn’t get their first choice.

Report: 49ers 'honing in' on Shanahan as next head coach

Report: 49ers 'honing in' on Shanahan as next head coach

One day after interviewing Seattle assistant Tom Cable for the head coach job, the 49ers on Monday are turning their attention to the Seahawks’ front office.

Seattle co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner is scheduled to interview with 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe, beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, a source told CSNBayArea.com.

The Seahawks’ other co-director of player personnel, Scott Fitterer, is scheduled to interview with the 49ers after Kirchner.

The Seahawks were eliminated from the NFC playoffs on Saturday against the Atlanta Falcons and their employees are eligible to be hired immediately.

All indications are the 49ers are waiting for Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan or New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, whose teams advanced to the conference title games. But McDaniels announced Monday morning that he plans to stay in New England.

The 49ers are reportedly “honing in on” hiring Shanahan, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday, citing sources.

McDaniels has pulled his name out of the coaching search Monday to focus on the playoffs and will remain with the Patriots for the 2017 season.

"At this time, it's best for my family and myself to remain here," said during a conference call with reports on Monday.

Cable, 52, the Seahawks’ offensive line/assistant head coach, joined Pete Carroll’s staff in 2011. He served as Raiders head coach from 2008 to ’10, taking over that duty on an interim basis after replacing Lane Kiffin.

The Raiders were 17-27 under Cable, whose tenure with the Raiders was marked by controversy. In August 2009, he allegedly punched assistant Randy Hanson during an altercation at the team’s training camp in Napa. Hanson reportedly sustained a broken jaw.

Moreover, ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported in 2009 that Cable abused three separate women – two of whom made their allegations in interviews – dating back more than 20 years.

Kirchner interviewed for general manager positions with Detroit and the New York Jets the past two years. His focus has been more on the professional scouting side with the Seahawks. He helped facilitate the trades to acquire Marshawn Lynch and Jimmy Graham, as well as the free-agent signings of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril.

Fitterer’s emphasis has bee more on evaluating college prospects. He’s had influence in the Seahawks’ drafts, which have netted such stars as Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas.