Will Smith still buy magic springing from Harbaughs tongue?

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Will Smith still buy magic springing from Harbaughs tongue?

And now, the 49ers can pretend they loved Alex Smith all along. Believe as much of that as you like.

Suddenly, Smith has as much leverage as a man who has served as his coachs caddy can have. Which is all a matter-of-fact way of asking, Does Alex still buy the magic springing from Jim Harbaughs tongue?
RELATED: Peyton Manning chooses Broncos

The answer is no, unless Smith is a dunce, which he is not. But the alternatives, Miami and Jacksonville, would only represent spite signings, so the real question is not what Smith believes, but what he can endure.

And Smiths greatest skill as a quarterback is also his greatest skill as an intellect. His clinical thought process.

The Dolphins are hopeless. The Jaguars are worse. The Seahawks are not an option. The Titans have shown no apparent interest.

MAIOCCO: 49ers back to Smith as top option

Which means the marriage of convenience resumes after the 49ers got liquored up and went to Vegas for the weekend to chat up another woman. Now Harbaugh and Smith are joined not by the heart, but by the wallet. Pragmatism, Harbaughs most dynamic quality. Rules the day for both, and the 49ers are no worse off than they were.

No better, either.

The biggest problem with Manning to the 49ers was ultimately the fact that the Broncos had more than twice as much cap room to spend on Manning, and while many folks will hypothesize than it was deference to his brother Eli that drove this decision, they will be wrong. Money talks louder than workouts walk, which should come as no surprise to anyone who pays attention to free agency in any sport.

The 49ers can say they just did their due diligence, and that they were longshots because of the money disparity, and that will be true.

But Smith, who has enough scars to look like the fun house mirror in Chuck Wepners house, gets one more from his third pro head coach. He may become more cynical about his business, but maybe he was already there. He has a way of hiding his true internals.

But he is at his essence a triangulator. He has already figured out that where he came from is the best place for him to be, and if he can squeeze more money out of the 49ers for the time and trouble he went through, all the better for him.

Oh, there is also the minimal possibility that Harbaugh and Smith were in on this from the start, and they may even portray this as such. But the fact is, to the extent that Smith was Harbaughs acolyte in 2011, that is no more. The support he finally found after six years of Mike Nolans neglect and Mike Singletarys non-inspirational speeches is revealed to be just one more song and dance in what will be an ongoing series of them.

It means that Patrick Willis now knows what awaits him when his time comes. He is the best 49er there is today, but today gets to yesterday very quickly, and Harbaugh has shown himself to be your standard bloodless head coachgeneral manager.

Or, to be more precise, he has behaved as any head coachgeneral manager would behave in the National Football League, and this last week was an excellent education for those who still view the NFL as a place where loyalty matters, is celebrated and rewarded.

It isnt. It isnt going to be. If Peyton Manning can be shown the door to save 28 million, what chance would any other player have? Well wait patiently while you arrive at the answer, None.

Oh, and Harbaugh needs a new caddy.

Padres non-tender former A’s P Ross, former Giants C Sanchez

Padres non-tender former A’s P Ross, former Giants C Sanchez

NEW YORK -- Tyson Ross, an All-Star pitcher for San Diego two years ago, was among 35 players who became free agents when their teams declined to offer them 2017 contracts on Friday.

Washington outfielder Ben Revere and Philadelphia outfielder Cody Asche also were cut loose, along with Arizona catcher Welington Castillo and pitcher Rubby De La Rosa; Baltimore pitcher Vance Worley; and Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Louis Coleman.

Milwaukee first baseman Chris Carter and Pittsburgh pitcher Jeff Locke were non-tendered as well; their teams had already designated them for assignment earlier this week.

Teams cut players at the tender deadline to avoid committing to salary arbitration, in which about one-sixth of next season's salary is guaranteed.

Ross, a 29-year-old right-hander, was 13-14 with a 2.81 ERA in 2014 and 10-12 with a 3.26 ERA the following season. He was limited to one major league appearance this year and had surgery in October for thoracic outlet syndrome. Recovery time was expected to be four to six months, and the Padres deemed him too pricy for arbitration after he earned $9,625,000 this year.

Asche, 26, was designated for assignment earlier Friday to clear a roster spot for left-hander David Rollins, claimed off waivers from Texas. Asche hit .240 with 31 homers and 125 RBIs for the Phillies during 371 games in the past four seasons and would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time.

The 28-year-old Revere was acquired from Toronto in January for reliever Drew Storen but strained his right oblique in his first at-bat of the season, left after four innings and went on the disabled list. Revere returned May 6, hit just .217 with two homers and 24 RBIs in 103 games and would have been on track for a raise from his $6.25 million salary.

Castillo batted .264 with 14 homers and 68 RBIs and would have gotten a big raise from his $3.7 million salary.

Isaiah Thomas continues to show Kings he's the one that got away

Isaiah Thomas continues to show Kings he's the one that got away

The one that got away. 
 
There have been plenty of faces that have come and gone over the last decade of futility in Sacramento. But rarely has there been a player that has gone on to become something more than just a standard role player in the NBA. 
 
Isaiah Thomas is the exception.
 
Selected with the 60th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Thomas went from zero to hero in the strike shortened 2011-12 season with Sacramento. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
 
In three seasons with the Kings, the generously listed 5-foot-9 Thomas became known as “The Pizza Guy” in Sacramento due to his commercials for a local pizza restaurant and his ability to deliver in the clutch. With a million-dollar smile and the presence of a man a foot taller, Thomas became the Kings’ most marketable player. 
 
By his third season, he was much more than just a novelty item. Despite his size limitations, Thomas posted 20.3 points and 6.3 assists per game in his final season with the Kings, forming a nice trio with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay under head coach Michael Malone.
 
During the summer of 2014, the Kings, under general manager Pete D’Alessandro, decided to go in a different direction. Sacramento’s regime valued Thomas around the $5 million per season range, although they may not have even gone that high to retain the high-scoring point guard. 
 
When the Phoenix Suns came calling with a 3-year, $21 million deal offer for Thomas, D’Alessandro dealt the fan favorite for Alex Oriakhi (a second round pick that has never played a game of NBA action) and a trade exception. 
 
The Kings went a different direction and basically received nothing for one of their best assets. 
 
Rumors swirled afterwards about Thomas’ departure of discourse was between he and Cousins, but neither has ever substantiated the claims. In fact, both have denied that there was a rift.
 
“That’s all this league is, what people think they know - 99 percent of the time, they don’t know,” Cousins said. “That’s my guy. I’m extremely happy for him. I’m happy for all of the success he’s gotten so far.”
 
To take it a step further, Thomas has even lobbied to have the Kings star center join him with the Celtics.
 
“If he came to Boston, that would be good, really good,” Thomas told the Sporting News over the summer. “The thing is, I’ve got his respect. I’ve always had that."
 
“When I was with him, I didn’t back down,” Thomas added in his conversation with the Sporting News. “I’m a point guard and that was my job. No matter if we did or didn’t get along off the court, on that court we were going to get along, and I was going to hold him accountable. That’s just how it is. It’s how I’ve always been. And he respects me for doing that.”
 
Instead of paying slightly more for Thomas in 2014, Sacramento signed Darren Collison to a 3-year, $15 million deal that summer. The Suns already had two point guards in Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe and after 46 games, they dealt Thomas to the Celtics in a 3-team deal for Marcus Thornton and a future first round pick.
 
Through multiple conversations with management at the time, it was clear that Sacramento’s front office didn’t value Thomas as a starting point guard and they also didn’t believe that he would willingly accept a role as a six-man. 
 
Their valuation of Thomas was wrong. 
 
Fresh off his first All-Star game appearance and back-to-back playoff runs with the Boston Celtics, Thomas has taken his game to even greater heights this season under coach Brad Stevens. 
 
Thomas came into Friday night’s showdown with his former team averaging 26.1 points and 6.3 assists. He ranks ninth in the league in scoring and has the Celtics in the mix for a third straight playoff run. 
 
Sacramento made his life difficult, but the pint-sized point guard still managed to post 20 points and seven assists in the win over the Kings.
 
Thomas, 27, is a free agent at the end of the year and looking to cash in off his stellar numbers. Not only does he bring an ability to hit the big shot, but he’s a leader that has proven that he can take a team to the playoffs. 
 
The move to let Thomas slip through the Kings’ fingers goes down as one of the all-time gaffs in team history. Watching him thrive in Boston is a painful reminder to fans in Sacramento and the fact that the Kings got nothing in return makes it that much worse.