Urban: Giants' shakeup a no-brainer


Urban: Giants' shakeup a no-brainer

Aug. 31, 2011


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Mychael Urban

SAN FRANCISCO -- Desperate times call for desperate measures? Fine.But what was so desperate about the Giants cutting ties Wednesday with Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada? Nothing.These weren't desperate moves by any stretch. You could make the case, in fact, that they were no-brainers. Rosters can expand to 40 men on Thursday, and Brandon Crawford will be on the roster when the Giants reconvene Friday after taking a day to enjoy their sole victory over the Cubs. He'll get plenty of playing time, too. Nobody's given the Giants jack offensively out of the shortstop position, so they might as well focus on run prevention over run production there, and as underwhelming as Orlando Cabrera's time in orange and black has been, it's been less underwhelming than Tejada's.
NEWS: Giants DFA Tejada, Rowand; Burrell reinstated
Underwhelming doesn't really start to describe Rowand's time with the Giants. The five-year, 60 million deal he got as a free agent was panned the day it was announced, and less than four years later, said panning has been more than justified.
Rowand wasn't a bad Giant in terms of intangibles -- professionalism, work ethic and class; he's flat-out a good dude -- but let's be honest here: he was a bad Giant in the batter's box, and you don't pay the kind of glue Rowand got paid for intangibles.Why Wednesday? Simple. Tejada, as noted above, would have represented redundancy come Friday, and because you have to have a player on your active roster before Sept. 1 to have him eligible for the postseason, designating Rowand for assignment had to happen early on Aug. 31 at the very latest.RATTO: Rowand Era ends seven months early
The thinking likely was that if there was a team out there looking to add him as an extra outfielderpinch hitter for the stretch drive and playoffs -- he's got two rings, you know -- that team might be willing to take on some of the 14 million or so the Giants will be paying him to go away.Not much of it, mind you. Maybe as little as 1 million or 2 million. But you save where you can, and it's easier to choke down 12 million or 13 million than it is to choke down 14 million. So there's the why. Next question: What does it mean?It means plenty.It means that what we saw late last season, when Rowand was planted on the bench and Barry Zito was left off the playoff roster, wasn't an aberration.
Wednesday's move made it clear that money really does take a back seat to performance. Tejada and Rowand weren't getting it done, so they're gone. And if you don't think that sent a message to the rest of the Giants' handsomely compensated veterans, give some thought to what Mark DeRosa had to say after Wednesday's face-saving win over Chicago.RECAP: Bumgarner brilliant, Giants hit and beat Cubs
"Nobody's safe," DeRosa offered. "The team expects a certain level of play, and they haven't been getting it. And when you don't get it, these are the types of things that can happen."Whether that message is what prompted Wednesday's win, DeRosa couldn't say. Madison Bumgarner carving the Cubs like a tender young turkey had an awful lot to do with things, to be sure."It's not like Tejada and Rowand were cancers in this clubhouse," DeRosa said. "They weren't. At all."But they weren't curing anything that ailed the Giants, either. And while the players who took their places on the active roster, Pat Burrell and prospect Brett Pill, didn't factor in the victory, the aforementioned message just might have.It was time for a change. It was time for a statement. It was a time for a win.
And hey, embrace the result for the next 24 hours or so. Brian Sabean went 3-for-3 on Wednesday, and when's the last time anyone associated with the Giants did that?

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.

The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.

An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.

Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.

Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.

"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.


Ty Lue: Celtics 'harder to defend' than Warriors

Ty Lue: Celtics 'harder to defend' than Warriors

The Warriors possess four 2017 All-Stars, three 2017 All-NBA team members and had the highest-scoring offense during the offense. They are 12-0 this postseason and have won those 12 games by an average of 16.3 points.

The Celtics lost All-NBA point guard Isaiah Thomas for the rest of the postseason and don't have another All-Star on the roster.

But for Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, it sounds like he has an easier time scheming to defend the Warriors.

"The stuff (the Celtics are) running, it's harder to defend than Golden State's (offense) for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it's a totally different thing. Like, they hit the post, Golden State runs splits and all that stuff but these guys are running all kinds of (stuff). And Brad's (Stevens) got them moving and cutting and playing with pace and everybody is a threat," Lue said Wednesday, according to Cleveland.com.

The Cavs rallied to beat the Celtics in Game 4 on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Despite the commanding series lead, Lue isn't looking ahead of a potential NBA Finals matchup with the Warriors.

"You can't. As much as you want to, it's not over," Lue told reporters.

The Cavs have a chance to wrap up the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday when they face the Celtics in Boston.

The NBA Finals begin June 1 in Oakland.