Just lose, baby!
Hey, what else is left for the 49ers this season?
Coach Jim Tomsula’s bunch are who we thought they were before the season: a bad football team. They proved it again on Thursday night. The Seattle Seahawks manhandled them in front of a national television audience, and the 20-3 score doesn’t begin to tell the story.
This wasn’t football. This was a game of keep-away between men and boys. It seemed like the home team never had the ball or a chance.
There were blown assignments. Overthrown passes. Underthrown passes. Dropped passes. Dumb penalties. Suspect play calls. And sacks. A lot of sacks. Ladies and gentlemen, these are your 2015 49ers.
Here’s the good news: This team won’t win a couple or three more games this season. A 4-12 record will put the 49ers high in the draft order. If lucky, the team will be in position to take Jared Goff, the Cal quarterback.
The organization desperately needs to do something positive to win back the fan base — what’s left of it, anyway — and if it can get in position to draft Goff, then it shouldn’t waste the chance. The kid may or may not be a franchise quarterback, but he’s good enough to be the first QB off the board right now. Bet the Bay Area would be excited to have him.
Then general manager Trent Baalke can draft a lineman to protect the quarterback because they sure as heck need one.
BOARD GAMES: One week after the Baltimore Ravens raised questions about the Levi’s Stadium video boards, there were more scoreboard shenanigans.
The use of video boards to distract the visiting team’s kicker during field-goal or extra-point attempts was prohibited, an NFL official confirmed to Balls this week. Distracting video includes, but is not limited to, extreme close-ups of his face and fast zooming in and out. While live shots are permitted, ones that show all 22 players are recommended.
While the Seahawks’ Steven Hauschka lined up for his first field goal attempt, “Fourth Down” was flashed four times in front of him along with live close-ups of select players. When the 49ers’ Phil Dawson prepared for his kick, nothing more than a stationary team logo appeared on a dark background.
The monstrous boards are a distraction, even if they’re not intended to be. At 9,558 square feet, they’re fourth-largest in the league. At 200 feet, they’re the third widest.
Then again, in a $1.3 billion stadium, the home team should have some kind of built-in advantage, right?
DAILY HAYNE: Everyone on the Jarryd Hayne Rookie of the Year bandwagon can step off at the right.
For the first time in his NFL career, Hayne was on the inactive list. He watched the game in a team logo shirt while Reggie Bush took his place on the roster, and he wasn’t thrilled about it, apparently.
“That was just getting to our 46-man roster and trying to make sure we had people up there that we needed right now,” Tomsula said. “Yes, he was fine. He didn’t like it, but he was fine.”
That was only the second-worst thing that happened to an Australian football player in the last few days. Michigan punter Blake O’Neill fumbled the game away against Michigan last weekend.
JUST ASKIN’: Fullback Bruce Miller may (or may not) be a swell guy and all, but either way, shouldn’t No. 49 be retired permanently in honor of The Faithful?
BARNES TO MAVS?: The Warriors closed their preseason with a 136-97 rout of the Lakers in Los Angeles on Thursday night. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson scored 24 points each, while Harrison Barnes added 23 more.
Of far greater interest was the rumor that had Barnes and Brandon Rush headed to the Dallas Mavericks in return for rookie Justin Anderson and Raymond Felton.
Barnes has dreams of a maximum contract that will pay him upward of $23 million annually in the open market next summer. That would make the career 9.6-points-per-game scorer the highest-paid player on the Warriors’ roster. He already has turned down a four-year, $64 million offer.
Twenty-three mil? For Harrison Barnes?
Yeah, Balls had the same reaction.
The Warriors would waive Felton then take his salary and that of Barnes to enter the Kevin Durant sweepstakes next summer. In the meantime, Andre Iguodala could move to a starter role with Anderson and James Michael McAdoo in reserve.
The loss of Barnes would be no small one. He’s athletic, shoots the ball well and can defend at multiple positions. He’s also 23 years old with the potential to get better.
In the big picture, though, it doesn’t make sense to pay Barnes that much more than he’s worth and throw the team salary structure out of whack at the same time.
The two sides have until Nov. 2 to reach an agreement before Barnes becomes a restricted free agent after the season.
ROLL OUT THE CREDITS: Now that the New York Mets are headed to the World Series, it’s time to give the locals their due.
In search of a third baseman, Giants general manager Brian Sabean had Daniel Murphy scouted extensively before the trade deadline. But when Matt Duffy started to come around, the hunt was called off, although Murphy would have been valuable at second base after Joe Panik went down later.
Murphy has been the story of the postseason with home runs in six consecutive games, and he credits the guy who bats behind him for the success. That’s Yoenis Cespedes, as A’s fans know all too well.
“I try not to think about it too much,” Murphy said of his sudden longball prowess. “Just one of those things where you feel good in there, try not to think about it too much. I’ve said this before, but you see what David [Wright] did and the way he swung the bat, and then the way [Cespedes] is swinging the bat behind me. I’m in the best spot in the lineup you could possibly be in between those two guys right now.”
CES SAYS: Cespedes bowed out of Game 4 of the NLCS because of a sore left shoulder, but he was able to spray champagne afterward, so the injury wasn’t too severe, apparently.
Cespedes played golf earlier in the day, which he did before night games on occasion, but he claimed the injury took place when he lifted weights hours later.
“[Golf] is what really helps me with my swing in baseball,” Cespedes told the New York Post. “Some people who have been playing golf for years learn that I’ve only played a year and a half, they can’t believe it and they say, ‘Incredible.’ I’ve been thinking about it — if there is an opportunity to play professionally later, maybe not PGA, but I would like to play golf professionally.”
Yep, only the A’s could trade a six-tool player.
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