Payback? John Harbaugh needs ‘W’

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh was prepared for someone to pop the Big One on Wednesday, and the local media didn’t disappoint him.

As payback for the way the 49ers cut the cord with younger brother Jim last offseason, does Harbaugh want to beat the daylights out of them on Sunday?

“I knew it would be a question,” Harbaugh said in on a media conference call. “It’s a good question. Fair question.”


“You really don’t have time for that,” John said. “[There’s] too much to worry about, too much to prepare for, too many things that we’re dealing with to even think about that stuff. It’s irrelevant with what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Then again, what did you expect Harbaugh say? “Jed York was an idiot to get rid of my brother, so yeah, we’re gonna kick his team’s butt from here to Redwood City!”

Balls doubts that the the desperate Ravens could run up the score on Fresno State this weekend. They’re also a 1-4 team whose defense is about as bad as the 49ers’ right now, if you can believe it. The Raiders handed the Ravens one of their four losses.

Don’t kid yourself. If the Ravens leave Santa Clara with a two-point victory in overtime, Jim’s big brother will take it.

“I’ve said this before many times, but Jim loved his time there,” John said. “He loved the players, loved the fans, loved being a 49er. They had four great years and, you know, everybody moves on to the next thing in life. And I think once you kind of realize all that. … That’s how he feels about it. He feels great about it. If he feels great about it, I feel great about it for him. Other than that, I’m not involved in that at all. Never was.”

Besides, it’s not like Jim Harbaugh is a miserable coach in Ann Arbor, Mich., or anything. With a victory over rival Michigan State this weekend, he might end up as National Coach of the Year — if not in the College Football Playoff.

WHAT’S UP WITH THE DUBS? Yeah, it was only the preseason, but the Warriors were pretty bad again Tuesday night, this time in a 114-103 loss to the Denver Nuggets at Oracle Arena.

Once again, defense was optional for the Champs, who coughed up 92 points in the first three periods. Bet that made coach Steve Kerr and his bum back feel really good.

“We have to make the decision that we want to shut people down again like we did last year,” interim coach Luke Walton said. “When we get stops — and it happened again [Tuesday] where we get two or three stops and we get out and get scoring — that’s who we are. That’s the identity that we have built.”

For the most part, that’s not who the Warriors have been ever since Kerr was forced to take a leave of absence last month. Whoever stole their identity, they have 12 days to find it. That’s when the regular season starts.

As for Harrison Barnes, an MRI exam on his right knee revealed a bone bruise. He is listed as day to day — and he might want to rethink that $64 million offer he rejected recently.

HEAVY HEART: Walton wasn’t himself, either, but at least he had a valid excuse. His thoughts were with former teammate Lamar Odom, who was in critical condition after an apparent overdose.

“Lamar is a brother to me,” he said, who along with Odom played for two Los Angeles Lakers championship teams. “I absolutely love that man. My prayers are with him. It’s tough thinking about him just laying there.”

Earlier in the day, Odom was found unresponsive at the Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nev. According to a report, he suffered brain damage and at least one stroke as a result of multiple drugs that were found in his system. Another report said he suffered a heart attack.

“I didn’t want to check my phone during the game because I was afraid to hear any other news on it,” an emotional Walton said afterward. “I don’t really know what’s happening right now.”

DATE WITH DESTINY: Stanford has a big date with UCLA at home tonight. A victory would give the Cardinal a 1.5-game lead over Cal in the North Division and a clear path to the Pac-12 championship game in nearby Santa Clara.

Stanford also has the more friendly schedule. The Golden Bears have home games against USC, Oregon State and Arizona State and road tests against UCLA and Oregon. The Cardinal have dates with Washington and Oregon at home and Stanford, Washington State and Colorado on the road.

If it takes the Big Game in Palo Alto on Nov. 21 to settle this thing, then all the better.

ROTH REMEMBERED: Speaking of Cal, the film “Don’t Quit: The Joe Roth Story” will air on Oct. 27, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 on Pac-12 Networks. The annual Joe Roth Memorial Game will also be played on Oct. 31, when USC visits Memorial Stadium.

Roth was the Heisman Trophy candidate who played the last half of the 1976 season with melanoma. The quarterback passed away at 21 years of age, a life snuffed out much too early.

YOUR TURN: “I don’t think Latavius Murray has got a toughness problem. My feeling is that (offense coordinator) Bill Musgrave doesn’t design the right plays to make Murray effective. After all, have you noticed that Amari Cooper was all but ignored in the second half in the past two games? Why would you ignore your team’s biggest weapon?” — Tom Ryugo, San Francisco.

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