Could be that Tim Lincecum has thrown his final pitch for the Giants, maybe his last in the major leagues period.
Some people find that sad — at 31, Lincecum should be in the prime of his career — but Balls isn’t one of them. The guy has been paid $99 million in his 10-year career. He made the most of two off-the-charts seasons, basically. A lot of people would take that trade-off in an Embarcadero minute.
H-BOMB RESERVES SPOT: Earlier this week, Jarryd Hayne denied that he confided to friends that he already had nailed down a roster spot, but after his performance in the preseason finale at Levi’s Stadium on Thursday, the 49ers’ rookie could tell them now. The rookie totaled 118 yards on 15 touches in the 14-12 victory and showed that he was more than a one-trick rugby player.
On one run in the third period, Hayne side-stepped two defenders for a 19-yard gain. Moments later, H-Bomb picked up 12 more on a short toss then put 192-pound cornerback Lowell Rose on his back. He also returned two punts for 15 yards and made a tackle for a loss of one yard on the punt coverage unit.
“I’m not going to disrespect any other player,” coach Jim Tomsula said. “But I will tell you that Jarryd is a tough guy.”
Tomsula benched his starters, partly because of a revamped offensive, mostly because of health considerations. Back-up quarterback Blaine Gabbert also did not see action.
Hayne’s family was in attendance.
“Yeah, it was good, I think,” Hayne said of his performance. “For the first time, I was comfortable and got my pads low, which is good. So it’s good to be working on that all the time and finally get that down pat.”
ELL OF A NIGHT: Hayne had competition for punt return duty from second year wide receiver Bruce Ellington, who was clocked at 4.31 and 4.37 in the 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine last year.
“Everything will be clear-cut after the weekend,” Tomsula said of his plans.
On the biggest play of the night, Ellington caught a quick slant from Dylan Thompson then outran two defenders for a 70-yard touchdown. He returned one punt for 26 yards and had a 59-yarder called back because of a penalty.
Ellington said he was helped in a small way by what Tomsula called a “man’s talk” about body maintenance last spring.
“Coming in, I was young and didn’t think I needed to do sprints and go out and run,” said Ellington, whose sore hamstring wasn’t healed yet. “But I realized that I had to take care of my whole body. Me and [Tomsula] have a great rapport, just him staying on me and helping me keep my body where it needs to be shows that he cares.”
ARE YOU READY, EDDIE? The next Hall of Fame class will be announced on the eve of Super Bowl 50, and it would be fitting for 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. to get the call on the day of big game in Santa Clara.
DeBartolo is a Hall of Fame finalist for the fourth time, and there’s no question that he deserves a permanent place in Canton, Ohio. The 49ers won five Super Bowls in his 23-year term, the most for any owner in NFL history. Almost as remarkable, Eddie D. was one of the few owners in professional team sports who was almost universally liked by his players and vice versa.
DeBartolo was suspended for one year after he pleaded guilty to a felony for the failure to report an extortion attempt, which effectively ended his reign as owner. But unlike its baseball counterpart, the criteria for Pro Football Hall Fame induction is based on performance alone and makes him a lock for induction eventually.
GROUND CHUCK: The Raiders rushed for all of 27 yards in a 31-21 loss to the Seahawks in Seattle. They finished the postseason with an average of 2.8 yards per carry.
WHERE HAVE YOU GONE… Art Shell and Gene Upshaw?