We just got back from a mini-road trip that started in Mendocino and ended this afternoon at a pool at a swanky hotel in Sonoma County (reports that we snuck into the pool are unconfirmed at this time). That’s what happens when you’re about to have your first kid in less than three months — you get all the acting-like-teenagers stuff out of your system. I’m surprised we didn’t t.p. anyone’s house this weekend.
Starting yesterday, river time briefly took priority over sports writing. The weather was nice near the Mendocino Coast — a rarity — and that’s when it’s time to get out of the hotel, make a stop at the grocery store/deli in Albion for sandwiches and all the rest, and head to our favorite sandy spot at the Navarro River.
The decision was made easier when I got back from breakfast yesterday and saw that Ray McDonald had been arrested the night before for domestic violence. I posted this reaction:
49ers say this as often as I wish people Happy B-day on Facebook. MT @mattbarrows “The 49ers organization is aware of the recent reports…”
— Bay Area Sports Guy (@BASportsGuy) August 31, 2014
As much as I wanted to stick around and watch Seahawks fans tweet “above reproach” repeatedly, it was time to get away from sports (and wi-fi/cell reception) for a few hours. Of course, the sports world never stops, so let’s play catchup right quick.
— Alex Boone got a raise, avoided training camp and had all of his no-show fines rescinded. Vernon Davis wasn’t as underpaid (relatively speaking) as Boone, but I wouldn’t blame him if he feels like should’ve held out longer.
— Dennis Allen read the room, or at least the Twitter timeline, and he has decided to #StartTheCarr.
— This doesn’t sound like great news for Matt Schaub, but he wasn’t set up to succeed with this team. The chances of Schaub either getting hurt or pick-6’d to the bench within the first game or two were exceedingly high. If Carr gets hurt, Schaub can step in and do a half-decent impression of an NFL quarterback. And fans love backup quarterbacks (unless their names happen to rhyme with Plain Crappert). But Carr’s arm is twice as strong as the old(er) man’s, and apparently he’s bright enough to pick up the offense well enough to trust him against the Jets in Week 1.
— Clearly the Schaub trade was a huge misstep. Guaranteeing $8 million to a guy who looked as bad as he did last season made no sense at the time (my headline on the day the deal was consummated included “what are the Raiders doing?), and it looks even worse now.
— After yesterday’s river time, we finally gathered enough KNBR reception on HYW 128 to catch the start of the Giants postgame show. We didn’t catch the score, so we had to follow along as Jon Miller described the game’s highlights. I started giggling deliriously during the description of Joaquin Arias’ double to drive in run No. 11, and lost it completely when we heard the replay of Joe Panik’s triple. What a weird team/season/sport. The Giants didn’t just win a series against a good team and play well at home, they swept a division leader and outscored them 31-8.
— The Rockies thwarted the Giants’ hopes of winning every one of their last 31 regular season games, but we got home in time to watch the ninth and I found myself expecting a victory *before* the Giants tied the game at 9-9. Quite the change from a week ago, when I went on that rant.
— In the wake of Aubrey Huff’s departure, a 95.7 The Game source described the station’s morning show situation as “a calamity.” Entercom changed their schedule around, promoted the morning show in commercials, and within five months the show goes kaput. If the description fits …
— Pablo Sandoval apparently experienced a belt failure this afternoon, which left Dave Flemming and Miller to navigate a potential minefield. “It must be the altitude,” Miller said, as Flemming tried his best not to crack up.
— Sandoval stepped on, then landed on, Michael McKenry’s arm. His reaction seems justified.
— The A’s added Adam Dunn (it’s kind of surprising that he took this long to find his way to Oakland), and immediately hits a home run in a five-run first inning.
— Here’s a fun game: Guess Dunn’s age. Wrong, he’s younger — 34, turning 35 in November. I could’ve sworn he was at least 38.
— A one-game playoff between the A’s and Tigers — the top two wild card teams at the moment — sounds like fun, and almost inevitable. The A’s are 4.5 games behind the Angels; the Giants are just two games behind the Dodgers. Care to predict what’ll happen in September?
— Those who cover the 49ers often joke about the team’s next arrest — who’ll get charged, the possible crimes, whether it’ll be 49er-on-49er crime. It didn’t seem as funny on Sunday morning. No one’s perfect, especially sportswriters. So you won’t find any moral grandstanding here.
People talk about Super Bowl hangovers — the 49ers have racked up seven arrests since losing in New Orleans to the Ravens. That puts them right up there with other notorious squads in recent years, like the Portland JailBlazers and those Bengals teams in the mid-2000s with the late Chris Henry. Speaking of team helmet stripes, Justin Smith was arrested for DUI in 2004 as a member of the Bengals, and former Bengal Ahmad Brooks accepted mediation after being charged with punching a woman in the face in 2008.
People make mistakes, people can change, and no team is perfect … but this situation is way past worrisome. It’s embarrassing how many alcohol-related arrests the 49ers have incurred in recent years (along with Chris Culliver’s presumably sober hit-and-run, brass knuckles incident), and it’s a pattern that shows no sign of slowing down.