We Bay Area fans are an optimistic lot, we really are. Sure, there’s a good deal of whining that goes on, but you’d hear that in any large media market forced to deal with the volume of mediocrity we’ve been saddled with over the past 15 years.
But when Michael Crabtree — only the most exciting player in college football last year — fell to the No. 10 selection overall in the NFL Draft, we all had visions. The 49ers had just announced their new throwback uniforms just hours before, and the team was now on its way to playing like they used to as well. When B.J. Raji went to the Packers, a starving fanbase suddenly had visions of Jerry Rice coming into camp and running the hills with Crabtree, showing the youngster the tricks and work ethic it takes to ensure he doesn’t become some ordinary 800 yard, 5 TD receiver.
Now we’ll be lucky if we even see Crabtree on the field before September, if you believe Dan Brown and Tim Kawakami.
A highly placed NFL source said the contract stalemate between the 49ers and first-round draft pick Michael Crabtree is likely to drag on until at least shortly before the season opener at Arizona.
In other words: Don’t expect to see Crabtree during any of the 49ers’ four exhibition games.
I love that second paragraph. That has Kawakami’s fingerprints all over it. A direct call for panic. Awesome.
Who knows, Crabtree and the 49ers could come to some sort of surprise accord next week, Rice will get lowered into camp from his FLASH80 Helicopter, and Eddie Debartolo will walk up to Jed York and say, “Thanks son, I’ll take it from here.”
Even though we’ve been burned by Kawakami’s sources before (MONTA ELLIS WILL NEVER WEAR A WARRIOR UNIFORM AGAIN!!!!!), something just doesn’t seem right about this Crabtree thing (plus, Matt Maiocco verified the story himself, showing that Twitter is almost as good for admitting you’ve been scooped as it is for scooping someone yourself). The Niners can’t cave in here, and Crabtree seems like me might be the type of guy who’d rather sit out a year than have to deal with catching passes thrown by Shaun Hill and Alex Smith. When you think about the Crabtree’s future as a 49ers fan, it’s tough not to let a little pessimism creep in. Oh well, we’re used to it.
The long arm of Bochy
— Glad to see the Giants’ No. 3 manager sticks with to the Schierholtz Master Plan. I joke of course, since everyone knows ejected managers make every decision and send messengers back and forth from the clubhouse to the dugout with the boss’s orders. And you know who’s been awesome against lefties this season? Aaron Rowand! Nothing more fun than watching Schierholtz get removed from the game on Gamechannel, and wait for the inevitable double play on the 30-second refresh.
— Can’t say I saw any of the bad calls today, just heard about ’em. I don’t think the umps were fixing any of the games, since it’s so much easier and less detectable to fix a game from behind the plate than at first base. But there’s definitely a backstory here, because these umpires were absolutely against the Giants in this series. My first guess is Bengie Molina said something rude to Bill Hohn at a prior point in the season. Either that or they were in town and heard Jon Miller ripping them during the KNBR Midnight Giants Replay.
— I didn’t know Nancy Gay was writing for Fanhouse, who seems to be positioning itself as the rich man’s Examiner. That’s not a bad thing. Anyway, she writes that the 49ers are doing the right thing in standing up to Crabtree. It’s really too bad this guy’s such a greedy asshole. He was primed to be the most famous and beloved player on the team, especially if he caught a touchdown or two in the opener against Arizona. If there’s anything fans hate, it’s holdouts, and these days nobody’s in the mood to hear anybody bitching about how they should get Darrius Heyward-Bey money.