The Niners are a paranoid lot these days, with Mike Singletary focusing all the blame on dad-gum (or is it dag-gum?) Yahoo, Dennis O’Donnell, headsets, helmet microphones and everything else other than the head coach and the quarterback. No wonder they caught wind of Golden State Warriors media day, found out the heavy hitters were all going to attend, and decided to fire their offensive coordinator to hijack the news cycle.
Not that I’m complaining, since otherwise if the entire Bay Area media scene flocked to Oakland I probably wouldn’t have been able to as easily interview all those Warriors yesterday. But after hearing about the firing of Jimmy Raye on KNBR while walking to BART on my way to Tweedia Day, I thought to myself, “Those Niners wanted to steal the Warriors’ shine!”
So what now for the 49ers, Giants and everyone else who’s been extremely busy since the last time we hit up the old ROY Tracker? Well, the Giants vanquished the Rockies (R.I.P.), with Matt Cain proving yet again that while Brian Wilson has the more eye-popping stats, Aubrey Huff the more eye-popping underwear and Andres Torres the more stomach-popping appendix, Cain should win the Willie Mac Award for the second consecutive year on Friday.
The 49ers were out-coached to the degree that if they played in the AFC or NFC East, columnists from Bill Simmons to Peter King would be lambasting them for the other team knowing what plays they’d be running before they snapped the ball. (Wait, Simmons already destroyed the Niners before Sunday’s game? Oh….) What an embarrassment. Raye never should have been hired anyway, so it feels wrong to congratulate Singletary for acting with conviction or some other lame cliche. I know Alex Smith isn’t perfect, but I and many others have this lingering feeling that a coaching staff that knows what they’re doing would have the 49ers at 3-0 right now, or at least 2-1 (Kansas City is tough to beat at home when they suck, let alone when they have their best group of running backs since Christian Okoye and Barry Word).
The Raiders are part of the NFC West in terms of skill and mindset, even if technically they’re in the other conference. The Athletics got eliminated from playoff contention this weekend, so be on the lookout for Lew Wolff noting how few “meaningless games” they played in 2010. If they don’t sign any hitters this off-season, we’ll be in for another year of injury complaints and Mark Purdy columns about territorial rights in San Jose.
And in the rookie race, things are chugging along. Slowly. Something tells me this weekend will decide it all…
Current stats: .279/.393/.460, 18 HR, 10 SB, 3.1 UZR/150, 4.4 WAR
Last night Since the last NL ROY Tracker:Â 2-for-13, 2 singles, 1 BB, 5 K. Braves won two of three games to stay 0.5 game ahead of the Padres in the wild card. Heyward’s slowing down — he hasn’t had an extra base hit since a homer against the Mets on 9/17, his only extra base hit in the last 13 games. One note: Heyward’s OBP is falling to the point where he no longer looks like he’ll finish over .400, which would have been a nice point on his side for voters leaning toward voting for him.
Chances of winning NL ROY: 49%
Current stats: .317/.368/.513, 16 HR, 0 SB, 21/58 CS, 3.9 WAR
Last night Since the last NL ROY Tracker: 1-for-7, 2 BB. The Giants split the weekend games against Colorado, who were so distraught after losing 2 of 3 to the Giants that they actually lost to the Dodgers last night. As for the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year, they both seem to be on the tired side. We’ll see in the next few days whether yesterday’s day off will give Posey an advantage.
Chances of winning NL ROY: 51%