Aldon Smith’s latest brush with infamy – the felony gun charge brought against him Wednesday – pretty much screams the rest of the year off, just to help him get all the parts of his life together. Even if the charges are reduced to misdemeanors, it seems clear his plate is very full indeed without the breezy nonsense excuse of “We thought playing was the best thing for him, and that’s the decision we made.”
And now that the schedule has lightened and the defense has improved, it will be that much easier for the 49ers to do “the best thing for him.”
X X X
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers made it clear in an interview on Phoenix radio station KTAR that he wants his pitchers to protect his hitters with what used to be called “purpose pitches” – pitches whose purpose are to make the other team’s hitters enjoy the cuisine of the batter’s box dirt.
He also inferred that pitching coach Charles Nagy was fired in part because he didn’t insist on that very thing. He also said he would move any pitcher who didn’t like to do it his way. "Some of them, contractually, it's tough to move, but I think come spring training, it will be duly noted that it's going to be an eye for an eye and we're going to protect one another. If not, if you have options, there's ways to get you out of here and if you don't follow suit or you don't feel comfortable doing it, you probably don't belong in a Diamondbacks uniform . . . if Goldy's (first baseman Paul Goldschmidt) getting hit, it's an eye for an eye. Somebody's going down, or somebody's going to get jackknifed.”
That would be in keeping with the new sabermetric rage, KJ/IP – KNIVES JACKED per INNINGS PITCHED. Evidently the Diamondbacks were right around zero.
X X X
Key Washington Indigenous People’s Football Team news: Owner Danny Snyder issued an open letter to fans to defend his continued use of “Redskins,” citing once again the team’s original heritage and its second coach, Lone Star Dietz, as one of several Native Americans who helped make the team’s nickname defensible.
Only it seems Dietz impersonated a Native American going back to 1916, 16 years before the team began. Not that this should move you from your position one way or another, but it is good to know that Snyder’s ear for public opinion is as tinny as ever . . . unless, of course, this story is the real and true end game for the controversy.
X X X
Hey, wasn’t Rex Ryan supposed to be fired by now?
X X X
The big “fans accost Matt Schaub in his home” story fizzled pretty quickly, when it turned out that one stickwit (rather than many) was taking photos of his home (rather than barging into the house to scare the family). Not that Schaub isn’t still unpopular in the Greater Houston area, mind you, but let’s try to get out “quarterback terrorized by angry mob” stories straight, shall we?
X X X
And speaking of good-natured civilians, Ivaylo Petev’s first presser as the new coach of Bulgarian soccer power Levski Sofia went pretty much the way you thought it would – except, of course, for the angry hooligans who barged into it, confronted Petev and then stripped him of his team-issued shirts and tried literally to shove him out the door .
The reason, of course? According to the lovely boys and girls at Who Ate All The Pies, they think he is secretly a fan of the team’s deeply loathed archrival, CSKA Sofia, come to destroy their club from within, even though he has never played nor coached at CSKA, and his prior successes were with two-time champion Ludogorets.
I don’t know . . . because that’s what they do in Bulgaria when they don’t have 24/7 sports talk to make them insane, I guess.
X X X
And finally, heads up, Tomas Hertl. Now that people know who you are, players on other teams know who you are, and will rain blows upon you when the officials are otherwise engaged to remind you who they are. It is the way of our people, son, so stay loose out there for the benefit of your 20th birthday.