So the latest whirl of the Santa Clara GTFO Wheel has landed on Paraag Marathe, long believed to be Jed York’s closest confidante and most powerful underling.
Nobody seems to know why, whether there was one smoking gun or a series of missteps or a power play from inside the big cheese floor, or just Jed’s diminishing tolerance rearing its misshapen head yet again, but Marathe’s ouster means that the two most powerful 49er executives not named or related to York are now Al Guido, a business-side guy, and general manager Trent Baalke.
Suggestions that Marathe’s demotion/dismissal came as a result of a series of leaks to national football writers discrediting or demeaning Colin Kaepernick are being made, and that might well be so. It is hard, however, to see how Marathe would be so emboldened as to leak without prior permission, either directly or otherwise, from York himself. This seems more like a cover story than the triggering deed.
But even if it isn’t, it then means that Marathe thought leaking was part of the executive’s prerogative in the organization, and one can only imagine where he got that idea.
In other words, barring further elucidation or an actual sit-down with Jed and a vat of sodium pentothal, Marathe’s elimination could be for any number of reasons, including Jed’s short ire span. Pick the story you like and stick to it, because nobody’s telling any truths about this any time soon.
The franchise has tumbled from its three-year orbit and is burning on re-entry, and between Jim Harbaugh, Kaepernick and Marathe, it looks like York is performing a slow-motion purge of those who irk him for one reason or another. Even if Marathe is just a fall guy for the missteps of others, we can safely conclude that York has reached the stage of his ownership where everyone and everything irritates the hell out of him.
Suddenly, the crown not only weighs heavy on the brow of the king, but it has the handy thorned inner lining. York is angry about what has happened with the former centerpiece of the family empire (the stadium is now the new favorite), and his impulse seems to demand swift, violent change.
This can’t mean easier sleep for Baalke, or for that matter, head coach Jim Tomsula. Once uproar is unleashed, it burns out on its own timetable –- either more heads will roll, or York will finally give up and turn the entire operation over to Guido, or perhaps even someone outside the building.
This isn’t about fixing the problem, whatever the hell the problem actually is, but about assuaging Jed’s growing dissatisfaction with being exactly the target of public derision his father was. He swore that wouldn’t happen, and now he walks in his dad’s steps, stride for stride, his patience growing shorter, his willingness to explain himself now at a sub-microscopic level.
So whatever it is Paraag Marathe did to earn Jed York’s enmity -– blabbing too much, back-sassing the boss, leaning over his skis too aggressively, being in the room at the wrong time, eating the last turkey sandwich –- the real story here is that Jed York is not to be trifled with inside the 49er halls. Nobody is safe from a club president who is about to host the football world and has only his shortening temper to show the world.