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• The whisper campaign mounted against Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers might be coming from the front office, not the locker room.
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• The players appear to be behind him. Besides, it wouldn’t exactly be a scoop if not everyone is on board with Harbaugh’s relentless hands-on style.
• More evidence: Harbaugh hasn’t yet been offered a contract extension, which would bring the matter to its conclusion.
• Memo to Jed York and Trent Baalke: Yes, Harbaugh is a bit off-center, but are you determined to return the 49ers to the good ol’ days with Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary?
• Amazing: Madison Bumgarner became the first lefty to pitch a shutout on the road in a winner-take-all-game since ... Sandy Koufax in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series.
• Derek Jeter didn’t slam in the postseason. Neither did Nomar Garciaparra, Honus Wagner, Robin Yount, Ozzie Smith or Bert Campaneris. Welcome to a one-man club, Brandon Crawford.
• The Giants went 2-5 vs. the Nationals. The pitching matchups favor the Nationals. Bumgarner will pitch only once. All factors point to the Nationals. And the Giants lead 1-0.
• The past doesn’t matter. Here’s the Giants’ record against the Pirates the last two seasons: 5-8.
• The Giants have won nine straight postseason games, seven of them elimination games. They’re the undead. Can’t kill ’em.
• Giants fans, deep inside, still like the fire burning in the eyes of Nationals manager Matt Williams.
• The Athletics led Kansas City 7-3 in the eighth with Jon Lester, the pitcher they acquired for Yoenis Cespedes, in control. And then the baseball gods slapped Billy Beane in the face.
• The A’s are 0-7 in win-or-go-home games under Beane. Worse, they’re 1-13 in elimination games.
• No Moneyball metric can explain it except ... the A’s margin for error is smaller than most.
• Lost in all the misery: Beane did something all A’s fans should admire – he gambled and went for the whole thing.
• You know it’s the playoffs when ... Kansas City, the team with the fewest homers this season, goes deep to beat the Angels in extra innings.
• More about sluggers: East Union High School’s homecoming on Friday was accented with an on-campus appearance by ... Mike Tyson.
• Dennis Allen was fired as Raiders coach by phone. He’s lucky. Methinks they nearly left him in London.
• Allen’s problem was that visor. Only one coach is allowed to wear a visor – Steve Spurrier.
• Bottom line: Allen had no chance with that clueless front office.
• Phil Mickelson’s rip job on captain Tom Watson at the Ryder Cup was right on substance. And wrong on timing.
• Tough medicine, but: The Europeans have won eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups because they hit the right shot or putt at the right time. And the Americans don’t.
• Wanted for Team USA: Fewer Webb Simpsons, more Patrick Reids and Jordan Spieths. And maybe a comeback from someone named Tiger Woods.
• Kings fans loved Omri Casspi. Now they can love him again.
• College of Idaho (3-1) is enjoying its first football season since 1977, thanks in part to its plucky quarterback: TeeJay Gordon (ex-Modesto Junior College).
• The NFL cares more about profit than the product. Otherwise, it would eliminate those dreadful Thursday night games.
• No 49ers quarterback handled himself with more integrity under duress than Alex Smith. The Faithful will give him a cheer – before kickoff.
• Harbaugh is so crazy that he’s led his team to within two plays of three consecutive Super Bowl appearances.
• Here’s why Harbaugh should stay if he’s given the chance: His brother, John, has a ring. So does his rival, Pete Carroll. He has none. He knows in his heart of hearts he’s better than both. And he can’t catch up at Michigan.