Rumors of the 49ers' front-office shuffle have been greatly exaggerated.
San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News columnists obviously didn't get the memo from the visiting Chester Pitts, who said, "Everybody has things that go on in their lives. In football, there are plenty of people who will step in and fill that role."
Merc columnist Tim Kawakami led off the Scot McCloughan stories with this headline: "Latest crisis points to 49ers' lack of stability."
Kawakami gets accolades for a sensational headline, whether or not a headline writer wrote it.
In his column, he wrote: "Scot McCloughan is out, the 49ers' front office is in turmoil ..."
He then referred to the organization as "declaring 49ers martial law. Hunkering down and locking up the compound. Handing out battlefield promotions and pretending that everything is fine when we all know that chaos reigns."
If martial law resulted in "locking up the compound," how can there be chaos? Martial law usually imposes control and order. Chaos usually means the opposite.
That is, until Kawakami redefined both with ridiculous, conflicting metaphors. Has Kawakami been watching too much of The Military Channel?
Later he refers to the Yorks' "kingdom." Wait, I thought it was a compound. Hey, Tim, could you at least be consistent with your witless metaphors? Please?
Plus, even though Kawakami is a columnist, he should still provide facts to back up his claims, or is that too old-fashioned?
The Chronicle's Gwen Knapp showed she is drinking the same hyperbole-filled drinks as Kawakami, when she wrote this about the 49ers:
"They don't have a steady hand on the rudder. They're not even sure that they want one. They have handed McCloughan's authority, but not his job title, to player and personnel director Trent Baalke through the draft next month. After that?"
Knapp can mock York all she wants, but based on The Chronicle's own stories, the 49ers certainly do not seem to lack a steady hand.
As for what should be fact-based news reporting, The Chronicle's David White, a fine writer, stepped into hyperbole when he wrote this:
"[Coach Mike Singletary] can't even bring himself to pretend there's 'nothing to see here' behind the yellow-taped scene at team headquarters."
Singletary indicated there may be rough spots, but White contradicted his own claim when he also quoted Singletary as saying, "We're not one guy."
He went on to write, "No, they're not. The 49ers are an organization of titles and flow charts. ..."
Hmmm. So what's up with the yellow tape?
A story by John Crumpacker in Saturday's Chronicle is a further indication the 49ers are not rudderless, leaderless, etc.
"The team will seemingly not experience a power vacuum in the front office as director of player personnel Trent Baalke is now the man in charge," Crumpacker wrote.
The winner of the most hyperbolic goes to Knapp for this:
"York formally announced the departure of Scot McCloughan from the general manager's job with the 49ers on Monday night, saying the team had 'been prepared for this.' By that, he apparently meant that the 49ers had buckets and lifejackets handy when the water started coming in."
Given the fact that over the past decade both The Chronicle and The Merc have hemorrhaged readers, perhaps Knapp and Kawakami could use the lifejackets and buckets.