Tick. Tick. Tick.
The boom is coming; it’s just a matter of time. And the countdown arguably accelerated after Thursday night’s loss, when the owner’s decision to take to Twitter was matched by the daughter of 49ers G.M. Trent Baalke. Said Cassie Baalke, a college freshman, about the team’s offensive coordinator: “Greg Roman can take a hike. The 49ers don’t want you no more.”
The real question is whether and to what extent that opinion was influenced by anything she’s heard from her father. It’s also fair to ask whether this relatively meaningless spark will blow the lid off the relationship between Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh, who brought Roman to the 49ers from Stanford and who has plenty of influence over the currently uncoordinated offense that Roman coordinates.
For whatever reason (and probably for more than one reason), tension has existed for a while between Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh. A recent profile of Harbaugh by Seth Wickersham of ESPN The Magazine mentioned the painfully awkward shared elevator ride at the Scouting Combine, where the two supposed partners in football behaved like total strangers. And as one league source explained it to PFT in August, no interaction of any kind was witnessed between Harbaugh and Baalke during a multi-day preseason stay in Baltimore for a game and joint practices with the Ravens.
So could Cassie Baalke’s deleted tweet become the equivalent of Gavrilo Princip’s bullet? While there’s a good chance Archduke Ferdinand already has been dead for months, it’s the kind of tangible event that could trigger the kind of snide back and forth between G.M. and coach that turns a crack into a compound fracture.