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49ers S Goldson earning new label for hard hits

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49ers S Goldson earning new label for hard hits

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Dashon Goldson has a stack of manila envelopes in his locker, filing away the paperwork every time the NFL has fined the San Francisco 49ers safety.

While he has heard from the league office more than a dozen times in his six-year career, the letters often had little to do with his hard-hitting ways until this season.

Goldson estimates he has been fined $70,000 for socks, pants and other uniform violations - about $5,000 for each offense. He said his latest letter from the NFL, however, notified him of a $21,000 fine for an illegal hit Sunday night on Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, which Goldson plans to appeal.

All the crackdowns have earned the 49ers' franchise-tagged player a new league label: multiple offender. The Hawk, as teammates call Goldson for swooping in for shots on receivers, said the fines still won't change the way he plays when the 49ers (10-3-1) face the Seahawks (9-5) on Sunday night in Seattle with a chance to clinch the NFC West title.

``I don't have time to sit there and dictate in the timespan I have as a football player when I'm on the football field to dictate what's a clean and what's a not-so-clean hit,'' Goldson said. ``I'm not a dirty player. And that's just that.''

Goldson, playing on a one-year contract of $6.2 million, has had multiple fines for his play. Among them:

- $7,875 for a late hit on sliding Rams quarterback Sam Bradford on Dec. 2.

- $7,875 for taunting - unsportsmanlike conduct - after tackling Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch in October.

- $25,000 for punching Arizona receiver Early Doucet in November 2011 (Doucet was fined $10,000 for unnecessary roughness for striking Goldson in the helmet area).

- $5,000 for a late hit on Raiders receiver Louis Murphy in October 2010.

In his latest offense, officials whistled Goldson for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he barreled into Hernandez as the tight end was still in the air and turning to make a catch in the third quarter of San Francisco's 41-34 victory in Foxborough. Goldson put his feet together, spread his arms out wide and looked to the sky in a celebration that is becoming routine in San Francisco's secondary.

Niners defensive coordinator Vic Fangio disagreed with the call, but he understands that it's part of the NFL's safety-first approach to protect defenseless receivers.

``He wrapped the guy up, hit him right here in the chest area,'' Fangio said. ``I think what's happened, if it looks bad, the league has told officials to err on the side of caution.''

The violent collisions are a staple of San Francisco's defense.

Goldson believes the style is a big reason why the 49ers are tied with the Seahawks for the best scoring defense in the league, allowing only 15.6 points per game. On the next play against the Patriots, for instance, Hernandez looked timid and had a pass from Tom Brady pop off his hands that Aldon Smith scooped up for an interception.

``Hits like that get wide receivers the short hands,'' Goldson said. ``It's been proven throughout this league for years, and it's been proven since me and Donte (Whitner) have been back there making hits and our whole defense.''

Goldson has three interceptions this season after six last year - he had five in his four seasons combined. Others also have taken notice.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll praised the physicality of San Francisco's secondary this week. Looking back at the 49ers' 13-6 victory over Seattle at Candlestick Park in Week 7, Carroll said rookie quarterback Russell Wilson will have to be aware of Goldson and Whitner if they want a different result the second time around.

``Their safeties are ridiculous,'' Carroll said.

The only concern Goldson has about his rising reputation is that he could face a possible suspension if he's flagged for enough hits. While he wants players to be intimidated by his presence, he said he's not trying to hurt anybody and practices proper techniques. He also doesn't want to be known as the league's hardest hitter.

``I just want to be known,'' Goldson said, ``as a good football player.''

NOTES: DT Justin Smith did not practice for the second straight day with an elbow injury. Coach Jim Harbaugh had said on his radio show Tuesday that Smith will likely play but sounded unsure Wednesday. Neither spoke to reporters Thursday.

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Nats hold Wild Card spot with win over Cardinals

Washington Nationals Roundup: Nats hold Wild Card spot with win over Cardinals

As the wild-card race continues to heat up, the Washington Nationals did themselves a favor with a Tuesday night win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The win kept the Nats in sole place of the first wild-card spot, only 1.5 games above the Cubs and Brewers. 

Here are the latest news and notes.

Player Notes:

1B Howie Kendrick was superb, hitting a triple and homer while scoring two runs of his own. Meanwhile, SP Patrick Corbin reached double-digit strikeouts in six innings pitched for the first time since July in a great performance on the mound. C Kurt Suzuki reportedly felt good after swinging a bat before the Tuesday game. He was injured Sept. 7 and is hopeful to return next week.

Injuries:

C Spencer Kieboom, elbow, 60-Day IL, 2020

C Kurt Suzuki, elbow, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Joe Ross, arm, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Roenias Elias, arm, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Austen Williams, arm, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely

1B Matt Adams, shoulder, sidelined, day-to-day

RP John Venters, shoulder, 60-Day IL, 2020

RP Koda Golder, elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely

Coming Up:

Wednesday, Sept. 18: Nats at Cardinals, 1:15 p.m. at Busch Stadium

Friday, Sept. 20: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. at Marlins Park

Saturday, Sept. 21: Nats at Marlins, 6:10 p.m. at Marlins Park

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

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Orioles Roundup: Baltimore falls to Toronto, 8-5

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Orioles Roundup: Baltimore falls to Toronto, 8-5

The Baltimore Orioles lost the first of their penultimate home series for the season 8-5 to the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday night. 

Here are the latest player news and notes.

Player Updates:

OF Mason Williams crashed hastily into the back wall trying to prevent a Blue Jays score in the top of the ninth. It was 2B Cavan Biggio's line drive that ended up as a two-run triple to give the Blue Jays some cushion. That triple helped Biggio complete the cycle. Austin Hays replaced Williams while he was checked for a concussion. 

X-Ray tests came back negative for DH Renato Nunez after his left hand was hit by a pitch in Monday's loss to the Tigers. He could be back Wednesday. 

Injuries

DH Mark Trumbo, shoulder, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Hunter Harvey, biceps, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Josh Rogers, elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

SP Alex Cobb, back, 60-Day IL, 2020

Coming Up:

Wednesday, 9/18: Blue Jays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Thursday, 9/19: Blue Jays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Friday, 9/19: Mariners at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards

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