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After Giants win title, Niners getting their shot

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After Giants win title, Niners getting their shot

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) When Jim Harbaugh and Alex Smith drove in the Giants' victory parade last fall, players on San Francisco's championship baseball team hoped they might be able to return the favor if the 49ers could win it all a few months later.

Now, the Giants might just get that very chance with the NFC champion Niners headed to New Orleans to face the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.

Titletown USA very well could be moving out West - and soon.

``For sure!'' Giants general manager Brian Sabean said Sunday night.

San Francisco is trying to become the first market to win a World Series and Super Bowl in the same season since the Boston Red Sox accomplished it in 2004 and the New England Patriots followed suit in February 2005.

What's more, even the NBA's Golden State Warriors are giving Bay Area fans an awful lot to cheer and hopes of a playoff season.

The 49ers beat Atlanta and made it this far with a second-year quarterback boasting all of nine career starts to his name - 25-year-old Colin Kaepernick. The Giants captured their second championship in three years behind the play of an All-Star catcher who won the NL batting title and MVP after missing most of 2011 with a season-ending left leg and ankle injury - 25-year-old Buster Posey.

The teams have taken a similar path, too.

The Giants rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the NL division series to beat Cincinnati, then from a 3-1 hole in the NL championship series against the 2011 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals before manager Bruce Bochy's bunch pulled off an improbable World Series sweep of the well-rested Detroit Tigers.

On Sunday, the 49ers traveled to hostile Atlanta, erased a 17-0 deficit and held the Falcons scoreless over the second half for a 28-24 victory.

``One thing about our team is that all year we continued to find, and even through adversity, we continued to fight,'' linebacker Patrick Willis said.

With second-year coach Harbaugh leading the way, San Francisco is headed back to the Super Bowl for the first time since after the 1994 season, when it won its fifth championship during a remarkable run through the 1980s and 90s.

When the Giants rallied to beat the Reds, they became the first team in major league history to come back from a 2-0 deficit by taking three straight on the road. The 49ers snapped a five-game postseason road losing streak Sunday at Atlanta.

In late September, San Francisco's baseball players autographed a hat for Smith, the quarterback who had been fined $15,000 last season by the NFL for sporting a Giants hat after games - though the fine was later dropped. Bochy wore a 49ers hat in the dugout before a game to show Smith - who later threw out a ceremonial first pitch during the playoffs - that the Giants appreciated him.

``We're having fun with this. It's our way of supporting him for supporting us,'' Bochy said at the time. ``We're all 49er fans here. This is in honor of Alex. I'm glad he didn't have to pay the fine. That's good news.''

Infielder Ryan Theriot also bought 49ers hats for his teammates, while quirky reliever Sergio Romo dressed in full 49ers garb after one of his games. He sported a red Aldon Smith No. 99 jersey, and also attended a 49ers game and met players in the locker room afterward - even seeking a few autographs and getting a hug and handshake from tight end Vernon Davis.

San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt rode with Harbaugh in the Halloween victory parade through the city.

``He might have gotten more claps than I did,'' Belt said, only half-joking.

Harbaugh quickly nixed that notion a couple of days later.

Giants CEO Larry Baer's favorite sign he saw on parade day read: ``San Francisco, Happiest Place on Earth.''

Hard to argue this is the place to be right about now - especially for the avid sports fan.

``San Francisco fans need to sit back and enjoy,'' former Giants first baseman J.T. Snow said Sunday. ``They have no reason to ever complain again! Be happy! San Francisco has two great leaders in Boch and Harbaugh.''

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Capitals make another round of cuts sending several players to Hershey

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USA Today Sports

Capitals make another round of cuts sending several players to Hershey

With Hershey Bears training camp set to start on Monday, the Caps have sent a number of players to the AHL in the latest round of roster cuts. Mathias Bau, Hampus Gustafsson, Beck Malenstyn, Mason Mitchell, Brian Pinho, Kristofers Bindulis, Tobias Geisser have all been returned to Hershey. Grant Besse, who was on an AHL contract, has been returned as well. Mark Simpson has been released from his tryout agreement.

Of the players returned, there are no major surprises. The Caps only have room to add a fourth line center and possibly one or two extra forwards as well as a backup goalie and none of the players listed were in serious contention for taking one of those spots.

The moves cut Washington’s roster down to 43. The maximum roster allowed in-season is 23 players, provided the salaries fit under the $79.5 million salary cap ceiling.

The latest round of cuts still leave up for grabs the fourth line center job as Nic Dowd, Travis Boyd and Jayson Megna still remain on the current roster.

After playing four preseason games, the Caps have three more contests remaining before the start of the season. With plenty of prospects still on the roster, you can expect several of those players to be in the lineup for Tuesday’s game in St. Louis.

“For me, it's really important, really important for the overall direction of our organization to have our young players playing games,” head coach Todd Reirden said Friday. “We have to have them playing games. We can easily put out almost our entire roster to play [Friday’s] game, but that is not where we're at. We're about developing players within our organization, seeing where they're at, gauging the success that maybe they've already had in terms of their careers and seeing whether they're ready for this step or not.

“For the first four games you go through for sure a trial and error and you get to really gauge where your prospects are at. I've always felt strongly about that with young players and given them an opportunity to either stay or leave. It is in their hands. They're making the decisions for me.”

 

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Redskins reportedly cut Breshad Perriman, promote Kapri Bibbs

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USA Today Sports

Redskins reportedly cut Breshad Perriman, promote Kapri Bibbs

After the Redskins signed receivers Michael Floyd and Breshad Perriman earlier this week, many wondered how long the team would carry seven wide receivers on the 53-man roster. The answer turns out to be not very long at all.

According to multiple media reports, the Redskins released Perriman today. He was a first-round draft pick of the Ravens in 2015 and was touted as a rare combination of size (6-2, 215) and speed (4.24 in the 40 at his pro day). But a variety of injuries derailed his career before it got started. Baltimore released him on September 1 and he was a free agent until the Redskins signed him on Monday.

What this week amounted to was a three-day competition between Floyd and Perriman for one roster spot. The Redskins liked Floyd, who has had a more productive NFL career than Perriman, and they made the move.

Floyd is likely to be inactive tomorrow when the Redskins host the Packers. They then have a bye and will see if they can get him involved in the offense when they play the Saints on October 8.

As a corresponding move, the Redskins promoted running back Kapri Bibbs from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. He was very close to making the team when they did the final roster cuts, but he was caught in a numbers game. He will take the running back spot vacated when Rob Kelley was moved to injured reserve earlier this week.

Bibbs likely will join Floyd on the inactive list tomorrow. He is considered to be a third-down back and as long as Chris Thompson is healthy, Bibbs is unlikely to see much action.

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