CEO Jed York looks to lead 49ers back to greatness


CEO Jed York looks to lead 49ers back to greatness

NEW ORLEANS (AP) When Jed York attended his first football game at age 3, he had already developed an eye for watching the way his uncle ran the San Francisco 49ers during their glory days.

Nearly three decades later, the Niners are York's team - and he is trying to build something just as special as the dynasty Eddie DeBartolo Jr. had when the franchise won five Super Bowls in as many tries.

That first game was in Cleveland, ``sitting on Jennifer Montana's lap,'' York recalled Thursday. ``I traveled with my family a lot to go see games. When you're a little kid and you watch how Eddie was with the players, it's just, `that's how you do it.'''

York has some catching up to do.

He can count the good seasons by his San Francisco franchise on one hand. That's why he keeps the comparisons between him and his uncle - ``he was the best ever'' - to a minimum.

``We're short, we're unathletic ... grew up in Youngstown, Ohio,'' York said of him and DeBartolo, who is up for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. ``I think we both dress very well.''

A casually dressed York hardly looked the part of an NFL executive and owner, wearing slightly baggy jeans, a polo shirt and sneakers for Super Bowl.

The shoes were designer, but still.

In a matter of months, the San Francisco 49ers CEO has become a first-time father, watched a new billion-dollar stadium take shape outside his office at team headquarters in Silicon Valley and seen his San Francisco franchise return to the Super Bowl - 18 years after the last championship. Not bad for a guy going on 32 (his birthday is in March).

The hands-on DeBartolo was a locker room fixture when he owned the team from 1977-98 and won five Super Bowls. He took care of his players - still does - even the injured ones, and was affectionately known as ``Mr. D.''

York does it his way, staying behind the scenes and trusting general manager Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh to make the right decisions.

After much change from top to bottom, York takes pride in the progress but won't be happy until his Niners are Super Bowl regulars again.

``I think we're proud. We've put in the work to get here but there's a long way for us still to go,'' York said. ``I don't know that there's a lot of reflection right now.''

Next up: bringing home another Lombardi Trophy to the sports-crazed Bay Area, where the San Francisco Giants captured their second World Series title in three years last fall. The 49ers are a remarkable 5-0 in Super Bowls heading into Sunday's NFL championship game against Baltimore.

They are on their ``Quest for Six'' - the slogan for this special run - thanks to York's aggressive leadership. He promoted Trent Baalke to general manager, and together they aggressively pursued Harbaugh before ultimately hiring him away from Stanford in January 2011.

``You can't worry about the negative things and even now, being in the final four the last two years, being in the Super Bowl now, I don't think I'm as good as people are saying, either,'' York said. ``Don't listen to the sweet words of praise because that's not what this is about, it's about working to get better each day and making sure you sustain success.''

As is his style, York blended in well Thursday during Super Bowl media festivities in his laid-back attire, saying, ``I'm just chillin' right now.''

And he was happy his phone stopped working to give him a short break from the daily chores of running a professional sports team, including managing a $1.1 billion stadium project in time for its 2014 opening and making a Super Bowl bid.

``When you think about it, what Jed York has done here the last two years, completely revamping his senior leadership team, bringing on coach Harbaugh, promoting Trent Baalke to general manager - those guys both won awards for the best in their field last year - we got financing for the new stadium this year, everything's going pretty well,'' second-year team president Gideon Yu said.

DeBartolo is still a regular sounding board and mentor for his godson.

They speak on the phone, they email. York invited him to Atlanta as the 49ers' honorary captain, then DeBartolo presented the George Halas NFC championship trophy to his sister, Denise DeBartolo York, after San Francisco's 28-24 victory at Atlanta two weeks ago.

Jed York was put in charge of the team by his parents three years ago in his late 20s - a daunting task to say the least. They had assumed ownership of the Niners after DeBartolo Jr. received a one-year suspension from the NFL after being found guilty of failing to report a bribe by a government official, a felony.

``I'm thrilled to death. He's done a fantastic job,'' DeBartolo Jr. said. ``I actually just told somebody that I think what his greatest achievement is, besides the hires that he's made, he has taken his time and done it right with the organization. Jed has been standing in the background and he's given his football people - his really, really great football people - the autonomy to do what they do best, and that's to build a team and to win.''

York and wife, Danielle, welcomed son, Jaxon, on Oct. 27. Now, York wakes up at 5 a.m. many days and heads to the office, where he gets in four hours of work before most of his employees even arrive.

That way, he gets home to see his baby boy before bedtime.

``It is good crazy, definitely a lot less free time, and that's probably a good thing for everybody,'' York said. ``He's been great. It's one of those things where you really look forward going home. It's OK waking up at 5 o'clock in the morning to come in to work because you can go home and get to see him at night. That's the best part of my day.''

If the 49ers can beat Baltimore on Sunday at the Superdome, there will be much more for the young family to celebrate.

York isn't getting ahead of himself, or ponder how San Francisco could soon be the new Titletown USA.

``I haven't thought about Super Bowl rings,'' he said. ``I haven't thought about parades.''


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Can slumping Nationals, Gio Gonzalez end losing streak Monday vs. Padres?

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Can slumping Nationals, Gio Gonzalez end losing streak Monday vs. Padres?

When the Washington Nationals visited San Diego on May 7-9, they won the first two games of a three-game series to move within 1 1/2 games of the National League West lead.

At the time, the Nationals were on a bit of a run and the Padres were reeling with a 13-24 record.

Two weeks after that series, the Padres and Nationals meet again in Washington, D.C (7:05 p.m. ET, Monday). And the fortunes of the two teams have changed a bit.

Since winning that series finale at Petco Park to avoid being swept by the Nationals, the Padres have gone 7-4 and are riding a three-game winning streak.

The Nationals have gone 4-4 and just lost a third straight game to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday in Washington to slip four games off the lead in their division.

The Nationals are the home team this time for a three-game series that opens Monday night with a matchup of left-handers -- Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 2.36 ERA) going for Washington with Robbie Erlin (1-2, 3.46) making a spot start for San Diego.

On paper, the pairing clearly favors the hosts.

Erlin, 27, has met the Nationals twice in his career. Both games were at Nationals Park. Erlin is 0-2 in the matchups with a 16.39 ERA.

In Erlin's two previous outings in the nation's capital, Erlin has given up 17 runs, 19 hits and six walks with six strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings. The Nationals have hit .413 against Erlin, who has a 2.68 WHIP against Washington.

This will be only the second start of the season for Erlin, who returned this year after having Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery midway through 2016.

Thirteen of Erlin's 14 appearances this season have been out of the bullpen. His one previous start was April 16 against the Dodgers. He gave up six runs (five earned), seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts in three innings.

Erlin is filling the vacancy created when rookie left-hander Joey Lucchesi went on the disabled list with a slightly strained glute. The Padres are hoping Lucchesi will miss only one start, although it looks like it could now be two or three.

Gonzalez is no stranger to the Padres. He started the May 9 game that the Nationals lost 2-1. Gonzalez allowed one run, five hits and three walks in six innings. Afterward, he said he struggled with his command.

Gonzalez was not involved in that decision. During his career, he has made seven starts against the Padres and has a 3-2 record with a 3.21 ERA, a 1.357 WHIP and a .253 opponents' batting average. Against the Padres, Gonzalez has given up 19 runs (15 earned), 41 hits and 16 walks with 41 strikeouts in 42 innings.

When the Nationals were in San Diego, first baseman-left fielder Matt Adams went 3-for-8 with a double, two homers, six RBIs and three runs scored -- although he got the third game off.

Since leaving San Diego, Adams has hit only .143. Washington's Bryce Harper is hitting .125 in the last eight games with a homer and three RBIs.

Another key player in the first Padres-Nationals series was Howie Kendrick, who was 5-for-12 with a double and two runs scored. But Kendrick has been lost with a ruptured Achilles tendon and on Saturday the Nationals promoted a 19-year-old prospect from Double-A.


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Capitals vs. Lightning Game 6 Eastern Conference Final 2018: Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream

Capitals vs. Lightning Game 6 Eastern Conference Final 2018: Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream

When the Capitals take the ice in Game 6, they will be playing for their playoff lives. After losing Game 5 on Saturday to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Caps must win on Monday or their season will be over.

In order to do that, the Caps will have to change some things. First, they have to figure out how to win at home, something they have yet to do in this series. Second, they will have to find a way to get to Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy who has been dominant the past three games. Alex Ovechkin also needs to win the matchup against the fourth line since he has only two five-on-five points through five games. Finally, the defense will have to be better. Matt Niskanen took the blame for Game 5, but really it was a tough night all around.

Also, a few penalty calls against Tampa Bay would be nice too.

Where: Capital One Arena

When: 8:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Lightning, Game 6 will be broadcast on NBCSN

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Lightning Game 6 on NBC Sports' live stream page.


Game 6 of the Capitals vs. Lightning 2018 NHL Playoff series takes place on Monday, May 21 at 8:00 p.m. at Capital One Arnea.


The TV broadcast of Game 6 between the Capitals and Lightning is on NBCSN. Capitals pre- and postgame coverage takes place on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Lightning Game 6 on NBCSN
10:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime


Game 6 between the Capitals and Lightning is available to stream online on Monday, May 21 live here through the NBC Sports live stream page.


Capitals projected lines:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Chandler Stephenson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Lars Eller - Brett Connolly
Devante Smith-Pelly -  Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Lightning projected lines:

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov
Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Yanni Gourde
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - J.T. Miller
Chris Kunitz - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan

Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh - Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev

Andrei Vasilevskiy starts with Louis Domingue as backup.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.