November 10, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh (left) talks to quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) against the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Bay Area Buzz 11/12: Reading Jim Harbaugh; UConn Still The (No.) 1; Giants Don’t Want To Lose Pick


Hearing What Harbaugh Doesn’t Say

Sometimes Jim Harbaugh reveals more by what he doesn’t say and the direct questions he most strenuously declines to answer.

Maybe it’s intentional and just the natural Harbaugh-media jujitsu.

Or maybe it’s the only way he can act when the questions hit a 49ers hot spot and Harbaugh gets that look on his face.

Which brings us to Monday: Harbaugh was asked about specific criticism of quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s ability to go through multiple reads in the wake of Sunday’s offensive flat-line 10-9 loss to Carolina.

And Harbaugh got that look on his face. He didn’t want to answer the question, but he also had a point to make, and that probably told us more than anything else.

Almost exactly one year since Alex Smith suffered the concussion that put Kaepernick in as the 49ers quarterback, there is a QB/passing game issue here. But maybe not the one everybody thinks.

“I understand what you’re doing and what you’re trying to do — glomming on to somebody’s opinion that, you know, thinks whatever they think,” Harbaugh said, probably referring to Trent Dilfer’s less-than-flattering analysis of Kaepernick on ESPN.

“The main thing is that we’ll look at it and talk about it with our players and see the areas we can improve.

“Just dissecting it as a unit, we had too many negative plays in the game. Too many negative plays, loss of yardage plays, penalties, sack, turnover … that we’ve got to get better at. We didn’t do a good enough job.”

Again, it’s interesting to think about what Harbaugh didn’t say here.

– Tim Kawakami, San Jose Mercury News

Cardinal Taken To School By UConn

How do you know you’re in Huskies country?

The exit sign off the interstate, seven miles from the University of Connecticut campus, points the way to the home of the “NCAA 2013 basketball champions.”

In the campus co-op’s book nook you can find autobiographies of three former UConn women’s basketball heroes. The eight NCAA women’s championship banners decorate the walls of Gampel Pavilion.

In a ceremony on the floor before Monday night’s game against Stanford, legendary UConn coach Geno Auriemma took a Magic Marker and with a flourish autographed the ladder used to cut down the nets in April after the Huskies smoked the field.

Then the game started, and it didn’t take long for Stanford to get buzz-sawed by the team that is a heavy early favorite to win it all again this season. Final score was 76-57 Huskies.

If this is an accurate barometer, and it probably is, there is a gaping chasm between the nation’s No. 1 team and the No. 3.

UConn beat Stanford inside (9 to 1 in blocked shots, 32 to 18 in points in the paint) and outside (7 to 3 in three-pointers) and in between (14-7 in fast break points). The Huskies (2-0), who trot out four preseason All-America vote-getters, made Stanford’s Player of the Year candidate, Chiney Ogwumike, look, uh, at least very frustrated.

–Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle

Qualifying Offer A Non-Starter For Brian Sabean

Ubaldo Jimenez could be a perfect fit for the mound at AT&T Park. Or, imagine Shin-Soo Choo adding that high on-base percentage to the lineup.

Not going to happen, at least not soon.

That was the message from Giants general manager Brian Sabean as he checked into the general manager meetings tonight in Orlando, Fla.

The 13 players who were tendered $14.1 million qualifying offers all turned them down, so they’re all in the free agent pool now. While the Giants plan to cast a wide net to find two starters to round out the rotation — and secondarily find a left fielder — Sabean termed it “highly doubtful” that he would sign one of the 14 players and lose his 2014 first-round draft pick as compensation.

“Could things change up the line? Perhaps,” Sabean told me. “We’re not going to be interested in giving up our first-round draft pick, so anybody with a qualifying offer with  first-round draft-pick compensation attached to that, we’re probably not going to be in on.

“So that shrinks the pitchers’ list, and quite frankly, whether it’s through trade or free agency, the ability to get the bat is going to be difficult and may just have to happen over time.”

The three starters who got qualifying offers were Jimenez, Ervin Santana and Hiroki Kuroda. The position players who fit the Giants’ needs include outfielders Choo, Curtis Granderson, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz, and first baseman Mike Napoli.

The Giants have good reason to avoid these players this winter in particular. Because of their losing record in 2013 they will get the 14th overall pick, the highest they have drafted since they took Buster Posey with the fifth pick in 2008. Thus, their chances of drafting a better player are improved.

–Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle

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