San Francisco 49ers fans surely loved them some Michael Crabtree Monday night, as their late-arriving first-rounder showed an array of sweet moves for five catches and a touchdown in the 49ers 24-9 win over the Cardinals.
But Jed York shared some juicy gossip about Crabtree's holdout negotiations before the game indicating the receiver's poker face is pretty easily poked. In remarks to Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News, the 49ers' team president discloses that Crabtree's contract demands were thwarted by a clandestine Twitter message that Crabtree and his agent didn't know that York had seen.
Rewind back to October, when Crabtree's holdout had already kept him out of four games, but his agent and the 49ers were hunkered down in negotiations. Crabtree, as was his wont, brought a full entourage for negotiations that included rapper MC Hammer. Reporters Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and Mindi Bach of Comcast SportsNet were staking out the conference room at the Four Seasons East Palo Alto where negotiations were taking place.
Wait a minute. East Palo Alto has a Four Seasons?
The intrepid reporters were tweeting every miniscule development outside the conference room. At one point, Maiocco saw Crabtree lean to MC Hammer in the hallway and tell him, "Get it done."
Maicco instantly relayed what he saw on his Twitter account, making this detail known to the tens of thousands (myself included) who spent that October day constantly refreshing and re-reading his and Ms. Bach's Twitter feeds.
Evidently, Jed York was also among those tens of thousands. Back inside at the negotiating table, Crabtree's agent was trying to sell the Niners brass another round of concessions. York knew the player was desperate and saw right through the bluff. He stuck with the Niners' current offer, and Crabtree's people caved.
People, this is why you should never, ever involve MC Hammer in your high-level salary negotiations.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who understands, but cannot explain why, the terms "Twitter" and "MC Hammer" in a story automatically always translate into hit-count gold.