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January 3, 2011
Lombardi continues to insist Baalke is Niners' guy

Former Raiders executive Michael Lombardi, one of four people known to have spoken with Jed York about the team's general manager job, hit the airwaves again today.

But first this: Comcast's Matt Maiocco reports that York had another GM-related interview today. I contacted Lombardi wondering if, after a two-hour phone conversation with York on Tuesday evening, he had a sit-down interview today. Lombardi said no. In fact he's in New Jersey today, he said. (You'll recall that Lombardi also told me on Tuesday he had had no contact with the 49ers).

Lombardi also spoke with Bill Simmons on ESPN radio today and briefly touched on the dalliance with the 49ers. "I think their mind was made up to go internally and that's the direction they want to go," Lombardi said. Later he said, "At this point in my career, I think it's important to go to the place that's open to new ideas and new challenges and move forward."

Lombardi's name won't go away because, unlike in-house candidate Trent Baalke or any of the others interviewed for the job, Lombardi has a strong relationship with the big fish in the pond, Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh coached quarterbacks in Oakland when Lombardi was an executive in the scouting department and there's a belief that Lombardi would be the best guy to reel in Harbaugh for the 49ers.

Last week, Lombardi insisted that the 49ers would promote Baalke to the general manager position -- in fact, he predicted Wednesday it would be official in 48 hours -- and he reiterated to me that Baalke is the 49ers' guy again today.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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