Jed York made Tim Kawakami buy dinner for York and his wife at the French Laundry in 2014

On a recent podcast, San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami shared an outrageous story involving him, Jed York, Jed York’s wife and a $2,100 dinner bill from the French Laundry. To hear the story, skip to the 27-minute mark below.

UPDATE: The 49ers released the following statement on York’s behalf to Pro Football Talk: “The bet took place two years ago and Tim has never shared his concerns about the dinner with me,” York said. “I am happy to speak with Tim one-on-one so we can all move forward.”

This article has 55 Comments

  1. Tim shouldn’t have paid for Mrs. York, should’ve just authorized $1400 and let Jed squirm.

    1. Tim is a dum@$$ and the biggest Niner hater in the bayarea so I’m glad he got stuck with the bill lol

      1. Tim is not a Niner hater. He just thinks York is a spoiled brat who was given an NFL team to run with no business or sports experience, a weak leader, a liar, a petty gossip, an incompetent boob, an a$$hole, and fat-face little bitch. Is he wrong about any of that? I think not.

        1. The team belongs to the Yorks, if they want their son running it what is it to TK. Why does it need to bother him so much? I guess if his family owned an NFL team and decided to let him run it he’d turn it down because he’s just a reporter with no business or sports experience.

          He’s your typical uber critical, maniacally cynical antagonist local sports reporter that is convinced that because he owns a press pass that he’s somehow connected to the team in some meaningfully special way that also endows him the ability to condescend to anything he disapproves of personally in regards to how the team is run.

          1. any one defending jeDork for ANYTHING……is a turd in my book!!

            when you are worth about a 1000 times more than another man……..and you let him pick up the tab…….you have zero class!!!!! you are a scumbag! period! the fact that JeDork made him pay for his wife too!?!?
            Unbelievable!!! says about all you need to know about the guy!

            I’m upset that TK waited so long to throw Dork under the buss!

            How long are Denise and Dr.Doofus gonna let that lil twerp embarrass them and their family name??????

        2. Tim K. is doing his job and giving his take on the team and where the problems lie. He’s also written pieces praising the team when they were good. People who get upset with him do so because he doesn’t sugar coat things. Sure he can get a little full of himself at times, but for the most part he has a pretty good read on what this teams issues are and more importantly, where they begin. Jed York is a problem. There is just no denying that. He is not qualified to do the job he has been given and it shows repeatedly. It’s unfortunate, but that is the state of this franchise right now.

          As for this story about losing the bet and having to pay for Jed’s wife’s meal, I have no idea why Tim would bring it up now, but it’s something he should have discussed with Jed directly. If you don’t want to pay, then don’t pay. Whatever the case, I don’t think it has any bearing on how Tim covers the team or what he writes about them. He criticized them when they deserved it before the bet, and he’ll keep doing it until they get their act together.

  2. Perfect example of why this team is going to have such a hard time winning ; classless , cheap , management . It all trickles down and becomes a virus

      1. When one finds oneself in a self-righteous, condescending mood, even if also in a jovial mood, lol, one ought to take great care not to make oneself appear supremely stupid by misspelling a basic word.

  3. Shame on Jed for letting Tim pickup the entire bill, whether Tim lost a bet or not.

    However, shame on Tim for making a wager, and then begrudging having to pay his debt!

    This does, however, start to shed some light onto Tim K’s motivation to badmouth the organization at every turn. It has become glaringly obvious that Tim has had a personal score to settle with the 49ers ownership/FO. It’s unfortunate that he’s not enough of a professional to separate his personal grudges, from his journalism. I used to really enjoy Tim’s work as a sports reporter/journalist, but he’s evolved into nothing more than a tabloid journalist better suited to writing for the National Enquirer.

  4. Kawakami should have said something in the moment, or shortly after. Be an adult, and address it then and there at the table or pay it and then pull Jed aside before leaving and remind him. TK doesn’t lack the ability to nicely remind Jed that the deal was only for him and he could have even made it a joke. Instead he saw it as an opportunity to further promote his anti-York agenda and is taking advantage of it.

    This doesn’t make Jed look cheap it makes TK look spineless for not speaking up.

    1. “The bet took place two years ago and Tim has never shared his concerns about the dinner with me,” York said. “I am happy to speak with Tim one-on-one so we can all move forward.”

      It’s indeed odd that Kawakami never conveyed his concern privately to York or to the team, opting instead to broadcast the complaint publicly two years later. It’s even more odd that Kawakami — who ordinarily isn’t bashful about asking tough questions or communicating candid opinions — didn’t say to York at the time, “I’m not paying for your wife’s meal.”

      Not odd when you know what kind of person TK is.

      1. The best part of this whole thing is that we now have confirmation of where the leaks have originated.

  5. A pox on both of their houses. TK is transparent in his venom towards the team, but Jed is a low class noob.

    TK is a sleazy weasel for recounting the story, and Jed is an imbecile to use his wife to get back at TK. Now his wife has an obligation to rectify the situation. She should uninvite both Jed and TK, but invite the spouses of Branch, Lynch Maiocco, Robinson and Barrows (if they have one) to a lunch at the French laundry. She should include Killion, too. She should make sure that all the kids are covered with daycare or after school care so the women can enjoy a nice afternoon, having lunch in the wine country. She should apologize to the women about Jed, and just say that even though he does stupid things, his heart is in the right place. She should pay for everyone, even Killion, and there should be a hefty gratuity.

    Then she should call TK, say to him that she has donated 2600 dollars to his favorite charity, then state that if she sees her name mentioned in another article by TK, she will come and rip his tongue out.

    Then she should go home, tell Jed to bend over, and give him a swift reprimand.

  6. It would be awesome if Jed York hears this and the next time he see’s this bitter hack he throws a couple of grand at his feet and walks off. Classless vs Cheap!

  7. The Youth Soccer program in Santa Clara, the Girl Scouts, and the city of Santa Clara have also had run ins with Jed’s business operations.

    Keep in mind that this “I’ll buy you lunch” turned into dinner at the French Laundry at Jed’s request. Adding his wife was also at Jed’s request including the assurance that he would pick up her tab. Kawakami allowed Jed to manipulate him and then gloat. And all this happened in the 2013 off season.

    Telling the story three years later make Kawakami look like a sap. Some revenge. ;-}

  8. Find a bet that means something to a Billionaire, don’t bet a dinner that is a big deal for you but means nothing to him. There’s a lesson. Jed could have gotten out his 9ers card and charged it all to the company if he wanted, he could pay it himself like pocket change, but he decided to let Tim sweat. Jed did this knowingly, to let Tim know that Tim is not worthy. That’s my read.

  9. I have to agree with htwaits. I love Tim’s writing and his podcasts, but Jed did manipulate Tim. And I listened to the dinner story on podcast and Tim clearly doesn’t get what happened there. If he did he would have buried the experience, and not done a podcast that indeed does make him look , sorry to say, “a sap”. ;(

    Let it go Tim. It’s water under the bridge…

  10. The Yorks are low class cheapskates. And this story along with their destruction of the team multiple times shows that.

  11. Maybe Jed can make it “all better” by inviting the displaced soccer kids, the displaced girl scouts, the short changed taxpayers of Santa Clara, and Tim Kawakami for a free ride to enjoy the next Superbowl trip his 49ers qualify for.

    On second thought, Kawakami will probably be sent by the Mercury, and I may not live that long. Sorry kids. Sorry tax payers.

  12. How about for those of us who don’t want to listen (or cant atm), just say what the bet was regarding??

  13. LOL, this is rich. Now Jed claims he was unaware of TK’s problem with the bill.

    Jed just proved he truly IS clueless.

  14. The only thing this story reveals is that Kawakami is a first rate Delta Bravo. It’s obvious he’s trying to paint York as an elitist snob who is out of touch with the reality of most Americans. How in the world would York have an inkling about the average American when he’s been a billionaire his entire life? Why did TK make the bet in the first place? How in the world is he complaining about this 2 years after the fact? Kawakami’s reporting on the 49ers now makes total sense. He’s had a personal ax to grind so he’s been outrageously unfair in his reporting. TK is a gutter reporter right next to Skip Bayless. This is absolutely ridiculous.

  15. Jed may be a spoiled arrogant brat, but Kawakami is truly a DB. The guy has never written an informative article on football, and fills his trashy columns with endlessly repetitive whiny criticisms. Of course, those fans who prefer personality struggle in the organization over the struggles on the gridiron love his columns. I suspect that he kept this peeve handy for two years until there was nothing obvious to whine about the Niners, and then he’d pull it out of his arsenal of whines.

    When with the Dubs lost against Portland, I predicted he’d go off on a negative whine, and sure enough, he did. After the loss against the Thunder in the first game, his column is headlined “Warriors find themselves in uncharted, troubled waters”. Yeah, right! This guy is the worst type of fairweather, bandwagon columnist.

  16. Call me naïve (and poor), but I had no idea that a dinner for 4 could get up to $2100. What the heck are they serving, diamond encrusted filet mignon, bald eagle eggs, Bengal tiger cubs? Wow, how the other side lives.

    Also its a hilarious story. Should have swallowed his pride and spoke up.

    1. French Laundry is about 9 miles south of where I live. When my wife and I were dating in high school we went there for one of our pre-prom dinners, this was in 1991. At the time she had to call more then 3 months in advance to get the reservation. I told her this story the other day and how high the prices were and she was a bit shocked as well. Our dinner at the time as we both tried to recall was about $80 a person. Now keep in mind this was 1991 and neither of us were ordering cocktails or wine.

      Now $600 a person is awfully steep but there was no mention of what and how many bottles of wine were consumed. As you’re well aware when you are in one of the finest restaurants in the country not to mention being in Napa Valley the bottles of wine can get a bit pricey.

      1. P.S.

        Skip French Laundry and SolBar and go to Evangeline in downtown Calistoga. Costs 1/6th the price of FL and is a much better dining experience then SolBar.

          1. Indeed. My wife keeps me informed of such things whether I’m interested or not. We followed Brandon Sharp over to Evangeline and prefer the creole-inspired menu.

            I’m not a big seafood eater and last Spring we got up and left Solbar because 4 of the 6 (that’s right, 6) entrees were seafood and 3 of the 4 appetizers were salads and the 4th was turtle soup. I’ve been there before and seen a more diverse menu but we’ve never had a bad experience at Evangeline.

        1. Perhaps you can shed some light into the performance management side of the journalism business. There must be some kind of line management draws in how you handle your personal relationships with the people you cover for the paper. Would there be any repercussions from management if you engaged in an activity that could seriously impair your ability to accurately and fairly cover people and events for the newspaper?

  17. My main take away from the podcast was the comedy of TK continually claiming that the incident has had nothing to do with the negativity of his reporting on the 49ers. Sure it doesn’t, Tim.

    Here are some points that are getting lost in the shuffle (HT mentioned them above, also):

    The bet was for lunch, not dinner, and, while it wasn’t specified where the lunch would be, there was not mention made of anything like French Laundry.

    York specifically asked TK if he could bring his wife and assured TK that York would pay her share.

    This was a dick move by York and I wasn’t particularly bothered by TK talking about it. It was a public bet and JY intentionally stuck it to TK. First, by choosing FL. Then switching it to dinner from lunch. Then by lying about paying for his wife and then sticking TK with the bill. If TK was smart, he would’ve stood his ground from the moment FL for dinner was brought up. Failing that, TK had several other opportunities to deal with this directly with JY, which he should’ve done. That notwithstanding, Jed is the one more at fault.

    1. BTW, I’m not a big fan of TK’s reporting on the 49ers. It’s over the top negative (plenty of things wrong with the organization to report on, but not everything they do is wrong) and repetitive.

      1. You have to realize you are listening to one side of the story. This may all be true or it may all not be true…but based off the writing and mentality of Tim, I’d say theres probably a lot of bs stench everywhere.

  18. it blows my mind how everyone on here is bashing Tim for his poor, negative reporting style…….but you guys worship grant…….who has the same exact style!! Always critical of the niners, praises the raiders……the only difference: Tim has been doing it longer, is more decorated, didn’t rely on his dad to get his job and actually WRITES STORYS instead of just ” stirring the pot” on a blog, relying on all the readers to post informative thought and information!!!!!

    And, for the record, I dislike tim ( and grant )but I HATE York!!!

    1. Jed, the York’s are the worst PR people in the history of sports. Seriously, a journalist is not going to reveal his dinner experience jed; The Girl Scouts Imbroglio was leaked;
      your leaks, Jed, to a national journalist were going to be safe for an eternity???

      The team sold stadium builder’s licenses for Levi’s Stadium, and a big reason they sold a record-setting $500 million in SBLs was because of the excitement surrounding Jim Harbaugh. There is a common complaint that the team hired Harbaugh to get the stadium financed, and then “parted ways” with him after it was done. There is a belief ownership cashed in and does not in fact care about the fans.

      The new stadium is also just a giant money grab, is too hot for fans to watch the game comfortably, and puts our teams home field games at a disadvantage because they alienated the fan base and replaced them with 1%ers who don’t care.

      Oh and the 49ers museum at Levi’s removed several people from their history who were critical to the 49ers past success (obviously some West Coast people–not to worry, they had nothing to do with their past, right)?…TomD

      Someone of like mind wrote this and added references to find more about the York’s cheapness, so making T. Kawakami pay for dinner was no accident. It is what it is–York cheapness.

      Are The 49ers Cheap?

      By Barry Petchesky

    2. For the record, I like Grant’s writing style, but have skewered his arguments more often than not.

      TK writes awful offal. Usually I do not bother to read his articles because I know beforehand how negative and slanted his point of view is. I only listened to his podcast because I wanted to be able to comment on his 2 year old bet.

      So a pox on both of their houses. Jed, because he is so clueless, and TK because he is so mean and vindictive. TK declaring that the FL incident did not affect his writing style is precious.

  19. Grant, I have a great idea for an article, ” is Jed York the most despised man in sports?”

    imagine all the hits your blog would get as we discussed that one!
    seriously though…….im trying to think of someone else……and I cant.
    Snyder spends money at least…..
    Al Davis is dead……
    The Maloofs are gone…….
    People think Jerry Jones is an idiot, but I don’t think they hate him…
    People hate the patriots, but there a team and not a person…..the vote would be divided by BB, Brady and Kraft….

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