Rangers fans are now threatening court officials

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I’ve reported a bit of bad news regarding the Rangers sale over the past year, and when I did I was always surprised to read the hostile reactions of Rangers fans on various Rangers blogs. Hostility directed at me directly, not at the news. Killing the messenger is always tiresome, you know?

But at least no one was threatening to literally kill the messenger in those instances. The same can’t be said for the court-appointed reorganization officer in the bankruptcy case:

Frustrated fans
have apparently decided to target the negotiator appointed to
work out a deal to lift the Rangers out of Chapter 11. William K.
Snyder, 51, has suggested that the bidding be reopened at a new
auction.

Security at the courthouse was stepped up
after Snyder received threatening phone calls, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Lynn
said Monday.

Snyder declined comment on the
threats.

Security was stepped up at the federal
courthouse Friday, when Snyder attended a Rangers bankruptcy
hearing. A Federal Protective Service vehicle was parked
conspicuously in front of the entrance, and the number of guards
on duty was more than doubled.

“I don’t know
anything more than that Snyder has received threatening calls,”
Lynn said in an e-mail relayed from the bench.

The judge is at least keeping his sense of humor about it all:

“I am not
particularly worried about them. After all, we
do get those e-mails from disgruntled fans who believe — as, I
understand, do some sports writers — that I should construe the
Bankruptcy Code as wished for by the fans.”

Glad to see everyone is keeping things in perspective down in Texas.

Giants remove pitching coach Dave Righetti

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After 18 years, 12 winning seasons, seven postseason runs and three World Championships, Dave Righetti is no longer a pitching coach for the Giants. He was removed from his post on Saturday, when the team announced a few reassignments as they shake up their coaching staff. Heading into the 2018 season, Righetti will serve as special assistant to general manager Bobby Evans, former bullpen coach Mark Gardner will step into a similar special assistant role to “assist in pitching evaluations,” and former assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will take a special assistant role in baseball operations.

According to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Righetti was the longest-tenured pitching coach in the big leagues. He helped shape the careers of notable Giants’ aces like Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain — all Cy Young contenders (and, in Lincecum’s case, a two-time winner) at various points in their careers. He was there to assist Ryan Vogelsong during his stunning mid-career comeback in San Francisco. He helped newcomers like Chris Stratton and Ty Blach flourish even as the team stumbled to the bottom of the division. He was there to take the credit when a sterling rotation clinched the Giants’ 56-year, drought-snapping championship title in 2010 — and, when things went so horribly south in 2017, he took the blame as well.

Hardly anything went right for the Giants’ pitching staff in 2017. Madison Bumgarner was shelved after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto couldn’t shake a cluster of blisters on his right hand and Mark Melancon found it difficult to justify a $62 million paycheck after pitching through an arm injury to four blown losses/saves and a 4.50 ERA. It would be a lot for any pitching coach to stay on top of, and given the team’s rapid descent from 2016 postseason contenders to last-place finishers in 2017, it’s not surprising that Evans felt the need to switch things up.

Successors have yet to be named for Righetti, Gardner or Decker, though Murray hears that the Giants could have interest in former major league pitching coach Jim Hickey. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic adds that Evans is searching for someone to “put a new voice” on the pitching staff and will likely target someone who, like Righetti, brings considerable experience to the role.