Potential buyers for the Dodgers emerge

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Frank McCourt’s official line is that the Dodgers are not for sale. But whether they’re ultimately sold is kind of out of his hands. If the latest court ruling is upheld, Jamie McCourt is going to be owed a ton of money for her share of the team, Frank doesn’t have it handy, and the only way for him to get it would be to sell the Dodgers.

Against that backdrop, BusinessWeek reports that a couple of people are indicating that they’d be interested: private equity dude Alec Gores and real estate mogul Alan Casden.*

I don’t read much business press so I’ve never heard of either of them. But that’s what Google is for. Here’s a recent writeup on Gores:

Sometimes spotted courtside at Lakers games with pal Sylvester Stallone, Gores is looking to enter the movie industry. Bidding in partnership with billionaire brother Tom for Walt Disney’s Miramax film division against financial heavyweights including Ron Burkle and Ron Tutor.

Kind of sounds like a baseball owner. Likes sports. Likes media. Does business with his family. Hangs out with weird celebrities. I also heard that Ron Burkle was interested in buying the Pirates once upon a time, so maybe Gores want the Dodgers as a way to figuratively flip the bird at a business rival! Oh, and Gores was raised in Flint, Michigan. I was in part, so I’m going to make him my favorite for no other reason than that.

As for Casden:

Taciturn and tenacious Casden won approval in February for West Hollywood mixed-use development that could be worth more than $300 million when completed. Another mixed-use development next to planned West L.A. light-rail station could be worth upwards of $750 million, if built.

Mixed-use development guy? Hey, that also sounds like a baseball owner!  Ever been to Dodger Stadium? Seen how big that parking lot is?  It could easily fit a Home Depot and a couple of condos! And if he’s into the light rail scene, maybe Dodger Stadium will finally get some friggin’ mass transit.  It’s brutal getting in and out of there.

Eh, rich people. I don’t really pretend that I understand them, so I’m just snarking here. I just hope that when they take over baseball teams they do the right thing and plow an insane amount of money into players, try to keep a lid on beer prices, make sure the team’s announcers aren’t awful and at least pretend to be happy when the team wins.

*Mark Cuban is given quick lip service too, but it’s based on old, old news. And frankly, I’m kind of bored talking about Cuban.

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.