Wait, Theo Epstein had a stalker?

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I’ve said it before, but one of the best things about Peter Gammons is how he’ll be writing about topic A and then, in the course of it, he’ll drop some background factoid that completely blows your mind.

The best thing is that he doesn’t do it in a way that screams “check out this scoop!”  It’s so casual, as if everyone knew it already and he’s just giving it voice.  I really love it. Draws you inside in a way that those dudes who do backflips to show you just how inside they are can never touch.

He did it again today in his column about Theo Epstein’s departure from Boston.  Lots of conventional state-of-the-team stuff and then this:

There was a burnout factor in Epstein’s desire to leave, which he was going to do regardless after the 2012 season. It was as if he were stuck on an elevator between the ninth and 10th floors. His wife, Marie, and son, Jack, could not live normal lives. There often was an unmarked Brookline police cruiser at the end of his street because of a stalker and concerns about the family privacy.

I had never heard this before, that’s for sure. Not that anyone would publicize it, of course. But man, that’s just nuts.  The GM of a team gets a stalker?  A baseball team? Unbelievable.

People need help out there. There are nuts walking the streets all the time and we don’t realize that there are as many as there are.

Report: Giants showed some interest in Phillies’ Maikel Franco at Winter Meetings

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Giants were “sniffing around” on Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco at the recently completed Winter Meetings.

Franco, 25, would be a nice buy-low candidate for the Giants, who don’t have a reliable third baseman yet. Currently, Pablo Sandoval would get the lion’s share of starts at the hot corner. Franco was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2014 and ’15 seasons, but hasn’t lived up to the hype over the last two seasons. In 2017, he hit .230/.281/.409 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI in 623 plate appearances.

Moving Franco wouldn’t necessarily solve any problems for the Phillies. After signing first baseman Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins is expected to play in the outfield full-time. As a result, the Phillies have too many outfielders with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Technically, the Phillies could move Santana to third base as he has experience there, but he hasn’t played the hot corner since 2014.

Franco is arbitration eligible over the next four seasons, which might be the most attractive thing about him to other teams.