John Franco

John Franco sued, accused of throwing a baseball at a woman over an estate sale

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John Franco and his wife held an estate sale last year. After the sale, the Francos and the woman who handled the estate sale had a fight. That fight has turned into a lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that Franco assaulted the agent:

Franco, the career saves leader for left-handed pitchers, refused to let Ms. King leave, shoving her away from the front door and standing there for 15 minutes while glaring menacingly at her, court filings allege. Meanwhile, his wife berated her and called her a thief, contends the Westchester County resident.

At one point, Franco, who amassed 424 saves and 90 wins over 21 years, became enraged and flung an autographed baseball at a wall, Ms. King maintains in the suit, recently filed in Manhattan state Supreme Court.

“John A. Franco acted like a bully, intending to intimidate a woman,” Ms. King’s filing alleges.

The back story is that the Francos claim they are owed $30,000 more out of the estate sale than they received. The Francos’ lawyer says this is a “throw mud at the wall” lawsuit intended to head off his clients’ monetary claim.

Who knows what really happened. In my experience, though, situations like this — where the fight is really about money and there were extended negotiations over it prior to the suit being filed — lend themselves to the most innocuous acts to be characterized as the most heinous of physical assaults.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.

It’s not known yet what kind of contract the two sides are negotiating. It could be a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, a non-guaranteed major league contract, or a guaranteed major league contract.

President Obama pardons Willie McCovey

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 06:  San Francisco Giants legend Willie McCovey  waves to the crowd while seating between Jeff Kent (L) and Willie Mays during a ceremony honoring Buster Posey for winning the 2012 National League MVP before the Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.

Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.

President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.