Gwen Knapp has a troubling story in the Chronicle today. A Giants fan named Billy Chamberlain who has been a fixture outside of the team’s clubhouse for five years has vanished.
Chamberlain — who was intermittently homeless but who had occasionally crashed with a stadium security guard — would talk to Giants players, Bruce Bochy and some of the writers who covered the team. The team would often take up modest collections for him so he could get south to where he reportedly had some family or friends.
He stopped showing up at the end of July and no one is sure of his whereabouts now. He’s been on government assistance for some time and took medication for behavioral and/or mental issues, but the exact nature of his disability isn’t known.
A photo of the man can be seen with Knapp’s story. I suppose there’s a chance someone reading could know him or have seen him. But barring that, I see this story as a reminder that there are an awful lot of people who fill up a small part of our day. We usually take them for granted but are affected when we notice their absence.
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.