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.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.