John Franco being sued for allegedly throwing ball as intimidation tactic

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

John Franco is facing a lawsuit that alleges he threw a baseball in an attempt to intimidate. (USATSI)
John Franco is facing a lawsuit that alleges he threw a baseball in an attempt to intimidate. (USATSI)

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Former All-Star closer John Franco is facing a lawsuit that alleges unlawful imprisonment, assault and slander. It also includes him throwing a baseball.

Franco and his wife were allegedly upset with a sales agent, Wendy King, last year after Franco's Todt Hill mansion estate sale, during which the Francos made more than $70,000 by selling off various items, such as a motorcyle, piano, some arcade games and Mets memorabilia. Franco and his wife were allegedly angry because they believed the agent could have made them more money.

Via the Staten Island Advance, here's the story:

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.

Ms. King, who public records show is in her early 60s, alleges unlawful imprisonment, assault and slander. She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

From Franco's end, his lawyer, Wayne Lonstein, told the Advance the situation is a "three-ring circus."

"I've spoken to credible witnesses, and I do not believe for one minute that John or Rose did anything approaching what these [suit] papers are apparently alleging," Lonstein said (silive.com). "I think this is about throwing mud on the wall and trying to dirty the Francos in the hope they'll give up on their claims on the money they're owed."

As Lonstein alludes to, the Francos have been trying to recover around $30,000 from King's firm.

Franco, 52, spent 21 seasons in the majors, 14 with the Mets. As a member of the Mets, he recorded 276 saves with a 3.10 ERA.

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