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MLB names Billy Bean “ambassador for inclusion”

Jul 15, 2014, 3:35 PM EDT

billy bean

MLB commissioner Bud Selig has appointed former major leaguer Billy Bean as the first “ambassador for inclusion.”

Bean–not to be confused with A’s general manager Billy Beane–played six seasons in the majors from 1987-1989 and 1993-1995, and in 1999 revealed that he was gay.

Here’s what the new role entails, via Alyson Footer of MLB.com:

Provide guidance and training related to efforts to support those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community throughout Major League Baseball. He will work with major and minor league clubs to encourage equal opportunity in accordance with the joint MLB-MLBPA Workplace Code of Conduct. Bean also will develop educational training initiatives against sexism, homophobia and prejudice and will be present at annual industry events, including the Winter Meetings and the MLB-MLBPA Rookie Career Development Program.

Earlier this month Bean was inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.

  1. Nick Danger - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Add an ‘e’ and he’s Moneyball. Take it away, he thinks balls are so money.

    • ironcurtin64 - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      Juvenile…but pretty funny.

      • Nick Danger - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        No it taint.

    • uknowimright1 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:15 PM

      LOLLLLL

  2. tigers182 - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    How’d you get the Beans above the Frank?!

  3. clydeserra - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Good for them. Major League Baseball finally getting something right

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      Ironically, just before an exhibition game that determines home field for the World Series.

    • halfthemoney - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:40 PM

      Finally? Can you say Jackie Robinson?

      • clydeserra - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:14 PM

        I can.

        What’s your point? What did major league baseball do except exclude black people? Is that what MLB did right?

      • halfthemoney - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:23 PM

        Well, clyde, I guess I’m saying that appointing an Ambassador for Inclusion is not the first thing MLB has done right. And taking the unpopular (with a large percentage of the American public) stance of bringing a black player into the league was doing something right. That is called including black people.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:04 AM

        MLB did not do that, Branch Rickey and the Dodgers did.

  4. theebbandflow - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Pretty forward thinking… Or maybe that should be with the times – not many other major sports have such a figure.

  5. fearlessleader - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    This is such welcome news. Bean quit playing baseball, though he loved it, when his partner died in 1995, because he didn’t feel it was safe to come out of the closet, but he also couldn’t bear to grieve while having to pretend that nothing was wrong.

    All jokes aside, imagine how that must have felt, and let’s be grateful to Bean (and, yes, Selig) for trying to make the sport safer and more inclusive for others.

    • indaburg - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:28 PM

      I’m quick to criticize Selig, but I agree that this is welcome progress. With Bean’s help, hopefully we won’t have any more stories like his or Glenn Burke’s. Burke’s story is especially heartbreaking: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/15/sports/baseball/mlb-to-recognize-glenn-burke-as-a-gay-pioneer-in-baseball.html

  6. largebill - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Silly nonsense. Why does baseball need to concern itself with such stuff?

    • fearlessleader - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:31 PM

      Because there are still people who think it’s nonsense.

    • clydeserra - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      I don’t know. I can’t imagine why.

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/12/30/torii-hunter-says-having-an-openly-gay-teammate-would-be-difficult-and-uncomfortable/

      • historiophiliac - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:57 PM

        Hey! Awww.

    • sportsdrenched - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:36 PM

      If haven’t noticed, it’s a topic and discussion that is currently working it’s way through our society. Since sports are a reflection of the society that produce them, the same issues will impact sports. The NFL is dealing with this issue, and MLB will too. THAT’s why baseball needs to concern itself with such stuff.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      Grantland had a good piece a week or two ago, about football, about the “spirituality” of the sports shower room and the entry of gay athletes. Worth a read.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:20 AM

        You read Grantland? For the love of Dog, why?

        Bill Simmons is a juvenile, narcissistic jackwagon. He stocked his vanity project with young, more juvenile, greatly pompous, blatant suck-ups and Simmons-imitaters. It’s a narcissistic supply nest. It’s named after the single worse, most obnoxious sportswriter of all time.

        Grantland outed a transgendered woman to her employer for no journalistic purpose, and Bill Simmons didn’t have a problem with that until she killed herself. Then there was an intense and instant backlash, and he started out by turtling and telling people it wasn’t his fault. Then his publicist wrote a totally disingenuous apology that absolved the writer of all blame, saying that he was an inexperienced fawn in the woods and that his editor in chief (Bill Simmons) let him down. Only that wasn’t true either. The author was the former editor of a major weekly, and should have known better. Literally everyone who read the piece should have known better, and if there was a single decent person there it never would have gone out.

        I wouldn’t wipe my ass with printouts of Grantland.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      Why does baseball need to concern itself with such stuff?

      Because many people in sports still have 19th century thoughts. As evidenced by (in no particular order): Chris Kluwe being blackballed from the NFL because of his pro-gay rights stance, the backlash against Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend, the horrific Dr. Z article on Grantland… Just to name a few.

      • shyts7 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:14 PM

        So wrong on Kluwe. Nobody wants anything to do with him because he’s old and can’t produce up to his price. Why would I pay him as much as he wants when I can get just as much, if not more, production at more than half the price? Kluwe is a blow hard that knows he’s a declining player but when he is cut he can claim its because he is pro gay when that is just not the reason he was cut. If you can produce teams WILL sign you. It’s when you stop being productive that they don’t want anything to do with you, hence people like Gary Sheffield and Chad Johnson.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        So wrong on Kluwe.

        O rly?

        2012 stats: 39.7 NET (17/32); salary $1.3M
        2011 stats: 38.0 NET (22/32)
        2010 stats: 38.9 NET (10/32)

        So do you want to try again?

      • shyts7 - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:38 PM

        O rly?

        2012 stats: 39.7 NET (17/32); salary $1.3M
        2011 stats: 38.0 NET (22/32)
        2010 stats: 38.9 NET (10/32)

        So do you want to try again?

        Jeff Locke – 2013 Minn. Vikings punter – Net = 39.2
        Price Tag = $451,048

        Virtually the same output as Kluwe yet a million dollars cheaper. Care to make anymore asinine assertions that are wrong?

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:01 AM

        So because the Vikings replaced Kluwe with a cheaper version, what about the other 31 teams in the NFL? You said he was declining, which he wasn’t. You said if you can produce, teams will sign you. They didn’t.

      • 4cornersfan - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:17 AM

        Before I can digest your message you will have to tell me what is wrong with 19th Century thoughts and why 21st Century thoughts are so much better. I get it that most 19th Century Europeans and Americans held racist views to one extent or another but your blanket dismissal of 19th Century thought discounts the thoughts of Hugh Elliot, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Greenleaf Whittier, William Lloyd Garrison, and Sam Clemens among many others.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        OMG, I am dying at that list of great 19th century thinkers. LOL I love 19th century figures and they produced some great stuff but that is in no way a list that offers a good defense of their time. ha ha Harriet Beecher Stowe..and Whittier lol

      • shyts7 - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        “So because the Vikings replaced Kluwe with a cheaper version, what about the other 31 teams in the NFL? You said he was declining, which he wasn’t. You said if you can produce, teams will sign you. They didn’t.”

        Kluwe can’t produce enough to outweigh his mouth. Every job will put up with your antics until your production slips and/or your cost outweighs your benefit. Had Kluwe still been in the top 10 punters and he didn’t cost over a million, he would have a job. Combine Kluwe’s self serving loud mouth with his cost and add in the fact that there are at least 17 better guys out there and you end up with Kluwe without a job. Terrell Owens had a job until his mouth outweighed his production. Same thing with Kluwe. Teams don’t want unwanted distractions. Same thing is going on with Manziel and Cleveland. Teams want to talk about the football season, not, every political thing under the sun.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        Before I can digest your message

        What are you, my English professor? With an opening salvo like that, I hope the rest of your message doesn’t have anything really dumb in it…

        but your blanket dismissal of 19th Century thought discounts the thoughts of Hugh Elliot, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Greenleaf Whittier, William Lloyd Garrison, and Sam Clemens among many others.

        I specifically referred to “many people in sports“. How many athletes are sitting around reading 19th century writers sparknotes, let alone the full novels? Are you really going to argue that 19th century society had far worse ideas of societal behavior towards: women, children, gays, minorities, etc?

  7. mackypinky - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    This is fantastic. Bud got MLB going in the right direction here. Very pleased he made the announcement in MN, too.

  8. mlbfan8898 - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Who cares

    • claymatthewshairplugs - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      @mlbfan8898

      There’s always that moron like you who reads the story and then replies who cares. Obviously you do if you clicked on the link to read the story.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:21 PM

        Closely related to the morons who read an obit and comment: never heard of him.

  9. devilsmetsgiants - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    Wait a minute……Billy Beane isn’t gay?

    • whatacrocker - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:59 PM

      Is that you, Joe Morgan?

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        It’s not possible. Joe Morgan thinks Billy Beane is the name of the computer that wrote Moneyball (h/t FJM).

  10. mlbfan8898 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Wow claymatthewshairplugs, I thought people like you are tolerant of other opinions….guess not.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:25 PM

      Calling you out for being an obtuse douchebag isn’t intolerance and you damn well know it, troll.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:58 PM

      There is no reason to tolerate intolerant behavior.

  11. mlbfan8898 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Hey Kevin S, go jump off a bridge and see if anyone cares.

  12. seanwasamarine - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    If you want someone to care about a social issue, don’t denigrate people just because it isn’t an important issue to them. You’re only hurting your opinion by spewing hate towards what you think is hate. Just accept the fact that people don’t care about certain things and it doesn’t mean they hate whatever the issue is.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      Just accept the fact that people don’t care about certain things

      Except this is a lie. For many in the younger generations, gay rights is a major issue. At last poll, I think it was something like 80+% are in favor of it. They do care. Then you have the people who took to twitter/social media to complain when ESPN aired Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend, and all the invective that came along with it. The people who are against gay rights. They care too.

      The ones who don’t, if they truly don’t, are few and far between.

      • halfthemoney - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:56 PM

        I think saying it’s a lie is a little strong. By only talking about the younger generations that’s leaving 2/3 of the population out of the equation. Gay rights is simply something that is not at the top of my list of things to worry about. And just because it’s not is not a reason to label me as uncaring or a bigoted racist. There are too many serious causes in my town, county, state, this nation and the world and gay rights is not my number one, even though the State Department should be. I’m more interested in making sure people are fed.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:53 PM

        By only talking about the younger generations that’s leaving 2/3 of the population out of the equation.

        When you ignore the rest of what I wrote, yes it looks like I ignored 2/3 of the population. However, repeating what I wrote:
        Then you have the people who took to twitter/social media to complain when ESPN aired Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend, and all the invective that came along with it. The people who are against gay rights. They care too.

        Whether you are for or against an issue, that still means you care about said issue.

        And just because it’s not is not a reason to label me as uncaring or a bigoted racist.

        Why are you defending against statements that haven’t been made? Unless you are posting under another screen name?

      • halfthemoney - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:19 AM

        I did not ignore the remainder of your comment. I think you’re making a VERY strong assumption that the people ranting on ESPN are the other 2/3. They may have been the other 20% of the younger generation that don’t agree with the 100% accurate poll of the 80% of the younger generation in favor of gay rights.

        My semi-sarcastic statement about being labeled as a bigot or racist was simply to demonstrate that often simply having an opposing view is wrong these days. You, fortunately, are too intelligent (honestly) to bite on that sarcasm.

  13. seanwasamarine - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Then you are intolerant too. As are the people you hate. Why is it ok for you to hate and be intolerant but it isn’t ok for someone you disagree with to have same feeling towards you? Why does not agreeing with something make you a person filled with hate? I love how people like you are so flustered that people don’t like what you like and you call them idiots for not bowing down to your beliefs.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:11 AM

      This is such a false argument. You’re actually trying to attack someone for being intolerant of your intolerance? You are a childish idiot, GFY.

  14. seanwasamarine - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    Shaming people isn’t a good way to open their eyes to something that may very well be important. Your method turns them away and makes them care even less.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:44 PM

      And scientific studies prove that showing people the error of their ways makes them bunker down more in their ignorance. So if showing them the error of their ways doesn’t work, what should we do? Inaction isn’t working b/c the other side is actually doing something that harms people.

      • halfthemoney - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:45 PM

        Pitchforks and torches!

      • halfthemoney - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:49 PM

        Sometimes an issue simply has to hit closer to home, e.g. close family member is gay or sharing a foxhole. And even then some of that is simply political correctness to avoid being publicly chastised or shamed. Having said that, I guess if it works, then do it but it’s not honestly changing the way someone feels inside.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:57 PM

        I’m not talking about just gay rights when discussing the study above. I’m talking about almost all issues. Look at how many people still believe vaccines can cause autism. There are people who think 9/11 was an inside job. That the Sandy Hook massacre was a gov’t plot. That the Boston Marathon Bombing was a prelude to a gov’t takeover of this country.

        When shown evidence that all of this is ridiculous, people don’t have a sudden epiphany, they look for ways to discredit this evidence.

  15. seanwasamarine - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    How does not caring cause harm?

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:50 PM

      Because you do care, or else you wouldn’t post. And see my post above about people who say they “don’t care”.

      • halfthemoney - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:21 AM

        My opinion is that many people that post comments don’t care per se about the issue at hand as much as they get tired of the debate. And that’s all it is; an opinion.

  16. seanwasamarine - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    Well said halfthemoney. That’s how you make a point without putting someone down.

  17. seanwasamarine - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    Just listen to COPO. He thinks he right about everything since he pulls statistics out of his ass. He’s the kind of person that thinks he’s right just because he found and post information that he agrees with.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:42 PM

      Such as what? I can post studies to backup what I say, hence the nick. When I do post the information, will you say I’m right?

  18. seanwasamarine - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    unclemosesgreen…isn’t he intolerant of my do called intolerance too? GKY

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