MLB names Billy Bean “ambassador for inclusion”

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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.

Video: Jaime Garcia hits a 399-foot grand slam

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Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.

The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.

Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.

As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:

Ryon Healy exits game after taking a ground ball to the face

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Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.

Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.

Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.