MLB Network is premiering The Story of Billy Bean tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9pm ET. The program is part of the MLB Network Presents offseason series. A preview:
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. Last summer Bud Selig named Bean baseball’s first Ambassador for Inclusion. His task: to provide guidance and training related to efforts to support those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community throughout Major League Baseball.
Check out the film tonight on MLB Network. And, go check out Bean’s column at MLB.com today, in which he talks about how he hopes his story can help others.
The Mets have a promising young pitching staff and a handful of good position players. While the Nationals seem to be the clear favorite in the NL East, the Mets could be wild card contenders given both the Braves and Phillies rebuilding and given that the Marlins, while on the rise, may not be ready to really take the leap yet. If the Mets could fill a couple of holes, they could be a pretty frisky team!
But they haven’t filled holes this offseason. They signed Michael Cuddyer and . . . well, nothing much else. This despite the fact that the team claimed it was going to be “aggressive” early in the offseason. Most Mets fans I talk to just nod their heads sadly at all of this, never expecting much else under the Wilpons. Owners who, because of their personal financial problems, have refused to run the Mets as if they are a big market team.
New commissioner Rob Manfred is not concerned, however. He tells ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin that the Mets will totally spend money. When they think time is right:
“For a whole host of reasons, it’s really not my position to predict when I think they need to spend,” Manfred said during a visit last week to ESPN’s campus. “I have had ongoing, numerous conversations with both ownership and Sandy [Alderson] about the Mets’ situation. … I think at the point in time that it is their judgment that it is effective to increase their payroll, they’ll do that, and they will have the capacity to do it . . . I have never had a question about the Mets’ capacity to spend if they decided it was in their baseball interest to spend money. I really don’t believe that’s an issue.”
And Mets fans nod some more.
John Hickey’s latest story in the Mercury-News reports that new Oakland Athletics first baseman Ike Davis was still suffering from some effects of valley fever last year. A disease he first contracted in 2012:
“Valley fever is a nightmare,” said Davis, who turns 28 in March. “You have no energy, no nothing. It was definitely a weird one. It’s supposed to go away on its own, but when I had an X-ray last year, it showed I still had it. I’m hoping that’s over and done with.”
At various points Davis has said that the was asymptomatic, such as in this March 2012 story, but then it came back strong in early 2013 and many attribute it to his struggles that season. And, apparently, last season as well.
The central question surrounding Davis for the past several years was whether he can ever be the player he suggested he’d become after his 2011 and 2012 seasons. If, as Davis says, his valley fever has persisted like this, it would go a long way toward explaining why the past two years have been so rough for him.