LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Billy Bean, the openly gay former big leaguer recently named baseball's ambassador for inclusion, responded Wednesday to controversial comments by Daniel Murphy.
One day after the second baseman expressed disapproval of homosexuality, Bean wrote a column for mlb.com that recounted his two days at Mets camp.
"After reading his comments, I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth. I really do," Bean wrote. "I was visiting his team, and a reporter asked his opinion about me. He was brave to share his feelings, and it made me want to work harder and be a better example that someday might allow him to view things from my perspective, if only for just a moment."
Continued Bean: "I respect him, and I want everyone to know that he was respectful of me. We have baseball in common, and for now, that might be the only thing. But it's a start."Murphy, a devout Christian, shared his views after Bean spent Monday and Tuesday in Mets camp. "I disagree with his lifestyle," Murphy told The Star-Ledger. "I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual."
A billboard imploring the Mets' owners to sell the club has been installed just a few miles from their spring training complex.
It reads "Fred, Jeff and Saul, Ya Gotta Leave," a reference to Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz.
The billboard was paid for by disgruntled fan Gary Palumbo, who began a kick-starter campaign. He also intends to place similar billboards near Citi Field.
Shortstop Wilmer Flores left Wednesday's Grapefruit League opener against the Braves after a pitch hit him on the right pinkie. He was removed as a precaution, manager Terry Collins said . . . The Mets thumped the Braves, 8-2, behind a three-run homer by Johnny Monell. Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 4-for-4. Dillon Gee allowed two runs in two innings.