Sunday, June 24, 2018
Sports

MLB shows support for Orlando, gay pride

WASHINGTON — Billy Bean spoke hopefully in Washington, the Athletics eschewed a traditional first pitch for a silent tribute and stadium flag poles featured the gay pride rainbow alongside the stars and stripes.

Major League Baseball on Tuesday honored the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting that left 49 dead.

Moments of silence and other ceremonies were held at stadiums across the country, including in Washington and Oakland, where LGBT pride nights had been planned even before the shooting.

Rays SS Brad Miller, who was born in Orlando and graduated from Orlando's Olympia High School, wore a purple Orlando City soccer jersey in the locker room after the Rays' win over Seattle on Tuesday night.

"To have such a tragic event happen in your hometown, it's crazy to see on the news, for a place I'm so familiar to be on the national news," Miller said. "Any sort of support for the victims, any time you can help, it's huge."

Bean, a gay former player and Major League Baseball's first ambassador of inclusion, was at Nationals Park as Washington hosted its 12th annual Night OUT event against the Cubs.

"Everyone's heart in baseball was broken on Sunday morning," Bean said. "It doesn't matter who it happened to. It was a terrible, terrible event in our U.S. history."

Still, Bean carried an optimistic message, inspired by his own experiences and by what he saw beyond the outfield wall at Nationals Park.

"I turned around and I saw the (gay) pride flag underneath the American flag," Bean said. "That's an image — that's a new image. That is a powerful one for the LGBT community and one I want to make sure we're all appreciative of."

NATIONALS: RH closer Jonathan Papelbon went on the 15-day disabled list with a right intercostal strain and RH reliever Matt Belisle was reinstated after a rehabilitation assignment (right calf strain).

PHILLIES: 3B Maikel Franco (sprained right knee) sat for the second straight game.

PIRATES: Ace RHP Gerrit Cole went on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Saturday, with a strained right triceps and touted prospect Jameson Taillon was recalled from Triple A.

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