Orioles Hall of Famer Frank Robinson has been named a senior adviser and the new honorary president of the American League, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced Monday.
In his new role, Robinson will assist the commissioner on issues related to on-field operations, the annual Civil Rights Game, youth participation and diversity. Robinson, who succeeds Jackie Autry as honorary AL president, will represent the league in the All-Star Game, during the postseason and at other special and milestone events.
"Frank Robinson's many accomplishments as a player and as a groundbreaking manager and executive are well known to baseball fans," Manfred said in a news release. "I am glad that this dual role will allow him to continue to contribute to a game that he has served well throughout his Hall of Fame career."
Robinson, who won the 1966 AL Most Valuable Player award and Triple Crown in his first year with the Orioles and was a member of two World Series title teams in Baltimore (1966 and 1970), was previously MLB's executive vice president for baseball development. In that role, he led the management and construction of MLB's network of Urban Youth Academies. He also oversaw the Civil Rights Game -- in which the Orioles played last year in Houston -- as well as the All-Star Futures Game and other youth-focused endeavors.
"I am looking forward to supporting Rob's vision as commissioner and becoming honorary American League president," Robinson said in a news release. "We have the best game in the world and a particularly promising future. I appreciate the chance to represent the American League, in which I gained some of my fondest memories as a player and a manager."
-- Former Orioles infielder-designated hitter Wilson Betemit was suspended 50 games without pay for testing positive for amphetamine use, MLB announced Monday.
Betemit, who played in the Tampa Bay Rays minor league system last year and is currently a minor league free agent, was suspended for a violation of baseball's minor league drug prevention and treatment policy. That is why he received a 50-game suspension instead of the 25-game suspension that a major league player would receive for a similar violation.
Betemit, 33, will begin serving the suspension once he signs with another major league organization.
Betemit spent two seasons with the Orioles, hitting .261/.322/.422 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 2012. He missed most of the 2013 season after suffering a knee injury in spring training.