Fox and MLB made a bad situation worse today.
During the All Star Game this Tuesday, not one single mention of the late Tony Gwynn was mentioned. This was a glaring omission. He was a beloved former All Star (15 time All Star), a remarkable Hall of Famer and a man who represented everything good about baseball, excellence, class and loyalty.
Terry Crews from Brooklyn 911 got more airtime than Tony Gwynn. That’s a problem.
The All Star Game was the first major baseball event since Gwynn’s passing. It was the event that he participated in 15 time. His most famous highlight was sliding home and fist pumping to end the 1994 All Star Game.
In a night where all baseball fans were watching and people who maybe didn’t experience Gwynn’s greatness on a regular basis would have their eyes on the TV, paying tribute to Tony Gwynn would be a no brainer.
Think about how much content needs to fill on an All Star Game as a TV producer.
There is an intro to every single half inning. Even with the home team winning and there being no bottom of the 9th, that would be 17 different segments to fill.
That is a minimum of 17 stories, interviews, stories, comedy bits, clips from previous games, highlights of the season and of course shots of Fox stars plugging their TV shows. (Hey, bills have to be paid!)
With all of those segments to fill, there is plenty of time to have fun, promote shows and fawn all over Derek Jeter and STILL pay tribute to a universally respected All Star who died too young.
Yet they didn’t do it.
And a lot of people seemed upset by that and felt Tony Gwynn was disrespected… because he was.
I expressed my displeasure with this omission in the July 16th episode of the Podcast.
I was going to leave it at that. But today Fox and MLB, through Ken Rosenthal, decided to throw salt into the wound and make the situation worse.
In a clumsily written and not thought out press release, MLB and Fox tried to cover their tracks.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, an extraordinary individual whose memory we have honored in numerous ways in recent weeks. The Baseball family has sadly lost a number of people this year – including Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, Frank Cashen, and former All-Stars Jerry Coleman, Jim Fregosi and Don Zimmer – and did not want to slight anyone by singling out one individual.”
– (via Yahoo Sports.)
Wow, what a steaming pile of crap this is.
I don’t wish anyone to lose their jobs, but some serious incompetence is going on here. This is “you are fired” level bad.
First of all, if you read this embarrassing press release closely, they are basically saying omitting Tony Gwynn was a conscious decision instead of an honest mistake. “Eh, no time. Isn’t important enough.” That by definition is disrespecting Mr.Gwynn.
Secondly, Tony Gwynn was an All Time hitter and legend. Sure there have been a number of deaths recently. How many 15 time All Star Hall of Famers best hitter of their generation died before their time recently? Not that many.
Thirdly, why not have ONE segment where we pay our respects to the great players we lost. Or as this tweet said…
It is always a highlight at the Oscars, a chance to applaud those we lost and a few we forgot we lost.
Evidently whomever wrote that release forgot we lost Bob Welch recently.
And finally and most absurdly, they claimed they would not want to single anyone out. How can that release be made public without any self awareness of the tone of the night’s broadcast? The brightest stars all participated, from Trout to Hernandez to Kershaw to Cabrera to Wainwright to Puig. The galaxy of Oakland A’s stars give baseball new blood.
But the entire night was a Derek Jeter lovefest. It was Jeter’s final All Star Game, and they kept bringing it up. Inning after inning we were reminded that this was his final game. And he got three standing ovations. And the cameras followed him and his every move.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
And I’m not saying that Jeter didn’t DESERVE the accolades nor the attention. But to take the stance that Fox wasn’t going to single anyone out is kind of like saying the Oscars didn’t want to be self congratulatory nor focusing on the stars.
In other words, they were better off just saying “We are so so sorry” instead of vomiting out this half baked apology.
I think it is safe to say they will do SOMETHING during the World Series!
(Or maybe not.)