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Fox says it honored Tony Gwynn during All-Star pregame programming

Jul 16, 2014, 8:26 AM EDT

Tony Gwynn ap AP

There are a lot of people upset about neither Fox nor Major League Baseball doing anything during the All-Star Game last night to honor Tony Gwynn. For what it’s worth, Fox is saying that they did too honor him. In the form of a video that, apparently, aired during pregame programming on Fox Sports 1:

I say “apparently,” because I’ve tried five times to get the video linked there to work and I can’t, but I’ll take their word for it. One reader says that he saw it and that it was a good piece featuring Ken Rosenthal interviews and such.

Not that this is going to make the people who are mad about this very happy. I presume the response will be that it didn’t air during the game and that it didn’t air on Fox, but on Fox’s cable channel which isn’t widely viewed.

Personally I think the outrage over this is a bit much. Obviously a well-done tribute to Gwynn would’ve been welcome, but I hardly see it as a capital crime that one did not take place during the game. There are major figures in baseball who die every year. Some do get honored during All-Star or World Series broadcasts. Some don’t. I don’t recall baseball making a point to run video montages and things like the Oscars do. And it’s probably worth noting that the Oscars frequently get criticized for missing someone here or there.

At bottom, I don’t think it’s fair to say Major League Baseball has somehow snubbed Gywnn’s death. When it happened there was all manner of nice gestures both by the league, its teams, broadcasters and almost anyone else you can imagine. If your thoughts about last night are “it would’ve been nice to see something,” that’s fine. But if you’re suggesting that Fox or MLB is somehow “disrespecting” Gwynn here, or that they owe apologies and the like, I think you’re overstating things.

This is especially true if you’re one of those people whose default mode is to think everything Fox and MLB do is somehow ill-conceived and mock-worthy. In that case, would you really want them to do something, or are you just firing complaints at big, common targets?

  1. richarddansky - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    I don’t think it’s an either/or.

    It would have been generous of spirit and appropriate for there to be some recognition of Gwynn (and Zim) during the main broadcast, i.e. actually during the All Star Game. Pointing to something broadcast on a different channel at a different time as having done so is disingenuous, and smacks a little of “Mom, they’re being mean to me!”

    Were they under any obligation to honor Gwynn? No. But to have failed to do it, then to have claimed they did (albeit at a different time and on a different channel) is behavior worthy of criticism.

    • thebadguyswon - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      I’m glad I didn’t watch. Not a fan of exhibition games as it is. But the love fests we have to watch every year are getting old.

    • ctony1216 - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      Fox could have paid tribute to a number of members of the “MLB All-Star family” who passed since the last All-Star Game, including Gwynn, Bob Welch and Zimmer.

      • gloccamorra - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:39 PM

        Let’s not let MLB off the hook. Putting pictures of Gwynn, Zimmer, and Welch up on the board while the players were lined up would have taken just a moment, and if MLB had told Target Field officials to do it, they would have, and Fox would have covered it.

      • rpearlston - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:01 PM

        They weren’t the only former players to have died since the last All-Star Game. Just how many tributes can you do? Plus, you don’t remember just some of those who have passed away in that time period.
        The best way to have done this would have been to scroll the names, in alpha order, of every former player, coach, manager, exec, etc at some point during, or moments before the game. Even then, though, some people will find reason to be upset about it.

  2. Marty McKee - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    I will never understand Fox decision-making. Such as the decision to force us to sit through an utterly pointless Bob Dylan cover (what did any of this have to do with major league baseball) and relegate the first pitch by Rod Flippin’ Carew Hometown Hero to a quick six seconds during gameplay.

    Although it was obvious, as far as Fox was concerned, that it was broadcasting The Derek Jeter Show and not MLB. The most hilarious moment of the night, barely edging out Erin Andrews’ “serious reporter” face during Wainwright’s baldfaced lie/walkback, was Joe Buck scolding Wainwright with a “Derek Jeter wouldn’t have liked it that way.”

    • baberuthslegs - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:07 AM

      The worst thing that ever happened to televised sports was Fox landing the big TV contracts for season long and championship events. Plus now they’ve secured rights to the U.S. Open Golf Championship. That will be another event I can mute the sound on because Joe Buck is the host.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        Amen to that … I like to poke fun at Johnny Miller, but, Miller and the rest of the NBC gang are surely better than Buck, Greg Norman et al will be.

  3. hojo20 - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    I’m a Dodger fan, where was the piece on Bob Welch.

    • philliesblow - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      No doubt. They should have played Ebony Eyes instead of Forever Young.

  4. ashoreinhawaii - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    Actually, it would be a nice “tradition” to start, and model it on the Oscars.
    The baseball encyclopedia lists deaths by year and is updated almost immediately.
    For just a few minutes, flash the names one by one on the scoreboard, with a photo – a copy of his baseball card, if available could becomes the standard.
    Name, teams, position, would also be read over the PA system.
    Even if the player played just a few games, it would show his surviving family members that the game remembered him.
    Give all equal, billing, and as an “in silence” kind of thing so applause doesn’t drown out the names of those following the super stars or hometown heroes.
    Or do it with applause, but keeping the stars and home boys for last.
    It would be the first time in decades that the game would be adding something classy, instead of tacky gimmicks (bloated rosters, fans’ voting, World Series home-game advantage, ad nauseum).

    • extavernmouse - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      Took the words right out of my comment box.

    • moogro - Jul 16, 2014 at 7:15 PM

      Yep. That’s good TV.

  5. ashot - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    MLB’s hatred of Tony Gwynn knows no bounds. They stuck their “tribute” to him in some town in New York that nobody has ever heard of. He’s there with a bunch of other guys and “gasp” some women, too. Worst of all, on the website he’s listed last out of all the players who’s last name starts with a “G.” I’m incensed.

    • mikhelb - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      The Hall Of Fame has no direct ties to MLB, sure, they induct players and MLB recognizes it, but they are a separate entity.

      Kinda like the Rawling Gold Gloves and the Rolaids Relief award, it is something a different company does and MLB allows it.

    • rpearlston - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:06 PM

      What other names were listed inder “G”? Perhaps that “GWY” IS at the end of the list, when it’s in alpha order.
      Once in a while, please think first. YOu wouldn’t have been incensed if you had done so.

      • nbjays - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:41 AM

        Your sarcasm detector is broken, and this board is no place to be without a functioning sarcasm detector.

      • ashot - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:47 PM

        Are you being serious? Because I certainly was not Obviously the list is in alphabetical order and obviously that’s why Gwynn is listed last.

  6. crolfer - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Had Fox not made watching the game virtually unbearable, people probably wouldn’t really care that much. Instead, they basically succeeded in making virtually everyone really tired of hearing about Jeter and wishing for any other story at all.

    • paperlions - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:09 AM

      Yeah, but if they didn’t do that….then everyone would be complaining that they didn’t properly honor Jeter.

    • rpearlston - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:10 PM

      You can always mute the TV and listen to the game on the radio. It’s better to be proactive than to not be so and bitch about it afterwards.

  7. paperlions - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    I agree with Craig on this one.

    There was no end to Gwynn tributes for an entire week. Every team, every reporter, every broadcast station, had tributes to Gwynn. Video tributes at the park, tributes on the broadcasts, moments of silence and an endless number of great stories published about him. It has all been done. What would be the purpose of doing more during the ASG when it has all already been done? What about all of the other great players that died this past year that didn’t get 1/100 the mention of Gwynn? And Fox apparently did something to honor him anyway, but people just didn’t see it because no one watches the pre-game show for the ASG.

    • mikhelb - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:45 PM


      During the All Star they should honor each player who died in the past year.

    • illuminancer - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:12 PM

      I think the problem is that last night turned into Jeterpalooza. I would rather have seen them talking about Yasiel Puig than the All Jeter, All the Jeter Time All Jeter Star Jeter Game.

  8. Bob Loblaw - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    I think their thinking is this…if we honor Tony Gwynn then we have to honor every baseball player who died the past year. Kinda like the Oscars. And since they don’t have an “in memory of” segment, then they simply don’t do anything for anyone during the All-Star game. Gwynn was honored around the time he passed. That was enough.

    Besides, wouldn’t the World Series be a better time to run an “in memory of” segment instead of a lousy boring game mid-season?

  9. madhatsam - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Jeter mentioned over 100 times in the broadcast, Gwynn 0. That is the problem, they belabor a single players year long victory tour and make no room for recognizing what the game has permanently lost. Gwynn, Welch, Zimmer etc.

    • rpearlston - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      I don’t remember them having done that in the past, either. WHy would they make an exception this time?

  10. realgone2 - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    As much of a fan of Cal Ripken that I am I blame him for all the season long retirement crap. He started it. Now every time some future HOF announces his retirement we have to hear about it all season long Ad Nauseum. Plus with Jeter being a yankee it will be magnified 10 fold. A shame that Gwynn got relegated to a pre show memorial but everything is driven by money these days.

    • rpearlston - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:21 PM

      What in the world is wrong with simply announcing your plans to retire at the end of the season, or even after the season? Doing so befoer the season begins simply forces everyone to delay the beginning of at least one game that season, in order to “honor” the player. (I always thought that that’s what happens when you enter the HOF, and it’s only sure HOF players who announce their retirement in this fashion.)
      Frankly, announcing before the season begins, and therefore forcing other teams to do things that they would not otherwise want to do, is selfish. Among other things, it takes away from everything else that every other player on that team needs to do, and does on the field.
      I never thought of Derek Jeter was bind selfish, but this?.

      • jrbdmb - Jul 17, 2014 at 4:59 AM

        Have to agree, the year long Derek Jeter Retirement Tour going on now doesn’t seem very Jeter-like to me … in retrospect, I’m hoping he regrets having signed on for this by pre-announcing his retirement.

      • dsaverno - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

        Someone like Jeter could not wait until the end of the season to announce his retirement because he would have been bombarded with literally thousands of questions during the season about what his future plans were. I don’t think there’s any way a star can go out quietly anymore. Media is just too pervasive. I think they just pick the lesser of the evils.

  11. rcali - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    The Jeter love couldn’t have been more over the top.

  12. drs76109 - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    They should do a roll call, like during awards shows, of folks lost in the previous year.

  13. granadafan - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Sorry Craig, no one watches pre-game programming for a glorified exhibition game (OK, maybe one of your bored readers did). Fox deserves all the criticism they get.

  14. russjohnson978 - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    You are sorry Craig… Your defense of this T.Gwynn slight only makes it worse.. You truly are a pile of S#it

  15. psunick - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    And FOX didn’t do a very good job on the Baseball is Dead eulogy, either

  16. aiede - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Tell me that if somebody competent were broadcasting the game, during one of the filler moments that were crammed full last night of JeterJeterJeterJeterJeterJeterJeterJeterJeterJeter, we couldn’t have gotten at least a “For all that Derek Jeter’s 14 All Star games are a great accomplishment, it’s hard not to look out at the National League outfield and still expect to see Tony Gwynn out there. For 15 seasons, including every single year of the 1990s, Gwynn represented the NL and treated American League fans who didn’t get a chance to see him play before the advent of interleague play and national games on cable TV to the sight of the best pure hitter of his generation giving AL pitchers a reason to be thankful they didn’t have to face him in games that counted.”

    • rpearlston - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      It’s 13 years since Gwynn retired. One would think that in that period, you’d be able to find a way to GET OVER IT and stop expecting to see him any outfield.
      Further, Gwynn was not the only former player to have passed away since the last ASG. You can’t single out just one person in a media memorial during such a game.

  17. embinoratsicus - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    Yes, jeter the problem jeter was that there jeter was just jeter not enough time jeter to devote jeter to one of the nicest, classiest, best hitting, and important to both his team and his city jeter than almost anyjeterone who played in the jeter last jeter 50 years jeter. Even jeter before the game jeter.

    Gwynn jeter was a better hitter jeter, a better fielder jeter that Jeter anyway, jeter.

    I will be glad when the lovefest for Jeter quiets to a dull roar.

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