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MLB, Fox release a joint statement about the lack of a Tony Gwynn tribute on Tuesday night

Jul 17, 2014, 6:59 AM EDT

Tony Gwynn Tony Gwynn

Since there was no baseball yesterday the “Major League Baseball and Fox snubbed Tony Gwynn” train gained steam all day. Eventually Fox and MLB released a statement about the matter:

“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.”

As I said yesterday, though a tribute to the departed would always be welcome, I don’t feel like MLB and Fox not doing anything along those lines is a problem given all that has been done in baseball — by the league, by every team, in every game broadcast in the days following his death — to honor Gwynn. And I think the statement’s inclusion of people like Coleman, Fregosi, Cashman and Zimmer is a mild jab back by Fox and MLB at the critics whose anger at the lack of a Gwynn tribute perhaps overlooks the fact that, if anything, Gwynn has been honored far more than others baseball has recently lost.

That said, this statement is pretty rich given that, above all else, Fox’s broadcast on Tuesday night was nothing if not the honoring of one person — the singling out of Derek Jeter — in a way that pretty much slighted most of the 70-some other All-Stars that were in attendance. Not to mention the game itself.

Still, I presume that the furor over this alleged slight will lead Fox and MLB to put together an Oscars-style death reel to be played at some point during the World Series pregame show.

  1. eshine76 - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    I like the montage idea because there were other notable men who died this year; Tony Gwynn just happened to be the most recent. I’m sure they can find a spot to slide it in, and Fox execs will be excited that they can sell the branding of that video to a life insurance company.

    • chiadam - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:43 AM

      Show a lot of things happing at once,
      Remind everyone of what’s going on (what’s going on?)
      And with every shot you show a little improvement
      To show it all would take to long
      That’s called a montage (montage)
      Oh we want montage (montage)

      • yahmule - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:30 AM

        That movie was so damn good.

    • ctony1216 - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:37 AM

      Every year at Yankees Old Timers games, the team honors former Yankees who have died with a moment of silence and, sometimes, with video, It’s not that hard to do.

      The folks running the event at MLB and Fox slipped up. They don’t need to make up for it at the World Series. Just do it right at next year’s All-Star Game.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        Too bad Jeter didn’t die when he was jogging off the field in the fourth inning. Maybe MLB could have taken a moment to specially honor him.

  2. clownsfan - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    Let me guess…..Selig didn’t know anything about this.

    • thebadguyswon - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:09 AM

      Of course not. That idiot should have been forced out 10 years ago.

    • chacochicken - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:37 AM

      He’s actually putting together a committee to investigate and present solutions to the problem. Should present recommendations by the time Tony Gwynn Jr. is 60.

    • chc4 - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:23 AM

      That excuse is good enough for our president so why not Selig?

      • thebadguyswon - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        Can of worms. Opened.

      • chc4 - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:20 AM

        Lol, yeah. Some people will take my snide comment too seriously and go ballistic. Kinda funny actually.

  3. rivermaya99 - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    Jeter overrated, Tony good.

    • mikhelb - Jul 17, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      Jeter has to be the most overrated player in the history of baseball that also is in the top 8 of most hits EVER. So so so overrated.

  4. Rich Stowe - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:14 AM

    having a montage of the departed at the All-Star game telecast showcasing those MLB players, managers, contributors etc who passed away from the last world series until the all-star game, and then again one during the World Series for those lost between the All-Star game and the World Series is probably the simplest way to keep everyone happy…

    • chiadam - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

      Anything that we want to go from just a beginner to a pro,
      You need a montage (montage)
      Oh it takes a montage (montage)

    • clydeserra - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:14 AM

      why not all star game to all star game?

  5. titansbro - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    Tony Gwynn was a better player than Jeter. That’s a fact.

    • Bob Loblaw - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:22 AM

      I don’t know about this…let’s ask Aaron. Hey Aaron, who was the better player, Derek Jeter or Tony Gwynn.

      Career WAR (b-ref):
      Derek Jeter 72.1
      Tony Gwynn 68.8

      Clearly, Derek Jeter was the better player.

      • largebill - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        I get that you’re still trying to make your pathetic case against Aaron using WAR to find a group of top 22 year olds, but that is probably about right in comparing career value of Jeter and Gwynn despite Gwynn having a higher peak. Gwynn attended college and lost time due to strikes and injuries so he played 200+ less games. Add in Jeter hitting 120+ more homers and WAR is probably right in assigning more value to Jeter’s career even if Gwynn was a better hitter for average.

      • Bob Loblaw - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:30 AM

        I wasn’t making a case. I was just pointing out the indisputable fact. You may call it pathetic, but the indisputable fact it was nonetheless. I am truly sorry if I offended anybody.

      • largebill - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:47 AM

        It is not about offending anyone (except those offended by poorly crafted arguments). We’re merely irritated that you continue to insist Aaron and others are saying something he/they did not say. WAR is simply a way to combine lots of stats to get a general idea how players stack up over course of a season or over a career. No one has claimed it is perfect or that it is the be all to end all. I fully expect that how it is calculated will continue to be adjusted over time.

      • Bob Loblaw - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:58 AM

        Again, not an argument. It’s a pretty simple fact and if you read the article, then it would hit you but you can’t get past the fact.

        Aaron was either overvaluing WAR or he was just too plain lazy to include more stats in his article. “List of best 22 year olds in baseball history” and only one stat(WAR) used to list them. What’s poorly crafted about simple common sense?

        ps I’m not really sorry…admittedly, that was poorly crafted sarcasm.

  6. tfbuckfutter - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    Wait….Jeter is retiring?

    Did anyone else know about this?

    • historiophiliac - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:34 AM

      Well, if you had watched the ASG, you would have seen him handing the crown over to Trout. There were Cuban backup dancers and everything. It was a show!

    • realgone2 - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      News to me

  7. sdelmonte - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    Ah, rampaging sentimentality. One of the things that made America great.

  8. dadawg77 - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Why pregame? Celebrate their lives and baseball history by playing the video while the crowd signs take me out to the ballgame during the seven inning stretch.

    • largebill - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:26 AM

      Huh, is “Take me out to the ballgame” being done for the hearing impaired now?

      • historiophiliac - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:58 AM


  9. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    “Fox’s broadcast on Tuesday night was nothing if not the honoring of one person — the singling out of Derek Jeter — in a way that pretty much slighted most of the 70-some other All-Stars that were in attendance. Not to mention the game itself.”

    And this is the exact problem I’ve had with both this years and last years All-Star game. And the problem I have with this entire farewell tour bull-crap that’s becoming common place these days.

    • chip56 - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:37 AM

      Well, the good news for you is that now that Chipper, Rivera and Jeter are retired you probably won’t see another one of these tributes until Oritz retires.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 17, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        I’m worried the Media and Fox are becoming addicted to these sorts of sendoffs and will do whatever they can to find the player of the year they want to focus on.

      • chip56 - Jul 17, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        It’s happened 4 times that I can think of (Cal, Chipper, Mo and Jeter) it just so happened that three iconic players retired in back-to-back-to-back years and so by now it does seem like overkill.

        If you think about it dispassionately though – the next guys are Ortiz and Pujols. Ortiz will probably be in a couple of years and Pujols a few years after that.

      • ahrmon - Jul 17, 2014 at 12:34 PM

        Considering the others are first ballot HOF’ers, I doubt Ortiz will get (or deserve) the farewell tour.

      • chip56 - Jul 17, 2014 at 12:38 PM

        Possibly not – I do think he’s popular enough that it would happen. What would stand more in his way is the fact that Ortiz wouldn’t have the foresight to know when it was time to hang them up. He’ll be retired when a team doesn’t sign him in the offseason.

      • mikhelb - Jul 17, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        They did something similar for Biggio, I attended Craig’s last game at San Diego (they benched him the day prior so I had to go the next day too to see him play one last time), I can not remember if they also had a farewell for Eddie Murray but i remember something.

      • chip56 - Jul 17, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        one game vs. a season long tribute.

  10. karlkolchak - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    The retirement of Jeter and death of Gwynn really highlights the sudden lack of American-born black players in baseball these days. From Hammerin’ Hank, “Say Hey” Willie back in the 1950s all the way through Bonds Jr. (love him or hate him), Griffey Jr., Larkin and these two guys in the 1990s and early 2000s, Amercan born black players were a real force in the league. Now, a lot of teams might have one American born black player on their roster and stars like Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard are a vanishing breed.

    I’m not really sure why this is, but it’s truly baseball’s loss.

    • chip56 - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      I think it’s because many more physically gifted African Americans are gravitating towards basketball and football in high school and college because the path to the pros is shorter (with few exceptions a even the highest drafted baseball player will ride busses in the minors for a few years).

      Additionally, a large percentage of African Americans live in urban areas where basketball is more the culture than baseball in part because all you need to play basketball is a hoop and a ball and one or three other people vs. the sort of large space and greater amount of equipment and personnel needed for baseball.

    • mikhelb - Jul 17, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      “Now, a lot of teams might have one American born black player on their roster and stars like Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard are a vanishing breed.”

      Thank god there are still a lot of american born black players in Puig, Céspedes, Abreu, Chapman, Canó, Starlin Castro and a lot more young black players from the different american countries.

      Did you know that America is a continent and not a country? Perhaps you meant the USA, as in United States OF America, that is, a country that belongs in the American continent, from Alaska to Patagonia.

  11. campcouch - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    If Gwynn had played on stacked teams like the Yanks had and won a few titles, I’m sure they would have made a big deal, but he played and produced in San Diego and has been underappreciated by MLB forever. It’s not a surprise, but you know, Gwynn would probably say it’s no big deal, he was just doing his job, no need for any tribute.

    • paperlions - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:13 AM


      Did you miss the week long tribute to Gwynn by everyone? Every writer that ever met him. Every blogger or fan that interacted with him. Every team did a tribute to him and had a moment of silence. There were so many fantastic Tony Gwynn stories around at once that it was impossible to read them all. In recent memory, what other player had so many heartfelt tributes from so many in the game?

      • campcouch - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:25 AM

        Yep,those guys gave their thoughts on him,but I said MLB underappreciated him,not everyone else.

      • paperlions - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:34 AM

        What evidence is there that “MLB” under appreciated him? MLB isn’t some organization aside from the teams, it IS the teams. Each team is 1/30th of MLB, and every single team had some sort of tribute and moment of silence…I suppose it is possible that some teams did not if they were on the road for the next week…not sure.

        When Gwynn was retiring, he got the farewell tour. A spot was added to the ASG rosters just for him in his last season (along with one for Ripken in the AL).

      • campcouch - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:05 AM

        Gee man, don’t get angry. I just felt that MLB could’ve done a little more to highlight the career of Gwynn during the break. In fact something for all of the guys who passed, me feeling that Gwynn was under appreciated is my view. They made a fuss about a guy since he announced his retirement but couldn’t do more to show a little appreciation for one of the best hitters and players who passed. Selig could have made it happen after intros and moved on to Jeter’s moment.

      • paperlions - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM

        I’m not angry. I didn’t intend for that to “read angry”. I was just saying that your perception isn’t really consistent with the data. MLB made a fuss when Gwynn retired as well, but it was a different time WRT social media and sports coverage. Former greats from MLB pass all the time. What, exactly, do you think they should have done?

        All the tributes were done when he died. What is the purpose of doing another one at the ASG? Would you also expect one during the WS? I just don’t see how what has been done (which is far more than has been done for anyone else) wasn’t already plenty.

      • campcouch - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        Oh not at all. The WS would be too far removed. I looked at the opportunity for exposure when more eyes were on the All-Star game. If anything to give the casual fan a chance to see a bit about it.

  12. clydeserra - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Also, why are they slighting Bob Welch in that statement?

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

      Exactly. The Gwynn tributes already outnumber those to Welch approximately 100 to 1. Gwynn died 1 week after Welch (who was only 57) and most people don’t even remember or didn’t know that Welch died.

      • thebadguyswon - Jul 17, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        Welch was also nowhere near as good a baseball player as Gwynn, nor did he have Gwynn’s sqeaky-clean reputation.

  13. icanspeel - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Wait did I read that correctly? They didn’t honor Tony Gwynn because they didn’t want to honor just 1 person so their solution was to just not honor anyone?

    • thebadguyswon - Jul 17, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      Well, that’s their half-assed excuse anyway.

    • jilljulias - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      Eh, they just didn’t think about it. It was a big mistake in my opinion. Since Tony Gwynn was a FIFTEEN TIME All Star who is in the Hall of Fame and only died about a month ago, it just seems a natural thing to mention.

      I mean there aren’t a lot of players that made that team fifteen times. I love though how they didn’t want it to be ‘about one player’. Because you know, Jeter was sort of treated like the only player on the field, or at least the only one that counted.

      What bothers me the most is Tony Gwynn was a player on a whole bunch of all star teams. It seems mentioning someone that appeared in so many all star games would deserve to be mentioned at an all star game!

  14. chip56 - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    MLB could, in theory, do what Hollywood does at the Oscars each year. Just have a video montage to those that the industry has lost in the last year.

    • aboutamoo - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      Wish I’d read down to your comment before I posted mine.

      But still. Yes.

  15. wjimenez275 - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    If Fox and MLB would have read the above statement during the game, everything would be fine. They didn’t need a long “tribute” to Gwynn, just a comment about the passing of these all stars. No mention of them at all was the issue.

  16. armorgan67 - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    I’m not buying their statement. In a nearly 4 hour telecast u can’t tell me that they couldn’t mention Gwynn and the other players that passed away. How much time would it have taken to mention these men?1 to 2 minutes tops? There is so much time in between innings and a All-Star Game is usually longer. Bottom line they both dropped the ball on this one. They didn’t think about doing something and now are trying to save face with this statement.

  17. aboutamoo - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Wouldn’t the ASG be a perfect time to do an Oscars-style video tribute to all the baseball players who had died in the previous year?

    Hell, I’d watch the game just for that alone. It’s already 90% of the reason I watch the Oscars.

  18. chattolanee10 - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    The media’s devotion to Jeter obscures anything else that has happened or will happen in the 2014 season. It;s ironic that in his 18 years as a player, Jeter has given nothing in the way of words or actions to the media that they can call “a quote”. He’s manipulated the press simply by remaining silent, and the press can’t stop fawning over him. Ironic, no?

  19. concussedmorneau - Jul 17, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    ESPN had a nice montage (everybody needs a montage) during the ESPY’s last night honoring all the players that had passed since the last award show. It was very well done. Gwynn, Welch, Zim and many others were included. Fox should be taking notes.

  20. csbanter - Jul 17, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Why are so many fans on here directing anger towards Jeter ? Jeter didn’t have a say so in the way MLB & FOX broadcast the ASG. A montage for Gwynn and others would have been appropriate.

  21. largebill - Jul 17, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Doing something for Gwynn would probably have been appropriate. That does not mean a conscious decision was made to do nothing or next to nothing. Gwynn is not the first ball player to die. I don’t remember previous All Star games addressing players who’ve passed recently. The proximity of Gwynn’s death to the All Star game might have made people more expectant that something would be done. We don’t have to bash MLB to make case to remember lost stars prior to All Star games in the future.

  22. sweepthleg - Jul 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    I feel I have been hurt the most by the lack of Tony Gwynn acknowledgement at the All-Star game and I expect MLB to make my hurt known by taking 45 minutes to an hour during the World Series to acknowledge that. Also, I will require 10 million dollars for the suffering that I have and I am enduring because of this. Do not deny my special personhoodness!

  23. ahrmon - Jul 17, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    ” in a way that pretty much slighted most of the 70-some other All-Stars that were in attendance”

    Your bitter tears nourish me. Don’t ever stop crying.

  24. jimmywho14 - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    You can’t talk about Tony Gwynn on Derek Jeter night, I mean All Star game.

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