(CBS) Tuesday’s All-Star Game broadcast on Fox featured 100 mentions of Derek Jeter, according to Deadspin. Perhaps that was a bit much, but it was understandable, considering it was the legendary Jeter’s final All-Star Game with him retiring at season’s end.
What wasn’t understandable was Fox failing to mention — even once — the recent death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. Given the national stage and the custom in past All-Star games to honor greats or reflect on those who have passed away, it seemed a shocking omission to many viewers, and Fox drew a great deal of heat.
On Thursday, Fox released a statement about the situation.
“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 statement read. “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.”
Still, that explanation doesn’t pass muster for many. Why again, couldn’t Fox recognize all of those greats? Baseball games are forever long. A 60-second rundown of the legends who passed away and then a segment or interview reflecting on Gwynn’s many accomplishments and stature in the game should be easy to pull off. It’s the least Gwynn deserved, given all the time he gave to the people and the game through the years.