The All-Star Game, the Midsummer Classic, “this time it counts!” Whatever you refer to it as, you most likely found some time during your Tuesday evening to tune into Fox Sports to catch part of it. Full of the top players and personalities in the game and surrounding it, the ASG is truly an event for every fan. Hey, every team even gets a required player, no matter how bad they are. What else could we want?
How about a little respect? I’m a calm person, generally, but the atrocious broadcast that happened last night is unforgivable.
We “had the opportunity” to listen to players, analysts and coaches all give their best stories about Yankees’ legend Derek Jeter, the starting shortstop of the ASG, despite his performance clearly not deserving it. There was also time to talk about MLB’s media center, where players could send boring and typecast tweets from the same iPad. We also were blessed with more highlights from the terribly formatted Home Run Derby last night, ruined by the mistreatment of the two best sluggers, Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Bautista.
Yet nothing on Tony Gwynn, good old Mr. Padre. Losing him is one of the biggest blows baseball has faced not only this year, but in the past few decades. The gravity of his loss was felt by every team, no matter the time zone, league or division. Every last team put together some sort of tribute for him, whether it was a short video or actually modifying the playing field. The point is, when someone who is as amazing as Tony Gwynn was on and off the baseball field, you pay respect. And there was no better place to do it than Target Field last night.
The Padres’ twitter account, not known for lashing out or even making snarky comments the way some teams’ do, sent out this simple tweet in response:
A classy move. Even if Fox doesn’t have enough time to pay its respects to the man who defined the 5.5 hole, the rest of the Twitter-sphere did. “Tony Gwynn” and #TonyGwynn have been trending for the majority of the game, and the postgame too. The tweet above has been retweeted almost 800 times as this is written, and I’m sure that number will only go up.
Maybe MLB will realize what a mistake they made. Or maybe they stay stuck in their well-woven ways. Redardless, the exclusion of any sort of mention of Tony Gwynn last night has completely erased all respect I have, and most fans too, for Fox’ baseball production team. It’s unforgivable, ridiculous, absurd, all of the above.
Or maybe we should calm down and take a step back. Would Tony Gwynn want us to be so angry? Is this how he would have wanted to leave?
Let’s take a page out of his book perhaps, and give him the true sendoff he deserved. Let’s continue to retweet, to post pictures of him in remembrance. But to do so with respect. That’s how he would have wanted it. So, let’s not remember this game as the complete strikeout by MLB and Fox that it was. Let’s just focus on how all baseball fans, from all corners of the world, came together one more time in 2014 and paid their tributes, even though the big corporations running the show didn’t have the stones to do it. And the sun will come up tomorrow, and the world will continue to orbit the sun, and life will go on.
That’s just how Tony would want it.