Major League Baseball and FOX Sports have created a tremendous amount of controversy this evening during the broadcast of the Major League All-Star game, as they failed to mention Padres legend Tony Gwynn, who passed away last month from cancer.
The broadcast was billed as a swan song for Yankees shortstop and legend Derek Jeter, who was playing in his final All-Star Game. Jeter deserves all the accolades he gets, which included a standing ovation when he left the field and an in-game interview that was essentially a rehash of everything Jeter has accomplished.
However, Gwynn was a legend in his own right, and his premature death last month only reaffirmed how beloved Gwynn was in the baseball community. The outpouring of grief for the San Diego legend was widespread across the nation, which proved that Gwynn was more than a great player in a sleepy town -- he was one of the most popular baseball players of the last 30 years.
Perhaps Major League Baseball felt that Gwynn has been honored enough. He was a top story on ESPN for several days and his memorial service attracted more than 20,000 fans to Petco Park. Maybe they felt like a Jeter tribute would cause droves of Yankees fans to flip on their television sets and provide a boost for sagging ratings. Bud Selig and company made sure that the night belonged to Jeter.
The game also featured one of the most awkward interviews in recent memory when Cardinals pitcher had to apologize for stating that he intended to "groove a few pitches to Jeter." All-Star MVP Mike Trout had to answer a few questions about Jeter in his post-game interview. There was no doubt that the All-Star game became a three-hour informerical for the legendary shortstop.
The intent here is to take nothing away from Jeter -- this writer grew up idolizing the Yankee great, however, there was plenty of room to mention Gwynn. Does FOX really need to interview the managers of each team? In a three-hour broadcast, a legend like Gwynn deserves a little love, a little remembrance in a game he participated in fifteen times.
It warms the heart of this San Diego sports fan to see all of the national media who were offended by Gwynn's omission from tonight's broadcast. For those of us in San Diego, it seems pretty trivial. San Diego knows what a great player and person Gwynn truly was. Stories of his abilities,