When I read the joint statement from the MLB and Fox I was amazed.
"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."
These are two major corporations with almost unlimited resources and they decided that after a full 24 hours had passed since the All-Star game that this was the best way to respond to the criticism they received from the failure to mention Tony Gwynn during their broadcast.
MLB and Fox must have been crafting this response for at least the last 15hours. I'm imagining countless PR professionals from both sides of the aisle working on the content and phrasing of the message and at least a few high level executives signing off on it, thinking or hoping that it would calm the storm. That's probably not how it happened though because with most large corporations there is always chaotic decision making, inept leadership and poor communication.
Yet all it would take would be to run this statement by
a focus group one sane individual to see how ridiculous their excuse sounds to everyone. Read the comments posted under their statement or the Tweets reacting to it. They all seem to get it. Just apologize for the oversight because the excuse is absurd.
Practically all they did was single someone out. Would paying tribute to all seven recently deceased mentioned be that hard to do? Of. Course. Not. All they needed to do to make time for a touching tribute was to speed up a few slow-motion Jeter montages to real time and they'd have, by my estimation, an extra hour of broadcast time.
With that said I have a feeling that at least two of the dearly departed, with whom I'm most familiar, would probably be pretty embarrassed by the attention this backlash has stirred up and put on them. But I guess that doesn't mean they are any less deserving of being remembered..