Neil Diamond is being accused of getting a little extra help from his friends at Fox when he sang "Sweet Caroline" at Tuesday's All-Star Game in New York.
The 1969 hit, a signature song for the 72-year-old Diamond, has been an unofficial theme song of the Boston Red Sox since 2002 and has been played since the Boston Marathon bombings as a sign of unity. On Tuesday night at the All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York -- broadcast on Fox -- Diamond crooned it to a seemingly appreciative crowd.
But wait -- maybe not that appreciative. The sports blog Deadspin accused Fox of boosting the volume of the crowd's reaction during the chorus, perhaps to make it seem like the grandstand was united in cheerful, celebratory sing-along. (In fact, the video shows that while some attendees looked happy with the song, others seemed nonplussed and expressed pleasure only when they realized they were on camera.)
And that's not all. Deadspin also says that Fox cut the sound of booing when Diamond was first introduced to sing the song -- boos that probably resulted from New York fans not wishing to hear a song associated with the loathed Red Sox, no matter how well-intentioned the moment may have been from the perspective of Fox and Major League Baseball.
What is Fox's reaction? "A preposterous assertion," said spokesman Lou D'Ermilio, without elaborating.
Well, you can judge for yourself. Deadspin posts the evidence here.
What do you think?