During Tuesday night’s Major League Baseball All-Star game, Neil Diamond sang his classic, “Sweet Caroline.” In the middle of the eighth inning, the good times seemed good for Diamond, but according to the sports blog Deadspin, the sounds of adoring fans were helped by Fox, who were broadcasting the event.
The sports blog posts evidence of the change in volume of the crowd, including some boo’s when Diamond was introduced onto the field. The video shows many members of the audience enjoying themselves, but some only when they realize the camera is on them and friends and family at home can see them, because nobody wants to look disgruntled during their few seconds of television face-time.
Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, housed over 45,000 baseball fans Tuesday night. The stadium was filled with many New York fans, who aren’t too keen to participate in the camaraderie of the song because of it’s connection to their rivals, the Boston Red Sox.
Whether the audience response was fixed or not, Diamond seemed to enjoy himself at the event.
Had a ball singing "Sweet Caroline" at the All-Star game in NY tonight! #MLBAllStar
— Neil Diamond (@NeilDiamond) July 17, 2013
The song has long been familiar to baseball fans, especially those of the Boston Red Sox. Since 2002, Fenway Park has played the song in the middle of the eighth inning. After the Boston Marathon bombings the song was sung at sporting events to showcase solidarity, including a New York Yankees game. “Sweet Caroline” was preceded by a moment of silence at the Yankees game as a tribute to the victims of the tragedy.
The MLB All-Star game averaged 11 million viewers, making it Fox’s highest-rated program since this season’s finale of American Idol. Peek viewership came when New York Yankee pitching legend Mariano Rivera took to the field. The American League beat the National League 3-0.