DETROIT -- The Tigers will have a new broadcast duo on their local telecasts next year. Play-by-play broadcaster Mario Impemba and analyst Rod Allen will not return next season after 16 seasons on the air together for Fox Sports Detroit, a source with knowledge of the move confirmed to MLB.com.The
DETROIT -- The Tigers will have a new broadcast duo on their local telecasts next year. Play-by-play broadcaster Mario Impemba and analyst Rod Allen will not return next season after 16 seasons on the air together for Fox Sports Detroit, a source with knowledge of the move confirmed to MLB.com.
The Tigers have neither confirmed nor commented on the decision, first reported by the Detroit Free Press.
The move comes after an off-the-air incident between the two in the broadcast booth five weeks ago following a Tigers game against the White Sox in Chicago. Fox Sports Detroit brought in Matt Shepard and Kirk Gibson to broadcast the next night's game, and announced later that neither Impemba nor Allen would be scheduled to work the rest of the season for what the network called an internal matter.
The only public comment from either broadcaster was a tweet from Allen a couple of days after the incident saying, "I've always conducted myself as an honorable professional and I always will. Because this is a personnel matter, I can't comment right now."
Shepard and Gibson handled game duties for most of the stretch run, with Tigers radio play-by-play broadcaster Dan Dickerson stepping in for one game.
The decision ends a broadcast partnership that dated back to the Tigers' rise from 119 losses in 2003 to American League champions three years later. Impemba, a Detroit-area native, came home to take over play-by-play duties in 2002. Allen, a former Tigers player, joined him a year later after Gibson went from the broadcast booth to then-manager Alan Trammell's coaching staff.
The tandem became familiar voices of Michigan summers, especially as the Tigers rose to perennial contenders behind a star-studded roster. Though the Tigers rotated in Dickerson on some games a few years ago, and other former players as analysts on select games the last few years -- including Hall of Famer Jack Morris and Gibson -- Impemba and Allen remained popular while working off each other's distinctively different personalities.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.