According to a report from Katie Strang of The Athletic, Detroit Tigers broadcasters Mario Impemba and Rod Allen were replaced by Matt Shepherd and Kirk Gibson on Wednesday night after an altercation on Tuesday.
Via The Athletic:
Multiple sources told The Athletic that neither Impemba nor Allen were part of Wednesday’s broadcast due to a physical altercation between the two television personalities following Tuesday’s game in Chicago against the White Sox. It is not immediately clear what prompted the attack.According to the accounts of those sources, there has been simmering tension between both Impemba and Allen and the clash of personalities ultimately boiled over on Tuesday night.
If you think about it, baseball broadcaster might be one of the worst jobs to do with someone you don’t get along with. It’s a tough job to begin with, but 162 games in the booth, all the travel, and reliance upon finding new and entertaining ways to describe the action (and frequent inaction) of the game can be a grind on anyone, but if you don’t have a great match for your partner, that’s a recipe for frustration.
Impemba and Allen have been together since 2002, which is a long time to work with any one person, whether you liked them at the start or not. But while it might be dangerous to read too much into our own MLB broadcast rankings, the Tigers booth started high, ranking 11th in 2014, but they’ve fallen down to 23rd in the most recent version.
Maybe viewers had picked up on some of the tension that’s apparently been fueling the booth for a while now. Regardless, there’s no word yet when they’ll be back working together. The Tigers are off today before starting a weekend homestand against the Cardinals tomorrow night. Their reunion, assuming it comes, will certainly be fun television.