I mentioned this morning that Brewers fans were some of the better fans I’ve seen — a point some of you have disputed in the comments. Fair enough, as my assessment of them is based on anecdotal “man, I’m sure having fun at this ballgame with all these Brewers fans” stuff. By some more objective measures they may not stack up. Of course, by one objective measure they certainly do:
The Milwaukee Brewers have already reached 1 million tickets sold for the 2010 season. The
franchise reached the milestone on Monday. It was the second-earliest
date the club has reached that milestone. Last season, the Brewers
reached 1 million sold on Jan. 19. The Brewers hit 1 million despite the fact that the franchise has not yet begun group or single-game sales.
Last year the Brewers ranked ninth in overall attendance. Every single team ahead of them plays in a larger MSA than Milwaukee, most of them much larger (come to think of it, I believe Milwaukee is the smallest MSA in all of Major League Baseball). We can argue about who’s more knowledgeable, but I think Milwaukee may have them all beat for enthusiasm.
Fox Sports Detroit has named Matt Shepard their new full-time play-by-play guy for Tigers games. Shepard will work with analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson, who will split time.
This is the move in response to former longtime announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen getting suspended and later fired following an in-booth altercation in Chicago last September. The two of them, who weren’t exactly friends, reportedly fought over a chair, with conflicting reports of how serious the fight was. An anonymous witness said Allen put Impemba in a choke hold. Allen recently gave an interview in which he denied that and said it was only some pushing and shoving. Either way, it ended their 16-year team-up for Tigers games.
Shepard has worked for Fox Sports Detroit for nearly 20 years, doing fill-in play-by-play for the Tigers — he replaced Impemba for the last few weeks of last season — and for Detroit Pistons games. Gibson has been a part time analyst for the network for the past couple of seasons, splitting time with Allen. Morris has done Tigers, Blue Jays and Twins games over the years, sometimes even splitting time between the Twins and Tigers, which is rather unusual.
Shepard is pretty good at his job. While Tigers fans liked and were familiar with Impemba, there won’t be a falloff in quality. Gibson makes some good analytical points and has a surprisingly sharp and biting sense of humor about him, but his gruff and monotone delivery is not everyone’s cup of tea. You get used to it. Morris is not my cup of tea — he tends to do a lot of the “back in my day” stuff former players often do — but I’m pretty sure he could recite the dictionary on TV in Detroit and a lot of Tigers fans would tune in. Such is life.