Man dies after falling from stands at Rangers Ballpark

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Terrible news out of Arlington, Texas.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram‘s Drew Davison, a man who fell 20 feet onto a concrete level Thursday evening at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington has been pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Rangers president Nolan Ryan addressed the media shortly after the conclusion of Thursday’s game against the A’s, expressing “deep sadness” on behalf of the entire organization and its fans.

More from Davison and the Star-Telegram:

The fan tumbled over the railing at approximately 7:30 p.m. after asking Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton for a foul ball hit by Oakland outfielder Conor Jackson in the top of the second inning. Hamilton tossed the ball up to him, he leaned over and caught it and then went headfirst into the gap between the seats and out-of-town scoreboard.

The man has not currently been identified. Witnesses say he was a firefighter from Brownwood, Texas and was attending the game with his son, who looked to be around six or eight years old.

Several players who witnessed the fall were visibly shaken when informed of the news after the game.

UPDATE:  More details on this awful incident can be found here.

Matt Shepard to be the Tigers new full-time play-by-play guy

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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.