Kevin Correia replaces Cole Hamels on NL All-Star roster

3 Comments

Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels is on the mound this afternoon against the Braves and won’t be eligible to pitch in Tuesday’s All-Star Game. His replacement: Kevin Correia, of the surprising Pittsburgh Pirates.

Correia, 30, has gone 11-7 with a 4.01 ERA and 1.28 WHIP through 19 starts with the Bucs this season. Those are hardly All-Star numbers — especially when you look beyond the win total — but the rosters on both sides have been ravaged by injuries and it’s only appropriate that a member of Pittsburgh’s overachieving staff gets to go.

Correia was signed to a bargain two-year, $8 million contract this past December.

The news was announced Sunday by the Pirates’ official Twitter account. With Andrew McCutchen and Joel Hanrahan also headed to Phoenix, the Bucs boast three All-Stars for the first time since 1990.

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

Getty Images
3 Comments

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.