How thin are the Red Sox in the outfield with Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury on the disabled list? Well, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com they’ve been scouting Scott Podsednik at Triple-A.
Podsednik is playing there because he lost out to fellow slap-hitting speedster Juan Pierre for a spot on the Phillies’ bench and so far the 36-year-old has hit just .150 in seven Triple-A games.
Philadelphia would surely be willing to part with Podsednik for a modest return and Boston could definitely use some outfield help, but he didn’t even play in the majors last season. In fairness he was productive in 2009 and 2010, hitting .300 with a .347 on-base percentage to make up for a measly .397 slugging percentage, and perhaps the Red Sox have decided that a bigger investment doesn’t make sense at this point.
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.