The $8-small beer barrier has been broken

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Beer at the ballpark is expensive. We all know that and understand that because we all know that people need beer to survive as if it were oxygen and those criminals who run the ballpark have us over a barrel.

But it’s getting even more expensive:

Major League Baseball’s average price for a small beer rose from $5.81 last year to $6.16 this year. At this time last year, the highest price for a small beer was the $7.25 the Boston Red Sox were charging at Fenway Park. This year three teams have exceeded that price, with two breaking the $8 barrier for the first time ever.

The rest of that article is a beer price slide show, but if you make it all the way until the end you learn that the most expensive beer in baseball is in Detroit, where a small beer costs $8.75. That’s for 20 ounces, not 16, but it’s still an increase per ounce over last year’s prices for the then-small 16 ouncer.  And is more than I paid for sixer of Newcastle at the Giant Eagle last night.

In other news, if you’re heading to Comerica Park this summer, may I recommend stopping by here first?

(link via reader bloodysock)

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.