Kenny Williams talks about his ruined friendship with Ozzie Guillen

18 Comments

Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen are both charting new courses now, what with Williams having been pushed upstairs by the White Sox and Guillen getting fired by the Marlins. For the first time since the two split last year, Williams opened up about his feelings for Guillen to CSNChicago.com’s Chuck Garfien on Friday.

“He was my friend, a very dear friend at one point in time,” Williams said. “Some of the things that have been said have hurt me, I’ll be honest with you, because I didn’t feel like it was warranted. For me personally, it’s water under the bridge. You move on. It’s unfortunate what happened down in Florida.”

Williams hasn’t been in contact with Guillen since the two parted ways with last year’s trade. The two continued working together after nearly coming to blows in a June 2010 incident, but the relationship was frayed beyond repair during the 2011 season.

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.