Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew was diagnosed with a concussion 10 days ago after getting beaned in the batting helmet by a pitch. And the 30-year-old has not made a whole lot of tangible progress since.
Scott Lauber — Red Sox beat writer for the Boston Herald — reports that Drew “has been cleared only to lightly play catch, not to take batting practice or ramp up his physical activity.” Which prompted Red Sox manager John Farrell to acknowledge Sunday morning in Fort Myers, Florida that “the window is narrowing” on Drew’s chances of opening the regular season as a member of the active 25-man roster.
Drew has been in contact with Dr. Michael Collins, a concussion specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. But no amount of advice or treatment can help curb the symptoms. It’s all about rest.
“This is one of those things that time has got to be given for those symptoms to subside,” Farrell said.
The Red Sox will probably feature Jose Iglesias as their starting shortstop until Drew is ready.
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.