Carlos Carrasco: “I really want to say sorry, I don’t want to hit anybody”

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Carlos Carrasco’s return from Tommy John elbow surgery was delayed by having to serve a six-game suspension left over from plunking Billy Butler with a pitch in 2011. With his suspension over, Carrasco returned to the mound last night against the Yankees … and was ejected in the fourth inning for plunking Kevin Youkilis.

Carrasco hit Youkilis after Robinson Cano hit a homer in a blowout and Yankees manager Joe Girardi is convinced it was on purpose, but afterward Carrasco insisted it was an accident:

I know it doesn’t look good. I really want to say sorry. I don’t want to hit anybody. I don’t want to do anything bad. I waited a year and a half to get my suspension [done] and everything. I don’t want to do that again. I don’t want to be suspended.

Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that Carrasco waited for Terry Francona outside the manager’s office to explain himself and say he didn’t do it on purpose, but no one involved from either side seems fully convinced. And either way he’s probably facing another suspension.

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.