Tigers analyst Rod Allen allegedly assaulted and choked broadcast partner Mario Impemba

MLB.tv
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UPDATE: WDIV in Detroit is reporting that this was far more than pushing and shoving:

Sources told Local 4 that Impemba left the broadcast booth at some point and Allen followed, assaulting Impemba from behind and choking him.

The altercation was because of a disagreement over a chair in the booth, sources told Local 4.

Which, um, yeah, that’s way worse than I think most of us envisioned. I suspect, if this report is true, Rod Allen’s days as a Tigers broadcaster are over.

10:41 AM: My wife is a big Tigers fan so I watch a lot of Tigers games. As such, I’m quite familiar with the Fox Sports Detroit broadcast crew of play-by-play man Mario Impemba and color commentator Rod Allen. They’ve been together for years.

I think Impemba is one of the better play-by-play guys around and, while not everyone’s cup of tea, Allen — who is, frankly, kinda weird sometimes — sort of grows on you over time. Tigers fans have even developed a drinking game for when he’s on the air that is fun, albeit dangerous for your liver. My favorite is that you get two drinks when he refers to a pitch as a “piece.” A slider is a “slide piece,” for example. Like I said . . . he’s a bit weird. All of that said, I sorta like those guys.

They do not, however, much like each other. Folks who follow the team closely or know people either with the Tigers or in the Detroit media scene have been aware of this for a while. Generally it’s just chalked up to stylistic differences and stubbornness, no doubt compounded by having to spend so much time together in close quarters. While there has, on occasion, been some coolness between the two of them during broadcasts and less of the fun banter a lot of broadcast teams share, they have always been professional on the air.

Who knew that it was this, bad, though? From Katie Strang of The Athletic:

Multiple sources told The Athletic that neither Impemba nor Allen were part of Wednesday’s broadcast due to a physical altercation between the two television personalities following Tuesday’s game in Chicago against the White Sox. It is not immediately clear what prompted the attack.

The Tigers hastily flew second string broadcasters Matt Shepard and Kirk Gibson to Chicago to cover last night’s game. Impemba and Allen were flown back home, on separate flights. No one is commenting.

I’ve watched a lot fewer Tigers games this year than in the past several years because, frankly, I try to limit my exposure to bad baseball, but when I have tuned in I feel like Gibson has been in the color commentator chair more often than usual. Maybe they’re transitioning Allen out? Maybe this hastens that process.

Stay tuned.

Cards’ Pujols hits 700th career home run, 4th to reach mark

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 700th career home run on Friday night, connecting for his second drive of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and becoming the fourth player to reach the milestone in major league history.

The 42-year-old Pujols hit No. 699 in the third inning, then launched No. 700 in the fourth at Dodger Stadium.

With the drive in the final days of his last big league season, Pujols joined Barry Bonds (762 homers), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) in one of baseball’s most exclusive clubs.

It’s been a remarkable run for Pujols. This was his 14th home run since the start of August for the NL Central-leading Cardinals, and his 21st of the season.

Pujols’ historic homer was a three-run shot against Dodgers reliever Phil Bickford. The ball landed in the first few rows of the left-field pavilion, the same location his two-run shot touched down the previous inning off left-hander Andrew Heaney.

Pujols received a prolonged standing ovation from the crowd – he finished out last season while playing for the Dodgers. He took a curtain call, raising his cap in acknowledgment.

The fans chanted “Pujols! Pujols!” They finally sat down after being on their feet in anticipation of seeing history.

Pujols snapped a tie with Alex Rodriguez for fourth on the list when he hit career homer No. 697 against Pittsburgh on Sept. 11.

Reaching 700 homers seemed like a long shot for Pujols when he was batting .189 on July 4. But the three-time NL MVP started to find his stroke in August, swatting seven homers in one 10-game stretch that helped St. Louis pull away in the division race.

“I know that early in the year … I obviously wanted better results,” Pujols said after he homered in a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 22. “But I felt like I was hitting the ball hard. Sometimes this game is going to take more away from you than the game (is) giving you back.

“So I think at the end of the day you have to be positive and just stay focused and trust your work. That’s something that I’ve done all the time.”

Pujols has enjoyed a resurgent season after returning to St. Louis in March for a $2.5 million, one-year contract. It’s his highest total since he hit 23 homers for the Angels in 2019.

He plans to retire when the season ends.

Pujols also began his career in St. Louis. He was selected by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 amateur draft and won the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year award.

The Dominican Republic native hit at least .300 with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs in each of his first 10 seasons. He helped the Cardinals to World Series titles in 2006 and 2011.

He set a career high with 49 homers in 2006 – one of seven seasons with at least 40 homers. He led the majors with 47 homers in 2009 and topped the NL with 42 in 2010.

Pujols left St. Louis in free agency in December 2011, signing a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Angels. He was waived by the Angels in May 2021, and then joined the Dodgers and hit 12 homers and drove in 38 runs in 85 games.