Yesterday we learned that Fox Sports Detroit broadcast team Mario Impemba and Rod Allen got into a physical altercation during or following — accounts differ — Tuesday night’s Tigers-White Sox game in Chicago. Anonymous witnesses have said that Allen assaulted Impemba from behind and choked him. Allen’s agent has denied that Allen choked Impemba. Allen tweeted last night that he has “always conducted myself as an honorable professional” but otherwise declined comment, as has Impemba.
Both Impemba and Allen were flown home to Detroit — separately — on Wednesday and did not work Wednesday’s game, with backup team Matt Shepard and Kirk Gibson taking their place. Many wondered, after yesterday’s day off, who would be in the booth for the Tigers going forward. Looks like it’ll be Shepard and Gibson:
Whether they’re being suspended or being docked pay or anything is unclear. It seems, though, that they’re just getting paid time-outs, with the network pushing off the matter of what to do with them until the season is over.
Which is probably smart. For one thing, maybe it’ll give everyone some cooling off time. For another, it’ll allow Fox to decide what to do about their broadcast — be it continue with both combatants, just one or neither going forward — with less pressure.
It’s certainly the most interesting development relating to the Tigers this year.