Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers TV Broadcasters Ranked 11th in MLB

Some Detroit Tigers’ fans hate ‘em, other Tigers’ fans hate when they can’t hear them, but an outside source has determined that Mario Impemba and Rod Allen are the 11th best local TV team in all of baseball.

The blog Awful Announcing polled its readers on Facebook and Twitter over the last several weeks asking for fans of each team, and viewers who are fans of other teams but tune in via MLB Extra Innings or MLB.TV, to give each local broadcast team a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F.

Mario and Rod, of Fox Sports Detroit, placed 11th out of 30 MLB teams, receiving an average letter grade of B. 

Analysis: 78% of readers gave the Tigers either an A, a B, or a C, with all three grades receiving between 24% and 28% of the vote. Impemba and Allen got a lot of reviews that talked about them not taking things seriously too often, which immediately jumps out as one of their defining qualities.

Reader Comments:

“They also have this generalized silliness to them that at some points in games which makes me think I’m watching a game broadcasted by little kids” -jbaker1987

“Mario Impemba for the Tigers is pretty decent as an announcer, not bad but certainly not the best, but Rod Allen can be unbearable to listen to at times.” -dishnet34

@awfulannouncing @RodAllen12 & @mario_impemba for Tigers. Entertaining, informative & call the game rather than try to be part of the game. -@UMTiger89

@awfulannouncing I like Tiger team. Some think @RodAllen12 is hokey but the guy knows the game and chased a Japanese pitcher around field. -@cmad3961

@awfulannouncing I would give the Tigers announcers a C+. Rod Allen really brings down the broadcast with his not so astute analysis. -@Curtos07

I know some readers of Motor City Bengals are not fans of Mario and Rod, more particularly Rod Allen, but I think they’re fine and would give anything to hear them call postseason games instead of the yahoos they get on TBS, Fox, and MLB Network. Sure the Rod schtick can get old after Game 124, but that’s what sheer repetition will do.

I grew up in the age of George Kell and Al Kaline, and to me there is no substitute. That said, if George and Al did 150 games per year (they did probably 60-80 at most), today’s fans would probably get tired of the same thing every night. That’s just the nature of baseball’s “every day” mentality.

Other notables

Top 5:

  1. San Francisco Giants
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. Baltimore Orioles
  4. New York Mets
  5. Chicago Cubs
  • Minnesota was the only AL Central team to rank higher than Detroit’s broadcast team, placing seventh. Kansas City was 18th, Cleveland 21st, and Hawk Harrleson’s antics in the booth for several decades placed the Chicago White Sox dead last.
  • No typical East Coast bias (i.e. Yanks-Sox love) in the poll. The Yankees team finished 25th while Boston finished 13th.

View the full rankings at Awful Announcing.

So do you think Mario and Rod should have been in the Top 5 or 10? Were they ranked too high? What grade would you give them? A,B,C,D or worse? Comment below and sound off.


Tags: Detroit Tigers Featured Popular

  • Josie Parnell

    “He tore the pitching toe out of his hind foot.” – Al Kaline

    You’re right, there is NO substitute for Kell and Kaline to those of us lucky enough to listen to them regularly. I know that’s how it is for me!

    Reading your last few paragraphs got me thinking though. You’re right again, repetition does a lot towards making Rod Allen, and any other broadcaster for that matter, unbearable. Wouldn’t it be awesome if they rotated announcers? Maybe a home crew and a road crew, or a crew for certain teams, or whatever, the logistics could be figured out a million ways, but it would keep it fresh.

    I know chances of it happening are slim(none, lol) but man would that be awesome. And waaaay less irritating.

    • Matt Pelc

      Agreed. I’m old enough to remember George and Al doing mainly weekend games, mostly road games (because the regime before Tom Monahan thought broadcasting home games would kill attendance–my fandom started in the Monahan years but you could tell there was still a bit of that mindset hanging out).

      But we also had PASS that did maybe 2-3 games per week in addition to what Channel 4 would broadcast. Larry Osterman and Jim Northrup were the guys on there for a long time.

      Changing things up is good, but every time people complain about Mario and Rod, just remember how much MORE they complain when Kenny Albert, Don Orsillio or worst of all Joe Buck does Tigers’ games and know next to nothing about the team other than Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera.

  • Rex Reed

    No real problem with the broadcasts they can be humorous, which I like, but if I hear Rod say a ball was hit off the gate I will scream. The ball hit off the fricken outfield wall. There is no gate!

    • Dulaine Harris

      Theoretically, there is a gate. What do pitchers come through to get into the game? My screamer is ” Pulled his hands in nicely!!” AAARRRGhhhh!!!!

      • Rex Reed

        Yes that’s true but the gate doesn’t cover the whole outfield wall.

        • Dulaine Harris

          True that, so just go get yourself some pink cotton candy and enjoy the game, lol

  • Dulaine Harris

    Kaline was my favorite Tiger but he was dull and monotonous as a broadcaster. Kell and Harwell were the best ever. As for Rod, if he changed some of his phrases to offer more diversity, he’d be all right. Impemba is as good as they come. Also there is a difference between Hawk’s hometown partiality and trying fervently not to criticize the home team at times when it’s obvious and necessary. Rod and Mario, especially Mario walk a thin tightrope continuously. The fans know when somebody is terrible or blunders. They should call it like it is with a feathery touch, given, but tell the (sugar coated) truth!

  • Robert Ballard

    Rod and Mario are okay but I turn to the radio to listen to Jim Price and Don Dickerson. Dickerson is very good and Jim is a true “homer” but also reflects back to the 60s and 70s, which most of us remember. We are fortunate to have pretty competent media reps for our team.

  • John_Sweda

    We were spoiled for years and years by hall-of-famers Kell, Kaline, and Harwell. It made me sick when the legendary Ernie Harwell was shown the exit and replaced by Rizzs and Rathbun. Rod and Mario are OK, but not great. These guys have only been at it since 2002. If they stick around another dozen years, maybe they will become great!