When the 2017 baseball season starts, Detroit Tigers fans who watch games from the comfort of their homes will notice a few differences on Fox Sports Detroit.
The Detroit Tigers broadcast team will have more consistency than it did in 2016.
In 2016, games were covered by a seemingly random collection of pairings. They included Mario Impemba, Rod Allen, Dan Dickerson, Jack Morris, Monroe, and Kirk Gibson. The most common pairing involved Impemba and Allen. Occasionally, Impemba and Dickerson would swap their TV and radio roles. Morris and Gibson would take Allen’s spot.
Why the Changes?
There didn’t seem to much rhyme or reason to the pairings. They just happened.
It looks like FSD realized that fans were confused by the constant swappings and mixes. FSD’s general manager, Greg Hammaren said: “Fans didn’t like all the changes. Baseball is a game of tradition. … I have to accept the fact that I pushed the envelope too far.”
So instead of so many moving pieces in 2017, FSD has decided to keep it simple. Impemba will be the full-time play-by-play announcer. He will not spend any time doing radio work. He will be paired with either Allen or Gibson for the color commentary.
Who Will Do What in 2017?
Currently, Allen is scheduled for 102 games and Gibson has the rest. Of course, if the Tigers are featured on national broadcasts, those will cut into their numbers.
This means that fans who love to listen to the games on the radio will get to listen to the golden voice of Dan Dickerson for every game. Unfortunately, he will not be calling any games on television in 2017. He will continue to work with Jim Price on the radio. When I spoke to Dickerson last season, he did say that he prefers calling games on the radio. Dickerson is a fan favorite – so much so that fans will listen to Dickerson call the games while they watch them on TV with the sound turned off.
There will be one special guest in the booth. Dick Enberg will work with Gibson when the Tigers face the Los Angeles Dodgers at Comerica Park in mid-August. Enberg, a Michigan native and Central Michigan University graduate, retired last year from his career that began in 1957. His last full-time gig was calling games on TV for the San Diego Padres.
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Craig Monroe, affectionately known as C-Mo, will also be out of the booth during games. He will remain a studio analyst and he will also occasionally show up to do analysis from the field.
These changes will be helpful for fans who get appreciate the familiarity of the voices. While Morris did provide unique insight as an All-Star pitcher in the 1980s, he did not bring the same joy to the booth that Gibson and Allen did in 2016. Dickerson did a fine job calling games on TV, but he was not able to show the same enthusiasm as he can on the radio.
Overall, these changes will be positive for Detroit Tigers fans.