This weekend, Mario Impemba is back at Comerica Park but this time, he is with the enemy.
After spending nearly 17 years as the play-by-play man for the Detroit Tigers, Impemba was fired following a reported altercation with his then partner, Rod Allen.
On Friday night, the Tigers and Boston Red Sox game was delayed due to rain and during that delay, Impemba, who now does radio for the Red Sox, spoke to Tony Paul of the Detroit News about what is was like to be back at his old stomping grounds.
“It was weird,” Impemba said during a rain delay in the top of the sixth inning of Friday’s Red Sox-Tigers game. “It was strange taking my route to the ballpark, but not parking in the same parking garage, not going in the same booth, not walking into the same door.
“But it’s been good. It’s fun working for this team. They’re a Class A organization. It’s been a blast.”
Impemba admitted he is still dealing with some anger about how things unfolded during and following the alleged altercation with Allen. Despite the anger, he just wants to move on.
“There’s still a lot of negativity surrounding what happened,” Impemba said. “A lot of people ask me, ‘Why aren’t you telling your story?’
“I know what happened that night, he (Allen) knows what happened that night. I just want to move on. Nothing comes from rehashing a bad event in your life.”
It has been well-documented that doing play-by-play for the Detroit Tigers had been Impemba’s dream job for a very long time and when it ended abruptly, he felt robbed.
“I’m angry. I was angry,” Impemba said. “You know, I spent 17 years here in my hometown, this is my hometown team, I wanted to leave on my terms when I felt I couldn’t do the job anymore and say, ‘It’s been a great ride, thanks, I appreciate the opportunity.’
“And I was robbed of that. There’s some bitterness and anger there that you’ve gotta flush out. I think I’m getting there.
“I’m more angry at the situation, and it’s just going to take some time.”
One thing is for sure, we sure do miss Mario calling Tigers’ games but what we really miss is a winning baseball team, something he now has in Boston.