When the Detroit Tigers take the field this coming season, they will be doing so in the same stadium and the same uniform as they wore a year ago. In fact, other than some new faces on the team, not much will be different for the Tigers in 2019.
But for those of us watching at home on Fox Sports Detroit, there will be a big change as neither Rod Allen nor Mario Impemba will be calling the games.
As you know by now, Mario and Rod were both fired by FSD following an alleged altercation that took place between the two after a game against the White Sox late in the season. According to some reports, it began over a dispute over a chair and ended with Rod ‘choking’ Mario.
Since the incident, neither has spoken about what took place, until now.
The first to speak out publically is Rod Allen, who did an exclusive sit down interview with Free Press columnist Carol Cain on the “Michigan Matters” show on Sunday morning on WWJ-TV (Ch. 62).
In the interview, Allen was asked about what happened on the night that ended up costing him and Impemba their jobs.
From Detroit Free Press:
Asked if he would have done anything differently, Allen said, “You know, it’s funny that you say that because I’ve thought that over and over and over and I really can’t come up with anything differently that I would have done. We had a bad day, there’s no doubt about that. I didn’t have a good day, he did not have a good day as well, and because of that, it was an argument. There was no choking, there was no fighting, there was no chasing down the hallway.”
Asked to detail the incident, Allen said, “Have you ever seen a baseball brawl where they open up the fences and both teams come running out and then they all merge in the infield? And there’s just a lot of talking and pushing and shoving? That’s basically what happened to us on September 4. There was some not much pushing but more verbal and somehow someway it turned into me chasing him down a hallway and choking him from behind and that’s what the media got a hold of and that’s what went national and I think that’s why both of us got fired.”
Asked if he thought the incident was overblown in media reports, Allen said, “No question about that. I will not say much about it but I will say this emphatically: I did not choke him, nor did I chase him. We had a bad day, we had a bad moment, there was some bad language, there was some finger-pointing and a little bit of pushing and shoving and that was the extent of it, so I was shocked to hear on Sept. 15 what I just told you about, with the choking.”
Asked about his relationship with Impemba, Allen said, “We’re professionals. Mario’s a good broadcaster, I’m a good broadcaster. We went to work every single day and we wanted to bring the best to Tigers fans and I think we were able to do that and I think a lot of its misconstrued that we didn’t really got along that much. I mean you don’t sit along someone for 16 years and not have some kind of respect for them. So, we had some good broadcasts, we had some great years in Detroit and so it did not end the way that I know I wanted it to end, I know it didn’t end the way that he wanted it to end but it end, but we had some really good broadcasts from the number of years.”
To watch the full interview, please click here.