Rod Allen and Mario Impemba will not return to the television broadcast booth for the Detroit Tigers in 2019. The two were involved in a physical altercation after a game in Chicago in September. They were indefinitely suspended after that incident and did not return for the remainder of the season. They were replaced by Matt Shepherd and Kirk Gibson.
According to The Detroit News, the fight between Allen and Impemba may have been over a chair.
There were three chairs in the tightly packed booth, only one of which was sturdy: one Impemba had mindlessly or, perhaps carelessly, decided to occupy when it rested in his broadcast spot. Allen has had back issues and rigid seats are important. When he arrived, he expected the more supportive chair to be his.
Impemba, according to a source, said nothing but was steamed as he turned it over. Impemba’s ire was obvious and now Allen was miffed:
“Are you mad that I took this chair?” he asked, according to the source.
The Detroit Free Press cites multiple sources saying that Allen and Impemba are out. The duo had been calling Tigers games since 2003.