Rod Allen. There's just no one quite like him, is there? He's provided us with some ultra-colorful commentary alongside Mario Impemba in the booth this year, playing a wacky Costello to Mario's more straight-man Abbot. There were some great moments in 2013, ranging from Rod's stunned praise of amazing players and amazing plays, to the general silliness that sometimes breaks out in the booth, usually because of something Rod says that nobody expected him to say. Here, then, are 10 of my favorite Rod Allen moments from 2013.
10 - Rod wants a Snow Cone (April 14, vs OAK)
Rod loves food, seemingly, as evidenced by the types of euphemisms he employs (cheese, mustard, etc.), and from time to time he will outright tell the audience that he's hungry for something in particular. On this April day in Oakland, Rod apparently forgets that most of his listening audience is in Michigan, freezing their butts off.
9 - Miggy is ice cold (August 23, vs NYM)
Top of the second inning at Citi Field, facing "Dice-K" Matsuzaka, Cabrera takes the first pitch he sees and sends it about 950 feet into the left field seats. The sheer power on display here causes Rod to tell us a thing or two about Cabrera's temperature.
8 - Iglesias did not just do that (August 12, vs CHW)
You remember this play. Short chopper gets just past the mound and dies on the infield, Jose Iglesias races in, barehands it, then throws to first while he's diving and gets the out. It was on every highlight reel known to man, and here, Rod treats us to an exclamation of "Come on!" that he usually reserves for special occasions like this.
7 - Big Papi needs his mouth washed out (June 23, vs BOS - NSFW)
Top of the ninth in a back-and-forth game, the Tigers leading 7-5, and Joaquin Benoit has just let the leadoff hitter get on base with a single. David Ortiz is looking to tie it up with one swing, and Benoit gives him a great pitch to do it with, but he fouls it off instead, resulting in an explosive curse that gets picked up easily by the FSD sound system. I mean, everyone watching at home heard Big Papi drop the F-bomb. In an awkward moment in the booth, Rod gives his opinion, and proceeds to grill Mario about his childhood. (NSFW Warning: you will hear the F-bomb at the beginning of this clip.)
6 - Lengthy hair (April 24, vs KCR)
Luis Mendoza and his long, flowing hair came in to pitch in the bottom of the fourth, leading Rod to share his extended opinions about barbers, lady barbers, Mario's hair problems, his own afro days, etc.
5 - Rod's bucket list (May 12, vs CLE)
Mario mentions the fact that Indians' catcher Yan Gomes is from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and that's all it takes for Rod to go off on a tangent concerning places he'd like to visit. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to understand the way bucket lists work.
4 - Miggy goes into double-beast mode (Aug 7, vs CLE)
Another great all-around moment from the Tigers' 2013, this is the clip where Migue Cabrera, after having struck out in his three previous appearances against Danny Salazar, finally gets the best of the rookie pitcher by crushing a home run to dead center field. Rod has certainly called Miggy a beast before, but as far as I know, this constitutes the only instance of the extremely rare double-beast.
3 - Couple of hot dogs (August 12, vs CHW)
From the same game as Iggy's great play, earlier in the game Iglesias and Omar Infante turned a pretty slick double play to end the inning. During the commercial break, Rod had apparently been working on this joke, because he couldn't wait to go back to the replay and let this one fly.
2 - Rod used to be Bruce Lee (July 28, vs PHI)
Bruce Rondon steps in to pitch the eighth, Mario mentions the little-known fact that Bruce's first name is Bruce because his father was a big fan of Bruce Lee, and actually wanted "Lee" to be Rondon's middle name. Rod waxes nostalgic about his days of going to the theater to see Bruce Lee films, and a bit of juvenile delinquency that went with those days.
1 - Rod wants BBQ (July 3, vs TOR)
My all-time favorite clip of the year. It's the day before Independence Day, and Rod knows they're going to be stuck in CANADA for a night game on the Fourth of July. He wants BBQ ribs. He needs BBQ ribs. He will not be deterred by Mario's probably-correct comment that Cleveland (their next destination) isn't really known for its BBQ. Even if he has to sneak into someone's yard or get a fan from Detroit to bring him some leftovers, ROD WILL FIND BBQ ON INDEPENDENCE DAY!