For fans who have become accustomed to the current Bally Sports broadcast booth during Tigers games the last few years: prepare yourselves, because changes are coming. It was already previously announced that Matt Shepard would continue in his role as the primary play-by-play announcer, but the color commentary that had been split between former players Kirk Gibson and Jack Morris would shift direction for the 2023 season.
While Gibson hasn’t been replaced, his airtime has been reduced over the past seasons as he has dealt with health issues related to his Parkinson’s diagnosis. Jack Morris, however, who faced controversy over problematic on-air comments, will not be returning for 2023. In Morris’s stead, frequent sideline host Craig “C. Mo” Monroe was announced as the new primary color commentator.
Now it has been announced a few other familiar names will take time in the broadcast booth this year. Sharing broadcast efforts with Monroe as part-time commentators, former Tigers Cameron Maybin and Todd Jones will make appearances throughout the season.
Todd Jones, whose mustache is still incredible-looking in case you were wondering, was with the team for two stints totaling eight years, including his 2000 All-Star season. Craig Monroe was with the Tigers for six seasons, including during their dismal 2003 season as well as their 2006 World Series run. Cameron Maybin was originally drafted by the Tigers, but was a key trade piece in the deal that brought Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers from the then-Florida Marlins. Maybin returned to the Tigers in 2016 and 2020 and has always been a fan-favorite for his charisma and positivity.
Fun fact, Maybin, Jones, and Monroe were all collectively active with the Tigers in one season: 2007.
Many former players have tested the broadcast waters over the last few seasons (both Austin Jackson and Alex Avila did stints on TV and radio and have done broadcast duties with MLB Network). This new shakeup in the booth is part of an ongoing effort for the Bally (formerly Fox Sports Detroit) TV broadcast crew to find a winning combination in the booth. The long-running duo of Rod Allen and Mario Impemba were together for 15 seasons and were beloved by fans. The collapse of their on-air relationship left a void in the booth that still hasn’t found its footing with viewers, as the Tigers' current booth generally ranks towards the bottom of “best-of broadcasting” lists.
It remains to be seen how this new crew will fare but we’ll be watching.