MLB: Longtime Tigers TV announcers suspended after alleged physical altercation
Detroit Tigers television announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen have been suspended for the rest of the season after allegedly getting into a physical altercation earlier this week.
Fox Sports Detroit announced the decision on Friday. The longtime popular pair reportedly tangled in the broadcast booth Tuesday before a game in Chicago against the White Sox.
“After speaking with all involved parties, Fox Sports Detroit has decided not to schedule Rod Allen and Mario Impemba for any future Tigers telecasts this season,” network spokeswoman Courtney Welch said in a statement. “Since this is an internal matter, we will have no further comment.”
Impemba and Allen are in their 17th season as the team’s main television team. Allen has split color-commentating duties with Kirk Gibson and Craig Monroe in the past two seasons.
Matt Shepard and Gibson, who traveled to Chicago to announce Wednesday’s game. The Tigers were off Thursday, and Shepard and Gibson were back in the booth as the Tigers host the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
Allen defended himself on Twitter on Thursday.
“I’ve always conducted myself as an honorable professional and I always will,” he said. “Because this is a personnel matter. I can’t comment right now.”
A message for Impemba was not immediately returned.
Red Sox to activate ace Chris Sale from DL, ease him back in
The Boston Red Sox are ready to slowly ease ace Chris Sale back into action.
Manager Alex Cora says the left-hander will be activated from the disabled list and pitch about two innings Tuesday night against Toronto at Fenway Park. Cora said Sale would throw a maximum of 40 pitches for the AL East leaders.
Cora made the announcement before Boston hosted Houston on Friday. The Red Sox have the best record in the majors and, if they win their division, would begin the playoffs in exactly four weeks.
Sale originally went on the disabled list July 31 with mild left shoulder inflammation. He returned for a start Aug. 12 against Baltimore, going five innings and striking out 12. But he quickly as placed back on the disabled list a week later with the same ailment.
“Little by little, we’re getting healthy,” Cora said.
Sale has been dominant this season, going 12-4 with a 1.97 ERA. His ERA is the second-best in the majors, and he has struck out 219 in only 146 innings. In July, he started the All-Star game for the third straight year.
Cora said the progression for Sale with be two innings his first outing, followed by three in his next start.
“We’ll keep going and then last one — whenever it is — it’s like a full-go six innings, 100 pitches or seven innings 100 pitches,” Cora said. “There’s a few days with the off-days there where we’ll take advantage of him building up and taking care of other guys.”
Mets 3B David Wright set for simulated game in comeback try
David Wright is scheduled to participate in a simulated game Saturday at Citi Field, the next step for the New York Mets’ captain as he tries to make a major league comeback from back and shoulder injuries.
The third baseman hasn’t played in the big leagues since May 2016. He batted a combined .171 (7 for 41) with one double in 10 games for Class A St. Lucie and two with Triple-A Las Vegas last month before his rehab assignment expired on the final day of August.
With the season over for New York’s minor league affiliates, Wright and the Mets are looking for other ways to measure his progress. He’s expected to get six at-bats Saturday and take live grounders in the field.
A seven-time All-Star, Wright is under contract through 2020. He is making $20 million this year and is owed $27 million over the next two seasons.
If the Mets reinstate him from the 60-day disabled list, it would likely diminish the amount of insurance money they could collect on his contract.
Orioles pitcher Hess hit in eye playing catch with football
Baltimore Orioles pitcher David Hess might miss a scheduled start after being hit in the eye while playing catch with a football.
Hess was tossing the ball with teammates before Friday night’s game against Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field. He was taken to a specialist for an examination of his left eye.
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter didn’t rule out Hess missing his start Saturday night against the Rays.
It’s a normal sight before batting practice to see pitchers doing running work involving football passes.
Hess is not the only issue for the Baltimore rotation this weekend. Showalter said righty Alex Cobb is not expected to start Sunday due to lingering blister problems. Josh Rogers would take Cobb’s spot.
Nationals activate closer Sean Doolittle from disabled list
The Washington Nationals have activated All-Star closer Sean Doolittle from the 10-day disabled list.
The Nationals made the move before Friday night’s game against the Cubs. The left-hander missed 54 games with a stress reaction in his left foot.
Doolittle is 3-2 with a 1.45 ERA in 35 appearances. He has 22 saves in 23 chances.
The 31-year-old was chosen as an All-Star for the second time in his career, but had to miss the game, which was held at Nationals Park.
His return likely means a passenger for Washington’s bullpen cart, which debuted Aug. 17 but has yet to be utilized by a player. Doolittle has said he will ride in the cart. Washington began the day eight games behind Atlanta in the NL East and nine back in the wild card race.
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