Morris out for Tigers' TV telecasts; Gibson, Allen return

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — Fox Sports Detroit's broadcast team for Tigers games will experience more change in 2017.

Jack Morris will not be part of Fox Sports Detroit's Tigers telecasts this season.

While Kirk Gibson and Rod Allen will return as rotating analysts, a third color man, Jack Morris, will not, according to a source with knowledge of the network's decisions told The News.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because Fox Sports Detroit hasn't yet made an official announcement.

Morris, the winningest pitcher of the 1980s who won a World Series with Detroit in 1984, had split time between Tigers games on FSD and Minnesota Twins games on Fox Sports North the last two seasons.

Morris will work exclusively with FSN this season, serving as one of five rotating analysts for Twins games, along with Bert Blyleven, former Tiger Torii Hunter, LaTroy Hawkins and Roy Smalley.

During the last two seasons when the Tigers used three rotating analysts, Morris maintained the smallest workload on FSD.

Gibson returns for a third season since leaving the coaching business, and will do about 60 games, he told Drew Lane on a recent podcast.

Allen is expected to do the rest, his largest workload in the booth since 2014. This will be his 15th season calling Tigers games on television.

Craig Monroe, who did a handful of games in the booth last season, is not expected to be in the rotation this season, the source said. He is expected to resume his full-time role as a studio analyst who occasionally offers insight from the field.

Fox Sports Detroit officials told The News after last season that they were hoping not to have as many moving parts on the 2017 broadcast as they did in 2016.

There is one noteworthy addition: Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg will call the Tigers-Dodgers series at Comerica Park on Aug. 18-20. He did one game for the Tigers last season, with Gibson. There's no immediate word on who the analyst will be this time.

Henning: Zimmermann's health is key to Tigers' fate

On another note, it's unclear if TV play-by-play man Mario Impemba, in his 16th season with the Tigers, and radio play-by-play man Dan Dickerson will switch roles at all this season, as they did for a few series in 2016. While both men enjoyed the change of scenery last season, there's been no decision made on whether the switcharoos will continue.

Fox Sports Detroit has held the rights to Tigers games since 1998, and in the last decade has boasted some of the best local TV ratings in Major League Baseball.

The contract is believed to be up for renegotiation in the next few years, and a new deal will net the Tigers some significant dollars as TV rights contracts have exploded across the game in recent years.