Ex-Tigers broadcaster Rod Allen thanks fans, disputes media reports

The Detroit News
Former Fox Sports Detroit broadcaster Rod Allen.

Rod Allen has joined his long-time broadcast partner in bidding a farewell to Tigers fans.

Allen posted on Twitter on Friday afternoon, his first extensive public comments since he was fired, along with Mario Impemba, after a physical altercation between the two during a late-season series in Chicago.

Allen wrote:

"Dear Detroit Tigers Fans Everywhere:

It has been an honor and a privilege of my life, first as a player on the '84 Championship Team and, for the last 16 years in the broadcast booth, to serve you. Detroit Tigers fans are literally all over the world and, in my judgement, represent the most knowledgeable fan base of any franchise, in any sport, any where.

It was your passion and love for the Tigers organization and the game of baseball that has fueled and sustained me. I felt it when the lights came on in the booth prior to the first pitch until they were turned, off post-game. I cherished the opportunity to share my knowledge of the game I love so much (and my "Rodism's")Together, "We had way too much fun." I will always be grateful you welcomed me into your homes, your Tigers experiences and, indeed your lives.

I will forever remember the hundreds of thousands of extraordinarily kind comments you gave me throughout the years and (especially the last 3 months).

While the circumstances ending my tenure in our city are most unfortunate, you should know all early media accounts were not accurate. Please know I take pride in being an honorable person and the professional approach I have taken to the job that I did for you each day.

It was important to me I afford Fox the respect of releasing their statement first, before making any comment personally. With their announcement now made, I thank Fox Sports Detroit and the entire Detroit Tigers organization and, the Ilitch family for providing me the platform I've had for the last 16 seasons. You have my eternal gratitude. Above all, I thank you, the fans. My family and I appreciate you very much.

I See You Detroit!...Thank you for everything!"

Allen, 59, joined the Tigers broadcast booth in 2003.

Impemba and Allen were involved in a Sept. 4 confrontation at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, during which Allen allegedly had his hands on Impemba's neck, serving as the breaking point in what appeared to testy relationship.

Matt Shepard did much of the fill-in work once Impemba and Allen were first suspended, and later fired.

Fox Sports Detroit is expected to have replacements early in the new year.

Earlier this week, Impemba, 55, also issued a statement thanking the fans.