Two more ex-Tigers join Bally Sports Detroit booth for 2023

Detroit News

Detroit — Tigers fans were waiting for some notable moves.

And, on Thursday, they got them — albeit, not on the actual playing roster.

Two former Tigers have signed on to join the Bally Sports Detroit TV booth for the 2023 season: Cameron Maybin, who had three stints in Detroit after he was drafted in the first round in 2005, and Todd Jones, the franchise’s all-time saves leader who helped lead the team to the 2006 World Series.

Bally Sports Detroit made the official announcement Thursday.

“Tigers baseball is always a winner,” Greg Hammaren, BSD senior vice president and general manager, said in a statement. “All of us at Bally Sports Detroit are energized about this upcoming season and watching all the excitement unfold. Our crew behind the scenes and our engaging talent on camera are the best in the business. Starting with Spring Training, we are committed to bringing Tigers fans the absolute best coverage all season long.”

Maybin, 35, returns to Detroit after a brief run on the New York Yankees’ YES broadcasts. Jones, 54, has made occasional cameos on Bally Sports Detroit broadcasts over the years since retiring after the 2008 season.

Bally Sports Detroit also announced Thursday that Craig Monroe, 45, a slugger who also was part of the 2006 Tigers’ World Series run, will move up to lead analyst on the game broadcasts.

Dan Petry, 64, will have the second-most work, and be the lead analyst on pregame and postgame shows.

Kirk Gibson, 65, like Petry a star on the 1984 Tigers, also returns, in a limited role, as he continues to battle Parkinson’s Disease. Gibson also is a member of the Tigers’ front office.

Not returning for 2023 is Jack Morris, 67, a Hall-of-Fame pitcher on the 1984 Tigers. The News reported last month that Morris was out, in a decision that was mutual after Bally Sports Detroit wanted to cut his workload. Morris had been a staple in the Tigers TV booth since 2019, and before that from 2015-17. He also has worked broadcasts for two of his other former teams, the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays.

In 2021, Morris was suspended and ordered to undergo sensitivity training after he seemed to use an Asian accent while Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani was at the plate during a game against the Tigers.

Morris apologized later on the broadcast, saying, “I sincerely apologize if I offended anybody.”

Ohtani and then-Angels manager Joe Maddon said they were not offended.

Maybin played for 10 different teams during a 15-year career, including three stints in the outfield with the Tigers, who first traded him in 2007 as part of the blockbuster package that brought Miguel Cabrera to Detroit from the Marlins. He also played for the Tigers in 2016 and 2020, and played briefly with the New York Mets in 2021 before retiring. Maybin joined the Yankees’ YES broadcast in 2022, and was fired last month after mixed reviews on the job.

Jones was another player with multiple stints in Detroit, first from 1997-2001, and then from 2006-08. He was signed before the 2006 season, and saved 36 games as the Tigers stunned Major League Baseball by making the World Series just three years after losing 119 games. Nicknamed the “Rollercoaster” by Ernie Harwell for his patented nerveracking ninth innings, he saved 235 games for the Tigers, most in franchise history, ahead of Mike Henneman.

John Keating and Mickey York will continue to share pregame and postgame hosting duties for Bally Sports Detroit, which also welcomes back reporters Johnny Kane, Trevor Thompson and Natalie Kerwin.

Bally Sports Detroit will broadcast almost all of the Tigers’ regular-season games, plus seven spring-training games, starting March 5 with a game against the Minnesota Twins.

The booth news comes amid financial uncertainty with Bally Sports Detroit’s parent company, Diamond Sports Group, which is headed toward bankruptcy as more and more customers cut the cable chord in favor of streaming services. The Ilitches, who own the Tigers, had considered in recent years starting their own sports network, a significant logistical and financial undertaking, but in 2021 reupped with Bally Sports Detroit for Tigers and Red Wings broadcasts. The deal is believed to be worth more than $50 million a year for the Tigers. National reports in recent weeks have speculated that Diamond Sports Group’s annual payments to professional sports teams in MLB, the NHL and NBA (the Pistons also are on BSD) could be halted amid a bankruptcy case.

Twitter: @tonypaul1984

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