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#pounditFriday, July 12, 2024

Tigers hire TV announcer away from the White Sox

Jason Benetti smiling

The Detroit Tigers poached talent from the Chicago White Sox this week. But rather than go after an active player or prospect, the Tigers pounced on respected White Sox announcer Jason Benetti.

The Tigers’ official X account broke the news Thursday morning that Benetti “inked a multi-year contract” to be the team’s play-by-play announcer beginning next season.

Benetti has been the voice calling games in the south side of Chicago for the last eight seasons. He sent White Sox fans a heartfelt parting message after the news went public.

“You’ve spent 8 years making me feel welcome and loved and appreciated. And I love you dearly. I will always cherish you and your passion and joy. You mean more than you know to me,” Benetti posted on X.

https://twitter.com/jasonbenetti/status/172266029063284348

The Tigers parted ways with play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard in early October. Shepard had been the Tigers’ lead television broadcaster for the last five seasons.

Shepard landed the full-time announcer job in 2019 after the midseason departure of renowned Tigers announcing duo Mario Impemba and Rod Allen in 2018. The former partners got into a physical altercation that led to their unceremonious exit.

The void left by Impemba and Allen was not one that was easily filled. The Tigers used a revolving door of analysts alongside Shepard, but none of the various combinations yielded a pairing with the same chemistry as that of Impemba and Allen.

The Tigers’ move to sign Benetti appears to be the team’s first big move to resuscitate what has been considered a middling broadcast since Impemba and Allen left.

Benetti will call at least 127 of the the team’s 162 regular season games next season. The 40-year-old announcer also has obligations with FOX to call nationally-televised MLB games.

Benetti is a Chicago native who was already working his dream job of covering White Sox games. In 2016, he replaced his childhood idol Hawk Harrelson on the White Sox broadcast.

Benetti believes that “there’s something special” brewing with the Tigers — something he wants to be a part of.

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