With the first pitch of Opening Day only a few hours away, Patch caught up with Macomb Township's resident Tigers expert Fox Sports Detroit baseball announcer to ask his thoughts on the team's strengths and odds for the season.
Impemba has been the TV voice for the Detroit Tigers on Fox Sports Detroit since 2002 and provides the play-by-play calls alongside color commentator Rod Allen.
Patch: What does Opening Day mean to you?
Impemba: Opening Day to me is much more than the actual game, it's an event. It's a day that represents a fresh start to the new year. You can feel that summer is right around the corner and the city comes alive. Opening Day is celebrated in Detroit like no other city.
Patch: How do you feel about this year's team?
Impemba: Expectations are very high for this team. With Miguel Cabrera, the addition of Prince Fielder gives the Tigers the most powerful 3-4 combination in the game. Beyond that, it is potentially a very potent lineup top to bottom. The starting rotation is deep and talented and so is the bullpen. The Tigers will feature the reigning MVP, Cy Young and batting champ. That's a pretty good start.
Patch: Will you be working until November? That is to say, will the Tigers reach the World Series?
Impemba: There are probably six elite teams in the American League, of which the Tigers are one. I don't think there is any doubt this team will win the division and they have enough talent to win it all. They will need to stay healthy. Injuries to Brennan Boesch and Al Alburquerque hurt their chances last year. With some breaks and health, hopefully the World Series will return to Detroit.
Patch: In past years you've helped produce project, which provides a DVD of the Opening Day telecast to displaced Tigers fans serving in the U.S. military. Will you do this again?
Impemba: Yes, we are planning to make Operation Opening Day available to our troops again this season. It will be the fourth year of the project and so far the Tigers have won the first three Operation Opening Day games. It is really gratifying to give our troops a little piece of home while they are away serving.
The Tigers face the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park today. The first pitch is at 1:05 p.m. .