H-Town Sports

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Astros Offseason: Lose Rocket, Add Nothing, Fire Beloved Announcer

I can't believe that there isn't more to this behind the scenes than what is currently being reported. In an offseason where the Astros havve already potentially lost Roger Clemens and added absolutely nothing to improve their meek offense but managed to raise ticket prices (understandable, but not so smart when you are simultaneously ticking off the majority of your fan bawse), McLane & Friends then fire a quality radio analyst in Alan Ashby, who is beloved by the community and respected by his peers. And to top it all off, they do it Christmas week.

Ashby apparently was rocky during his first couple of seasons working in the Astros' radio booth with Milo Hamilton, and I have heard him in interviews mention that he knows that he struggled but that he put a tremendous amount of time and energy into improving. I believe that those long hours paid off, as he certainly has proven to be more than capable during the past few seasons, adding both interesting insights available only from a former player and an affable personality, all the while working tirelessly to cover for Milo Hamilton's ever-increasing mountain of on-air confusion.

If some outsider came in and blew away the competition, and Astros management wanted to go another direction, that is understandable. But I do not understand why the Astros felt obligated to handle this situation in the manner that they have. Either there's more to this story that is as of yet unreported or the Astros just made an egregious error in judgment. I wonder if Ashby got ticked that he wasn't going to be named as Milo's successor and said/did something shouldn't have. Previously, the Astros' management had proven to be inept in their on-field decision making, but now it has apparently spread to the business side as well. Best wishes to Ashby and his family as they cope with this developing situation. From all reports, he is a class act and deserved nothing like this.


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