The use of plural in the title of this post may be slightly misleading, as there’s really only one rumbling on this subject that I’ve seen, but it’s from the ol’ Hall of Famer, and kinda makes complete and total sense…
Jays broadcaster Alan Ashby, Houston native, in the mix for one of Astros vacancies in the booth?
— bob elliott (@elliottbaseball) December 8, 2012
Technically I wouldn’t call Ashby a “Houston native”– he’s from California– but I know what Elliott’s getting at here. The Jays’ radio (and occasionally TV) broadcaster lives in Houston, spent the bulk of his playing career in Houston, was a sports anchor in Houston following his retirement, did some managing in the Astros organization, served as their bullpen coach, and then became the club’s colour commentator– a job he held from 1998 until 2006.
He was let go, it is widely believed, because he was too honest about the Astros club he covered for the liking of the previous owner. And I definitely recall that when we had him on the DJF podcast a few years back, he called us from a Houston number. So, while I can only speculate that a return to a Houston job (there are openings in both the TV and radio booths, says Crawfish Boxes) would be preferable for him– maybe it’s not– like I say, it would make a lot of sense.
Whether it’s possible is another story, as there isn’t any reliable information that I can find to indicate what Ashby’s contract situation is. His Wikipedia page directs us to a Jordan Bastian piece for BlueJays.com in 2007, which explains that he was signed for three seasons of work. Someone on Wikipedia then adds a line suggesting he signed a five-year deal in 2010, a notion that has absolutely nothing I can find to corroborate it.
If it were a thing, though, I’m not sure how much of an obstacle a pact with the Jays would be, if both Ashby and the Astros really wanted to reunite– “dream job” and whatnot, y’know?
It would be a tough blow– y’know, on account of how Ashby is so the best– and it has certainly led to some speculation on what might happen in the Jays’ radio booth, should he be poached. There’s far from a consensus on what folks would like to see the Jays do, and while personally, I think Mike Wilner has paid more than enough dues to be first in line, I can’t help but wonder if they’d be more inclined to replace the ex-player with another ex-player, making Dirk Hayhurst, Gregg Zaun, or perhaps even Jose Cruz Jr. more likely targets.
It’s all entirely just spitballing, of course, and way too early to bother, most likely. But all of the obvious choices there sure would be divisive, one way or another, wouldn’t they? Could get interesting…