None of Wednesday's TV broadcast team announcement was surprising, as the two new names that the Astros revealed had been known for a while. Alan Ashby will be returning to Houston after being exiled to the Great White North of Canada as the other half of the Astros TV team along with veteran Bill Brown.
Former third baseman and crazy-haired crazy Geoff Blum will also be joining the team as Brown's backup. When the deal was announced, it came out that Ashby is in line to take over the play-by-play duties from Brownie in a few years, and that Brown will start scaling down his workload. On those games when he is away, Blum will fill in as the color analyst with Ashby handling the PBP duties.
Ashby, of course, was Houston's color analyst on the radio side from 1998 until 2006 when he was let go in a late-winter, out-of-nowhere firing by Drayton McLane. He returned to Toronto, where he played during his 17-year career, and was a color analyst on the radio up there from 2007 through 2012.
Ashby is also remembered for being part of some memorable Astros teams of the past. Ashby hit .256/.319/.347 in 1980 in 394 for the NL West-winning Astros. He was also the primary catcher in 1986, catching 120 games and was behind the plate for Mike Scott's division-clinching no-hitter.
Blum only played for Houston for two seasons from 2002-03, before joining both Tampa Bay and the Chicago White Sox in 2005. Of course, you may remember him from that home run he hit in the World Series, but he returned to Houston for three seasons under Ed Wade, and was basically the starting third baseman in 2009.
We've talked about them before, but if you have any new thoughts, now that Blummer and Ashby are back in the fold, feel free to share them now.