The Astros continue to remove themselves as much as possible from the old regime as they have not renewed the contracts of both radio play by play announcers, Brett Dolan and Dave Raymond. While not completely stunning, it does surprise me quite a bit given the lack of buzz around a possible move. The last time the Astros made this kind of switch was when they let Alan Ashby, former Astros catcher, move on after the 2006 season. The change will complete a total revamping of the radio booth after Astros’ legend Milo Hamilton retired following this campaign. The question now turns to who replaces Dolan and Raymond and how soon?
To be honest, I hardly listen to any of the radio broadcast anymore, mostly because of the increased ability to watch almost every game on TV. That said, with Fox Sports Houston not showing as many games this season, I did often turn to the radio to listen to the Stros. I grew to like Dolan and Raymond and enjoyed not only their radio broadcast but also other interviews they did on different stations throughout the tenure. They grew quite a bit as a tandem from their original start in 2006 and created somewhat of a cult following among Astros’ fans. It will be odd to not hear them talking Astros’ baseball anymore but the Astros weren’t kidding when they said, change was coming.
While I enjoyed the tandem of Dolan and Raymond, as I mentioned before, this wasn’t a complete shock. Jim Crane has been doing whatever it takes to move away from the old regime. New players, new personnel, new colors, new uniforms, new Minute Maid Park and now the radio booth feels the desire to be brand spanking new. It certainly does have a feel of an expansion team, doesn’t it, and it looks like that is what is being aimed here. Now, replacing the radio guys is one thing, Bill Brown and Jim Deshaies better not be going anywhere, though. Early word is that he isn’t and I can’t imagine making that kind of move would be smart. While the radio guys had a cult following, Brown and Deshaies are worshiped and have been recognized as one of the better TV tandem in baseball. They transcend the current downturn and should not be going anywhere but back in the booth with Comcast.
Change happens and is always scary but also painful. I’m sorry to see the guys let go but fully expect them to land on their feet soon. It certainly appears they were a victim of circumstance and here is hoping the Stros find new radio play by play guys that are even better, which wont be easy.