Alan Ashby, the former Astros catcher, minor league instructor and radio broadcaster appaears to be headed back to Houston to serve as the latter for another go around. Ashby had been serving as the Toronto Blue Jays color commentator since 2007 but abruptly resigned today from his post with Toronto amid speculation that he could be headed back to Houston to serve in that same role.
Throughout his seventeen year career, Ashby played in a total of 1370 games, including 956 with the Astros. He also collected over 1000 hits during this time frame. Ashby retired following the 1989 season and immediately went into broadcasting. He began working with local channel 39 KHTV and served in a dual role as Sports Director and Anchor until he returned to baseball as a Minor League Manager for the Rio Grande Valley White Wings for the 1994 and 1995 seasons. He would then serve as Manager of the Astros Single-A team, the Kissimmee Cobras, in 1996 before becoming the Astros major league bullpen coach in 1997. In 1998, he moved toward the booth to do color commentary on the Astros radio broadcasts, a position he held until 2006 when he was released from his contract following the season.
In 2007, Ashby signed a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays to become their color commentary man for radio broadcasts, a position he had held until today. He was hired today by the Astros to be their TV commentator, a move that has since been confirmed by Astros President of Baseball Operations, George Postolos. The Astros will make an official announcement regarding his hiring and full details on his position with the team in the next week. For now, this is a great move and will be widely accepted among the fan base, especially after the loss of Jim Deshaies to the Chicago Cubs last month. Welcome home, Alan!