As we all know, for some reason I don’t know, and if the sportswriters know they won’t say, Alan Ashby was thrown out on his rear without warning before last season and replaced with 2 other guys who are, in my opinion, the worst baseball radio announcers besides Hawk Harrelson and the John Sterling/Susyn Waldman/Michael Kay team.
Alan did a pregame Astros show working for 790 last year, but this year he accepted a job as the Blue Jays color man, and at least one very knowledgeable Jays fan, John Brattain, thinks Ashby is VERY good. From his latest column in The Hardball Times. He says the radiocasters are
” Jerry Howarth and Alan Ashby, a veteran catcher and original Blue Jay. Although it’s not quite the same with Jerry ‘n’ Alan as it was with Tom ‘n’ Jerry, I’ve been impressed with their work thus far….
Ashby comes across as, well, a catcher. Catchers have a unique perspective on the game. In Ashby’s case, he spent 17 seasons watching the game unfold in front of him. It’s hardly a coincidence that a lot of catchers went into broadcasting: Bob Uecker, Tim McCarver, Joe Garagiola. etc. What impresses me about Ashby is that despite his experience playing in the major leagues, he respects the fact that Howarth, although not a MLBer, has learned a lot about the game from his vantage point. Also in his favor is that despite his vast experience in the game, doesn’t feel the need to expound his opinion on every little matter as if it were the word of God (or Red Barber).
A quality about both that I like is that they’re not afraid to criticize but they never come across as being critical. When they critique something, they approach the subject matter from a logical, rather than visceral, point of view. One thing that I’ve noticed of this duo (and Jays’ broadcasts in general) is that they don’t feel the need to have chatter every second of the broadcast. They are content to let the sounds of the game filter through to the audience.”
I STILL want to know why someone as good as Ash was replaced by the two guys who are simply awful. And before you ask, yes, I did try listening to them again this year – I lasted about 15 minutes before shutting them off. They still don’t know when to talk, when to shut the heck up, they still don’t give ball/strike counts properly, still forget to give the score, still talk on and on about irrelevant matters instead of the game while it is going on and still don’t understand baseball.
I’m just glad Brownie and Deshaies are so good and that I can record every game and listen to it later if I want to. Perhaps Tom Franklin, who does the post game show, could be considered to replace the 2 guys there now.