There have been many rumours concerning the possible departure of Toronto Blue Jays radio broadcaster Alan Ashby ever since the Houston Astros announced that Ford C. Frick Award winner Milo Hamilton had retired and the contracts for Brett Dolan and Dave Raymond were not renewed. Ashby, 61, lives in Houston and had played with the Astros for 11 seasons after spending two with the Blue Jays.
This morning Bob Elliot tweeted that the club has indeed given the Astros permission to interview the man we affectionately call "Buns":
Jays give Houston Astros permission to interview broadcaster Alan Ashby, a Houston resident, for one of their 3 vacancies— bob elliott (@elliottbaseball) December 14, 2012
Ashby has been Jerry Howarth's partner in the radio booth since 2007, and have made occasional forays into television broadcasting. According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, Ashby is signed through the 2015 season. Before that he had called the then-National League Houston Astros games for eight seasons.
I have enjoyed Buns' game calling and in-game commentary, but what I enjoy the most are his appearances on sports talk shows. He has a knack of telling it like it is and being very straight and to-the-point with his assessment of the club and the players without being a dick about it. I think it would be a great loss for the Blue Jays and Toronto to lose him, but if he gets the top billing in his hometown, I would wish him all the best.