As you know by now, Jim Deshaies has left the Astros and is joining the Chicago Cubs broadcasting crew. In many ways, that's like making the jump from AAA to the majors since WGN is seen nationally while Comcast SportsNet Houston is seen just about nowhere. Now, with Deshaies gone, the Astros are having to find someone to take his spot on the TV crew. And we here at Hair Balls thought we would jump in and offer up our ideas for a replacement for the best color analyst in all of baseball.
25. Brett Dolan and Dave Raymond The duo has done yeoman duty in the radio booth the past several seasons, especially since they've been forced to prop up Milo Hamilton. This would be the perfect reward...oops, that's right, you guys already fired them.
24. Harry Doyle and Monty Having worked for the Cleveland Indians, they know the American League. And having worked for the Cleveland Indians, they also know about some really bad baseball.
23. Drunk Guy at End of Bar Because why not?
22. Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell Aren't these two still getting checks of some kind from the Astros? Then why not put them to work?
21. Lance Zierlein He can do all of his voices and people will think the booth is packed with broadcasters.
20. Anyone Working for the Texas Rangers With the Astros' new regional network not airing throughout most of the state, the Ranger announcers are going to become the de facto baseball broadcasters in Texas. So why not just steal one of them and have him do the Astros games?
19. Orbit Since he's back anyway, maybe he'll get the young kids interested in watching.
18. Greg Lucas He has a ton of baseball broadcast experience...oh yeah, that's right. He's gone, too.
17. Suzy Waldman Jim Crane doesn't exactly have the best of history with women, so hiring a female analyst might be just the right thing. And I'm sure that if he asks nicely, the Yankees might be willing to part with Waldman (and she lusts after Roger Clemens).
16. Roger Clemens Speaking of lusting after Clemens, it's pretty damn obvious that Crane has a man-crush on him. Plus Clemens already has a personal services contract with the team. So put him in the broadcast booth. As an added bonus, let Mindy McCready do the anthem every night. It looks like she could use the work.
15. Carlos Lee He already eats like a broadcaster, and he's about as athletic as some of the older ones. Maybe he would do the job if someone just pays for his eating bills.
14. Jeff Kent Kent didn't have the best of relationships with the press when he was a player, but he's loosened up a bit since retiring. Sure, he might be a psycho nutjob, but he played for the Astros. And he gives a good rant.
13. Bob Ford The best ballpark public address announcer in the business. But it's a real shame just wasting his voice by having him call out lineups, batters, promos, etc. And since the rumors are out there about the team working with a tight budget, having Ford do the PA, radio and TV at the same time would probably save a ton of money.
12. Harry Caray Seeing as how the Astros were able to raise Joe Niekro from the dead, why not try it again and bring back Harry Caray? He's worked for losing franchises before. And he also knows a thing or two about space travel.
11. Steve Stone He's worked with Harry Caray, Bill Murray and Ken Harrelson, so he's used to doing analysis and play-by-play at the same time since neither of those guys ever actually talk about the game.
10. Bill Murray Yes, he's a famous actor. But the dude's well known for his comedy chops, and humor is going to be much in need with the Astros. Murray's also a part-owner of a minor league baseball team, and he's also done some baseball TV analysis for the Cubs in the past. It's a bit of a reach, but the guy's known for trying some offbeat projects, and it might really help with the ratings.
9. Bob Costas Costas loves baseball, and he has broadcast games for NBC and the MLB Network. And he'll also probably come cheap seeing as how he pissed off the gun nuts Sunday night and they all want him fired.
8. Crawford Jones Now the senior member of the radio broadcast team, why not just make him the TV guy? Sure, he's got a football background, but since when has knowing anything about the sport ever actually mattered?
7. Chris Berman With Milo Hamilton supposedly gone, let's put someone equally as annoying into the TV booth. I'm sure Chris Berman would love the chance to do baseball fulltime, and he has a bunch of home run calls.
6. Milo Hamilton While we're talking about him, Milo is set to do some games next season, may as well just hire him back and let him do TV and radio at the same time. It's not like anybody's going to be able to watch the games anyway.
5. Jim Crane and George Postolos You guys have already fired everybody else. Go ahead and do the broadcasts, too.
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4. Larry Dierker Beloved former Astros pitcher, manager and broadcaster. So why not see if he wants to give it another go? And maybe if Dierker comes back, Bill Brown might be convinced to stay.
3. John Royal He thinks he knows it all anyway. Let's find out if he's right.
2. Shane Reynolds He did a few innings in the booth with Bill Brown and Jim Deshaies during a game last season. He was funny. He was smart. He provided some good insight and analysis. And he's a former Astro.
1. It Makes No Difference Who are we kidding? The Astros TV games are going to be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Houston, which means nobody around here is going to be able to see them, so it doesn't matter who's in the booth next season. Play ball!