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Alan Ashby on Astros' radar for broadcast job

HOUSTON -- Alan Ashby, a popular Astros catcher for more than a decade who later served for nine years as the team's radio color analyst, could be returning to the airwaves in Houston.

Ashby, who has been calling games for the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007, has interviewed with the club for one of its vacant broadcasting positions. The Astros have openings for their radio play-by-play and color analyst jobs, as well as an analyst on television.

Ashby still lives in Houston and worked from 1998 to 2006 alongside play-by-play announcer Milo Hamilton, who retired following last season.

Astros president and CEO George Postolos wouldn't acknowledge any candidates that the club is considering for its broadcasts, but he said on Monday that the interview process is going well.

"We've been really pleased with the response from candidates," Postolos said. "There's a lot of interest in the position and we have a number of candidates with very strong connections to the franchise that also have great talent as broadcasters, and that's exciting. We think we'll end up with a good outcome for the Astros franchise, which is our desire and objective."

Ashby, 61, played 17 years in the Major Leagues, including 11 with the Astros (1979-89). He's a career .245 hitter with 90 homers and 513 RBIs, logging 69 homers and 388 RBIs with the Astros. He also caught a pair of no-hitters with the Astros.

Ashby was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000 and earlier this year was named the Astros' all-time starting catcher as part of the team's 50th anniversary.

Hamilton stepped down as the team's full-time radio play-by-play voice after more than 25 years, and the team didn't renew the contracts of play-by-play voices Brett Dolan and Dave Raymond. Jim Deshaies left the Astros for WGN two weeks ago, leaving TV play-by-play man Bill Brown as the lone returning holdover of the broadcast team in 2013.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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