HOUSTON, TX - Astroline, the Astros popular offseason radio show, will air its second episode of the 2021 calendar year on Friday on SportsTalk 790 from 6-7 p.m. CT. Astros radio and television color analysts Steve Sparks and Geoff Blum will serve as co-hosts for the show, which will feature an exclusive pre-recorded interview with Astros legend Billy Wagner. Wagner, who is on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the sixth year, has seen a steady increase in the amount of votes received over the last two years.
The taping of this week’s Astroline will be tomorrow from 6-7 p.m. at Pluckers Wing Bar, which is located at 1400 Shepherd Dr., Houston, Texas, 77007. Sparks and Blum will be on hand tomorrow from 6-7 p.m. for the taping of Friday night’s show. Astroline is open to the public with no admission charge.
In addition to listening along on SportsTalk 790 on Friday, the show can be heard on 94.5 FM HD-2 and at SportsTalk790.com. The show will also be posted online in podcast form at Astros.com/Podcasts and in video form on the Astros official YouTube account.
All Astroline shows, which are presented by Karbach Brewing Company, are scheduled to broadcast on SportsTalk 790, but are subject to change due to scheduling conflicts. Friday’s show is the fifth of a scheduled 14 shows, which will air weekly on most Thursday’s from 6-7 p.m. CT during the remainder of the offseason.
Wagner was one of the most dominant and hardest-throwing closers in Major League history during his 16-year career, including nine years with the Astros (1995-2003). In his 903.0 innings pitched, Wagner allowed just 601 hits while tallying 1,196 strikeouts. He is also a seven-time All-Star and posted a career 2.31 ERA with an 85.9 save percentage and 422 career saves. Wagner set the franchise record for the most saves in a single season with 44 in 2003. He is also the franchise record holder for the most saves by an Astro all-time.
Sparks will be returning for his ninth season in 2021 as the Astros radio color commentator after being named to the post on Feb. 13, 2013. Prior to joining the Astros radio broadcast team, Sparks served as a pre- and postgame analyst for Astros television games over several seasons following a 17-year playing career. A knuckleballer in his playing days, Sparks pitched in the Major Leagues in parts of nine seasons (1995-2004) for the Brewers, Angels, Tigers, A’s and Diamondbacks. His best season came in 2001 for Detroit when he went 14-9 with a 3.65 ERA and a Major League-best eight complete games while tallying 232.0 innings pitched.
Blum will also be returning for his ninth season on the Astros television broadcast team in 2021, his fifth as the everyday color analyst for Astros telecasts. Blum, who retired after 14 Major League seasons as an infielder (1999-2012), made the transition from the playing field to the broadcast booth in 2013. During his playing career, Blum had two stints with the Astros, totaling five seasons in Houston (2002-03, 2008-10). Throughout his tenure with the Astros, Blum hit .259 with 228 RBI, 46 homers, 77 doubles and a .711 OPS. A switch hitter, Blum was known as one of the top pinch-hitters and utility players in the game, appearing at four infield positions for nine straight seasons (2000-08). He appeared in the postseason three times in his career (2005-06, 2011).
Astroline preliminary schedule (subject to change):
Day Date Station
Fri. Jan. 15 KBME
Thur. Jan. 21 KBME
Thur. Jan. 28 KBME
Thur. Feb. 4 KBME
Thur. Feb. 11 KBME
Thur. Feb. 18 KBME
Thur. Feb. 25 KBME*
Thur. March 4 KBME*
Thur. March 11 KBME*
Thur. March 18 KBME*
*live from West Palm