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Larry Dierker named Houston Astros full-time home game television analyst
02/24/2005 5:45 PM ET
Houston Astros icon Larry Dierker returns to the broadcast booth in 2005 as the full-time analyst on Astros home game telecasts, it jointly was announced today by FSN Southwest and the Houston Astros.

Dierker, who worked a limited home game schedule last season, teams with veteran play-by-play announcer Bill Brown on all Astros cable and over-the-air broadcasts from Minute Maid Park in Houston. Former Astros pitcher Jim Deshaies continues as the team's analyst on road telecasts for the ninth season. Greg Lucas is back for his 10th season as field level commentator on home games.

FSN Southwest, the holder of regional cable television and local over-the-air broadcast rights to Astros games, also announced the team's 2005 local television schedule. More games will be televised in 2005 than in previous seasons, with 130 games on FSN Southwest and 20 on KNWS-Channel 51. Last season's local TV schedule consisted of 133 telecasts.

"We're excited to have Larry Dierker back on the team," said FSN Southwest Senior Vice President/General Manager Jon Heidtke. "From playing to managing to broadcasting no one has represented the Astros better than Larry. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the telecasts and he's able to connect so easily with the fans. No one has had a longer association with the team than Larry."

Dierker spent 18 seasons as an Astros radio and television broadcaster before being named the team's manager in 1997. He became only the sixth manager in Major League history to win a division crown in his first season. In five seasons as the club's skipper from 1997-2001, he won four division titles and was named NL Manager of the Year in 1998 after the Astros won a franchise-record 102 games. In 13 seasons on the mound, Dierker won 137 games, including the fifth no-hitter in franchise history in 1976. The Astros retired his number 49 in 2002.

Dierker returned to the broadcast booth in 2004 to fill in on early season home games while Bill Worrell worked Houston Rockets telecasts. He also was the analyst on Wednesday Astros home games.

"Coming back to the catbird's seat last season was very enjoyable," Dierker said. "I'm looking forward to working more games this season. I'm sure Astros fans are just as excited as I am to get the season started, especially after last year's thrilling finish."

Worrell, who served as the Astros analyst for 20 season, will continue as the Rockets television play-by-play announcer and also will work other assignments for FSN Southwest.

"Twenty years was a good run," said Worrell, who also has called Rockets games for 20 seasons. "I really enjoyed my association with the Astros, team owner Drayton McLane and all the managers and players I had the great pleasure to work with. This is an opportunity for Larry Dierker to come back and be a part of the staff. Bill Brown, Larry Dierker and Jim Deshaies are without a doubt the best announcer lineup in baseball."

"Bill Worrell will still play a big role with us," Heidtke said. "He's been a fixture with the network since it's inception in 1983 when it began as Home Sports Entertainment. He's a household name in Houston sports broadcasting. We're going to rely on his experience as we continue to strengthen our local programming lineup."

FSN Southwest's Astros telecasts will be distributed throughout the network's regional territory reaching over 8.1 million cable and satellite TV homes in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and parts of New Mexico.

A package of over-the-air broadcast games will be syndicated by FSN Southwest to cable television systems outside of Houston. A schedule of syndicated telecasts and a list of participating outlets will be announced when finalized.

Each FSN Southwest Astros telecast is preceded by SOUTHWEST SPORTS TONIGHT, a 30-minute studio show hosted by Kevin Eschenfelder offering a preview of the upcoming game, player profiles and regional sports news.

Complete postgame coverage immediately follows all FSN Southwest telecasts on the award-winning SOUTHWEST SPORTS REPORT, a 30-minute regional sportscast featuring game highlights, interviews, analysis and perspective geared to the hometown fan.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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