CINCINNATI -- Astros television broadcaster Bill Brown celebrated his birthday Tuesday with the news that he had been elected as the 2011 inductee in to the Houston Medial Wall of Honor. Brown was selected as this year's inductee by a vote of season-credentialed media that cover Astros baseball.
Brown is the fifth person to be inducted into the Wall of Honor, joining media pioneer Anita Martini, who was the inaugural inductee in 2007; former Astros radio broadcaster Gene Elston, 2008; and former Houston Chronicle writers Neil Hohlfeld, 2009; and Mickey Herskowitz, 2010.
Brown will be honored in a pregame ceremony on Sept. 26, prior to the 7:05 p.m. Astros game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The 2011 season marked Brown's 25th season as play-by-play television announcer for the Houston Astros. He joined the Astros in 1987 after working as senior producer and anchor of the Financial News Network's SCORE program.
Prior to that assignment, he was the sports director of the Sports Time Cable Network, which televised select Reds, Royals and Cardinals games. He spent one year with HSE in Pittsburgh and was the television voice of the Cincinnati Reds from 1976-82.
Brown, who began his broadcast career on radio at 18 years old, graduated from the University of Missouri in 1969 and became a U.S. Army broadcast specialist, working as a sportscaster for the Armed Forces Vietnam Network in Saigon from 1970-71. After leaving the service in 1971, Brown completed one semester of graduate school at Central Missouri State College in 1971 and then earned a job at WLWT-TV in Cincinnati.
The Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor each season inducts a current or former Houston media member who has made significant and lasting contributions to the landscape of Houston baseball through their work in journalism or broadcasting.
Wade entertained by 'Moneyball' mention
CINCINNATI -- Astros general manager Ed Wade is hitting the big screen -- if in name only.
Wade's name is mentioned during the movie "Moneyball," which is set for release later this week. The movie, based on the 2003 book by Michael Lewis, is about the efforts of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane to use statistical analysis to help build his team.
In the movie, Beane, who is portrayed by actor Brad Pitt, asks his secretary to get Wade on the phone. One of Wade's daughters told him a couple of months ago about his name being used in the movie, and Wade emailed Beane to ask him about it.
"I found out just before the Trade Deadline," Wade said. "Billy Beane and I were doing the usual what-are-you-looking-for kind of stuff though email. When I heard about it I asked him, 'Do I get ripped in the movie?' He said it's a very benign telephone scene."
Wade, who was general manager of the Phillies when the book was written, joked when asked about receiving any potential royalties.
"When the guy who's playing me wins the Academy Award, I'm going to expect a piece of the trophy," he said.
Team management talks 2012 roster options
CINCINNATI -- Astros president of baseball operations Tal Smith, general manager Ed Wade and assistant general manager David Gottfried met with manager Brad Mills and his coaching staff for about three hours at the team's hotel in downtown Cincinnati on Monday to discuss 2011 and look ahead to 2012.
"We got their impressions on the guys on the roster and needs and things of that nature," Wade said. "We thought it was a good meeting. It was a real good exchange of ideas. Folks were very candid in their opinions. They weren't all on the same page with everybody, which I thought was very helpful. It was good."
The group talked about each player on the roster and analyzed their performance in 2011, as well as how they might fit into the club next year. The Astros only have two free agents, outfielder Jason Michaels and shortstop Clint Barmes.
"We talked about, a little bit, about needs going forward," Wade said. "We literally went player-by-player, starting with the pitchers and then the catchers and infielders and outfielders and some of the guys who are on option or were on the disabled list during the season, long enough for the coaching staff to have some observations. We talked about all that stuff."
Astros invite entire coaching staff to return
CINCINNATI -- While Astros hitting coach Mike Barnett was thrilled to learn Tuesday he would be returning for the 2012 season, pitching coach Doug Brocail said he would have to consult with his wife and daughters before making a decision on his future.
Astros general manager Ed Wade on Tuesday informed the entire coaching staff it was welcome to return next season. All of the coaches, with the exception of Barnett and Brocail, already had contracts for next year. Brocail said he'd give the Astros an answer before the regular season ends.
"As of right now, I need to really sit down and talk with momma and the kids," said Brocail, who took over in June when Brad Arnsberg was let go. "Everybody knows I love the job. Big-league jobs don't come everyday. I told her we'd sit down and talk about it and figure out something that's hopefully compatible and go from there. When I retired I wanted to include her. It's a big decision, and I'll have an answer for them soon."
Bench coach Al Pedrique, first base coach Bobby Meacham, third base coach Dave Clark and bullpen coach Jamie Quirk are completing the first year of two-year contracts. Manager Brad Mills is under contract for next season and has an option for 2013.
"We think they've done a real solid job when you take into consideration we have so many of the developing players on this team," Wade said. "They've really put their best foot forward to make each and every guy better."
Perhaps Barnett's biggest task for 2012 will be the continued progression of second baseman Jose Altuve, third baseman Jimmy Paredes and left fielder J.D. Martinez. All three were called up from Double-A Corpus Christi around the Trade Deadline to make their Major League debuts.
"I'm happy to be coming back and [continuing] to work with these young guys," Barnett said. "We've got a lot of work to do, there's no doubt. It's a fun challenge, and these kids are doing a nice job battling away. We've just to go finish up strong and get into the offseason. I think we've learned a lot to this point and we have a lot more learning to do."