Broadcaster Deshaies chats with Astros fans
Former hurler discusses potential name change, club's top asset
Astros broadcaster Jim Deshaies participated in a live Web chat with fans on Tuesday. During the chat, he discussed a possible team name change and how the game has changed since he played professionally.
johnny14k: A lot of fans are concerned about a possible name change; where do you stand?
Jim Deshaies: Hi, everybody, hope all is well. Fire away! As for the name change, I like Astros, but if forced to change, how about Screaming Yellow Parakeets?
johnny14k: How will the American League switch next year affect the players, especially the pitchers?
Deshaies: The difference between the leagues is a bit overstated. I don't think it will be much of a problem. I would have preferred Albert [Pujols] went somewhere other than our future division [AL West]!
johnny14k: Where do the Astros need to improve?
Deshaies: Everywhere, but I like the emphasis on developing the Minor League system. Patience is the buzzword.
timmy_: When are you going to be in Spring Training? And if I happen to be there at the same time, would you sign a golf ball for me?
Deshaies: Not sure when I'll be in Florida, but will be happy to sign your golf ball. Is there a reason for a golf ball?
johnny14k: What's the biggest change in players' performance you have witnessed since you've played ball?
Deshaies: Players are probably bigger and stronger than when I played. Many coaches complain about a lack of baseball I.Q. in the modern player. I'm not sure that's the case. Coaches in my time probably said the same thing about us.
johnny14k: What is the Astros' No. 1 asset on the field?
Deshaies: Probably the starting pitching and the fact that they have some young athletic guys with upside. I'm really intrigued by Jimmy Paredes.
jermster: Would you want a job in baseball as a manager or a pitching coach?
Deshaies: If I did that, I wouldn't be able to goof around as much. Never say never, I guess.
jermster: Are you and Bill Brown going to be the TV broadcasters when Houston gets the Comcast Network?
Deshaies: I hope so. I have no reason to think otherwise.
aliceanna: How much do you prepare for a broadcast, and how do you prepare?
Deshaies: It varies. Early on, I did a lot of prep, but now, I just try to stay on top of what is going on with our club and around the league. My job is mostly to react to what I see on the field. Plus, Brownie is the ultimate pro, so I know he'll be on top of everything.
johnny14k_2: In your generation, what inspired players? Does that still exist today?
Deshaies: I think players have always been motivated to win. Some more than others, but I don't think there is a generational bias.
aliceanna: What young players that you've seen impress you the most?
Deshaies: J.D. Martinez has a real good approach at the plate. Paredes may be the guy with the most upside. Love Jose Altuve's enthusiasm.
aliceanna: So do you think that a possible Astros name change is a horrible idea, a stupid idea or just a really, really bad one?
Deshaies: I say again, Screaming Yellow Parakeets.
timmy_: What's your favorite statistic?
Deshaies: Greens in regulation.
aliceanna: What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Deshaies: And the number of the counting shall be three?
widercvng: What about Altuve? What do you think of him?
Deshaies: I love the enthusiasm, but he's going to have to hit for a high average because he never walks. He could be a productive player if he hits .300 or better.
chesterscharge: What do you think about the statistical-analysis strength added to the front office? Are you a believer?
Deshaies: I am a believer. I think it doesn't hurt to have as much information at your disposal as possible. At the same time, players aren't robots. There's a lot of other things a manager has to consider: the reaction of the players in the clubhouse with the decisions he makes. Even though statistical analysis points him in one direction, he might have to go in another direction. Sometimes, a manager makes decisions just based on statistical info he has. He might be trying to protect the player, lift the player up, give him confidence. Things like that.
StrosFan75: Do you have as much fun in the broadcast booth as we do listening to you and Brownie?
Deshaies: Thanks! Glad you enjoy watching. Absolutely, Brownie and I have a blast, win, lose or draw. We try to make it fun and we manage to have fun 85.7 percent of the time.
Deshaies: Thanks everyone for dropping by. It was fun! J.D.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.