Long time Astros announcer Milo Hamilton passes away at 88

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Sad news for long time Astros fans: broadcaster Milo Hamilton has passed away at age 88.

Hamilton, the Ford Frick Award winner in 1992, got his start in the majors in 1953, calling St. Louis Browns games. He didn’t go to Baltimore in 1954, but stayed in St. Louis. He had short stints calling games for the Cardinals, the Cubs and then the White Sox.

He then moved on to Atlanta, where he lasted a decade. He called Hank Aaron’s 715th homer, but was fired a year later after criticizing the team’s poor attendance. The man didn’t lie, but then as now, teams don’t much like honesty about such things from their announcers. Which is a shame, but that’s the business. He’d move on to the Pirates and then back to the Cubs for a spell. 

His longest and most successful tenure in the business came in Houston, where he called games from 1984 through 2012. A generation of fans who came of age with those nice mid-80s Astros and on through the Biggio-Bagwell years came to think of Hamilton as the voice of the Astros in ways he was never truly the top guy with his previous employers. He spent 59 seasons behind the microphone at Major League games, 28 of those with the Astros.

Every team has “their guy” in the broadcast booth. Hamilton was the Astros’ guy. Good travels, Milo, wherever it is you go from here.

UPDATE: Rob Manfred just released a statement regarding the death of Milo Hamilton:

“During his 60 years covering our game, Milo became one of the National Pastime’s most distinguished announcers, serving seven different Major League Clubs.  He chronicled some of our game’s most historic moments during the era of Hank Aaron, Stan Musial and Ernie Banks.  As ‘The Voice of the Astros’ since 1985, he ushered into the homes of fans Houston’s first World Series appearance, the Hall of Fame careers of Nolan Ryan and Craig Biggio, and countless other memories. 

“I enjoyed spending time with Milo during my trip to Houston earlier in this resurgent season for the Astros, and it was a pleasure to correspond with him in recent months.  On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Milo’s family, friends, admirers throughout the game and to all Astros fans.”

Report: Martinez, Nationals agree to contract extension

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WASHINGTON — Manager Dave Martinez and the Washington Nationals have agreed to work out a contract extension that will keep him in charge of the club beyond next season, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The person confirmed the news to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made.

Martinez led the Nationals to the franchise’s first World Series championship in 2019, his second season as the team’s skipper.

When he initially was hired, Martinez signed a three-year deal with a club option for 2021 that had not yet been picked up by the Nationals.

After a title defense slowed by injuries and inconsistency during a 60-game season delayed and shortened by the coronavirus pandemic, Washington was 23-34 and last in the NL East before facing the New York Mets on Friday night.

It’s the second game of a season-ending four-game series at Nationals Park.

Martinez was sporting his World Series ring on his right hand when he spoke to reporters via a video chat before word emerged Friday afternoon of a change to his contract.

“The coaching staff and myself decided to wear it for the last week of the season, so we’ve been wearing it this whole week. It’s kind of cool,” Martinez said about his ring. “Come Sunday, it goes off and goes back in its little shiny box. But it’s kind of nice to look down and look at it.”

Asked earlier in the week whether he would like his up-in-the-air contract status resolved before the season ends, Martinez said his agent and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo had been discussing the matter.

“I love it here. I don’t see myself going anywhere else,” Martinez said then. “I appreciate the family. I appreciate this organization. We’ve built a special relationship here, so I hope I get a chance to stay for many, many years.”

Then he paused for five seconds before adding: “The sooner, the better, though.”