ESPN Draft Day Article

Here is the ESPN article that I wrote for the draft.  When ESPN.com I was so pumped up.  They asked if I would write about my experience in the draft.  Of course I said yes!  As I went back to that time I remembered exactly what I was thinking.  My thoughts had been fully focused on playing in the 1998 National Championship game against Arizona State.  But when that phone ringed, I immediately starting thinking about how my life would change.  This was exactly what I was thinking when I got the phone call from the Astros.

Ring, ring …

Oh my gosh, here it is.

Ring, ring …

Be the Dodgers … be the Dodgers.

Hello?

Hi, is this Morgan?

Say Dodgers … say it!

Yeah.

Hi, this is Doug Deutsch …

Doug Deutsch? Doug Deutsch … nope, don’t know him. C’mon, say Dodgers.

… with the Houston Astros!

Crap! [University of Southern California coach] Mike Gillespie told me that Houston and Montreal didn’t pay guys well. Pay well, what are you talking about? You are a senior so you don’t have any leverage! Hey, you want leverage? So why did you choke it off last season during your junior year? Save it with the pay, Morgan. What do you want to go get, a “real” job?

Great!

Have you been to Houston?

Good question. Yeah, on a layover but that doesn’t really count. Let’s see, Houston, huh. “Bad News Bears” movie. Bet they have cars with huge longhorns on the front. Women probably use a lot of hairspray. Place has to be hot. Probably like a desert.

Not really. Just on a layover.

Well, it is a great city.

City? No, Houston is not a city. L.A. is a city, homeboy.

That’s what I hear.

Well, we plan on sending you to Auburn, New York, in the New York/Penn League.

New York/Penn League? Never heard of it. Where is Auburn, New York?

Auburn is about 30 minutes from Syracuse.

Thirty minutes from Syracuse. No beach there. Wait a minute, where am I going to find a wife? Man, you dropped the ball on that one, Morgan. Christi Asaro was hot! Man, you dropped the ball on that one! Now what? Are you going to find someone from Auburn, New York?

Oh … OK. Well, I am excited about it. So what should I do?

Well, there is nothing to do right now. You guys have a big game today, huh?

Yeah, I am wearing my cup and sliding pants … thinking about throwing some eye-black on in the hotel room, here.

Yeah. Bus is in 15 minutes.

You guys have been playing well. Came through the loser’s bracket? …

How about that? First game, lose to LSU by two … then Florida … gone, beat them … Mississippi State … gone … LSU? gone … gone (beat them twice) and now Arizona State. We own them!

Arizona State has as well. They’re throwing Ryan Mills? He went top-10 with Minnesota.

Shocker, guy throws 95 mph and is left-handed. Carved us up in that game at Arizona State two months ago. Had to be the best he has ever pitched. Of course, the lights at A-State are horrible. Who cares? He would have dominated you that night, anyway. He was filthy.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Good luck! I will call you in a few days, after the College World Series.

Thanks, Doug!

Man, I wish I had someone to share this time with. Here I am fulfilling a dream, when my real dream is to be a husband and father.

Astros, dude! Ninth round! I say to my room-dog Jeff DePippo.

Nice! You going to buy a cowboy hat? How about some boots?

Yeah, I’ll probably take a horse to the field.

Let’s have a celebratory dip!

Oh, that would be awesome! But you quit, dude! Remember that junior college coach who got cancer? He got his jaw taken out for goodness’ sake! You’ve made it five months, man. Don’t do it. But I want a dip. Don’t do it! Stop it! NO!

I’m cool, dude.

I know, I was just trying to be that guy! I wouldn’t have let you.

Thanks, Jeff.

But after the game you have to, right? Pip says with a little smile.

I won’t, dude.

Six months later at a sandwich shop near USC …

Hey, Jason!

Morgan! What’s up? Congratulations on the national championship! That was awesome! You stole home?

Can you believe that? Gillespie has some guts, huh?

Yeah, he does! Were you safe?

Man, cameras are weird. As I was sliding, it wasn’t close in baseball terms, but on the replay it sure looked close. Man, I can’t believe Gillespie called that! Guy is always right. Unbelievable …

Yeah, the cameras made it look a lot closer that it was.

Well, congratulations. Hey, did you hear about Christi?

Christi Asaro! Man, she is hot! No way, she, Astra and Diane moved into a house two blocks from my parents’ house in Hermosa. Now if she would just dump her boyfriend.

No.

Yeah, she broke up with her boyfriend.

Dude! I can’t believe it! I have to figure out a way to get over there. Dude, she is hot! We had that class together freshman year and I just stared at her. That one time she looked at me and I just kept staring. That was definitely a moment. That is probably the same thing she thinks of when she hears my name. Man, I would love to go out with her!

Oh, really.

Nice act, dude. What are you trying to do, act cool? Jason can probably see right through this. Why don’t you just act excited. I mean, you are. No, you have to be stoic — that way nobody knows what you are thinking. What? Nobody knows what you are thinking? You are standing in line at a sandwich shop and the girl that you think is the most beautiful girl in the world is available and you say … “Oh, really?” Morgan, you are a mess.

Yeah. We are going out tonight around 10 pm. Going down to the [Hermosa Beach] Pier. Your parents live a couple blocks from there?

Yeah, that’s what happens when you are a PRO BALLPLAYER. Pretty cool, eh, J? Livin’ with your parents … maybe if you had played well your junior year instead of choking, you would be renting an apartment. Choker!

Yeah. It’s only two blocks. Small world, huh?

Nice comment. You drop a “small world” on him? Sound like a complete dork.

Yeah, I guess …

He thought that was dorky, too. He’s right.

That sounds good. I’ll give her a call and head over there.

Nice story, but what happened?

That same night I saw Jason, I showed up at Christi’s house about two hours early with my shirt buttoned, looking as best as I could.

On Sept. 23, we will have our 10-year wedding anniversary. My dream was fulfilled on Jan. 4, 2006, and Aug. 12, 2008, with the birth of our kids. We have three kids: Beckett and Chase, who are identical twin boys, and Ava, who is our daughter.

The last time I had tobacco was February 1998. I was not going to give myself cancer and leave the family that I didn’t have yet.

Christi has zero recollection of that moment we locked eyes our freshman year. That makes me laugh every time!

Astra married Jason, and Diane is now married with two kids and lives two blocks from us. We hang out all the time.

Small world, eh? Still sounds dorky.

I never let Christi out of my sight that night or any other. Christi Ensberg is still really hot! I just got the chills.


19 Comments on “ESPN Draft Day Article”

  1. Kyle Bunch says:

    Awesome. Love flashing back to that Championship game, Herrera and I watching in the Lower A and having our minds blown when you stole home.

    So speaking of the draft — is there any way possible for Bryce Harper to live up to the hype?? And if he and Strasburg both manage to live up to their huge billing, will the Nats win like 10 championships?

  2. Kyle Bunch says:

    Hell yeah — between he and Strasburg I feel like the Nats will have the two most hyped prospects coming out of school in the past decade.

    Now, it may just be a byproduct of the media machine getting bigger…but it seems like they’re getting the equivalent of LeBron and Kevin Durant in back-to-back years.

  3. LAT says:

    Enz, I’d be interested in your take on Harper’s character issues. Is it cause he’s 17. Does his character matter if he is that good? Will his arrogance put off his teammates or effect the team as a whole? Assuming they are both successful, do you think Harper and Strasburg can coexist and does Riggleman have what it takes to manage those egos.

    P.S. No biggie but you have a couple typos in your intro paragraph.

    • Ashitaka says:

      I’ve seen some arrogance from Harper, but Strasburg has always been very humble and classy when talking to the media, so I don’t know why you’re accusing him of having a giant ego.

  4. zach says:

    Wow Morgan. Thank you for this blog. I love the game and always wished someone would do something like this. Baseball interviews can be pretty mundane and you have completely changed that. I always knew there was more out there than what I read in an “Inside the Clubhouse” newspaper article. Thank you for proving it!

    One question– Is there anything that is off limits (which is fine) i.e. rooting against teammates in the minors to help a players own career or road trips that get pretty crazy etc…? It’s totally ok if you don”t answer this question.

    Thank you again; so interesting. This is my first time here and already i feel I’ve learned more about the game than watching 10 years of Sunday Night Baseball.

  5. Mark says:

    Morgan,

    Judging by this google search, you sure that you’re really not the Next Scott Boras in Disguise?

    http://houston.astros.mlb.com/news/print.jsp?ymd=20070520&content_id=1976221&vkey=news_hou&fext=.jsp&c_id=hou&affiliateId=CommentWidget

    05/20/07 3:48 PM ET
    Notes: Astros’ wives win softball game
    Christi Ensberg, Cara Berkman lead the offensive charge
    By Alyson Footer / MLB.com
    HOUSTON — Morgan Ensberg has been on the bench a lot lately, and after Sunday’s pregame display at Minute Maid Park, he may be starting to wonder if he’s the second-best baseball player in his family.

    Ensberg — as in Christi, Morgan’s wife — had quite a day at the plate, including a couple of doubles and an inside-the-park home run during the third annual “Diamond Boot” softball game between the Astros and Rangers’ wives.

    The Astros’ wives topped the Rangers’ wives, 12-7, and were buoyed by strong offensive performances from Christi Ensberg and Cara Berkman, among others.

    “She’s way better than me,” Morgan gushed. “It’s awesome. She hit a couple of balls to the left-center gap and made sure she was getting extended. Beetle [bullpen coach Mark Bailey] threw her a pitch up and away that she didn’t bite. She took it to right-center for a homer. It’s textbook baseball, it’s perfect baseball. I’ve got video of her that I’m breaking down to try to improve my game.”

    ***************

    Very nice column, Morgan. Funny, yet moving. Make damn sure that I never read about you in the Rush Limbaugh/Mark Sanford/Eliot Spitzer/Jesse James Department. A guy would be an idiot not love, honor, and respect until the anniversaries told golden and then some his gorgeous wife who has the legs for an inside-the-park home run, the power for two doubles, and the beauty to help produce and raise three terrific kids.

    Morality? Hell! That’s damn common sense. Hold onto her, Morgan. Forever and then some. Any man who does otherwise is a fool.

  6. SFC B says:

    I just read some of the comments on ESPN, and as an avid reader of BP and FootballOutsiders, my default position is to hold commenters at ESPN in contempt, one of them did have a point about the formatting of the article. You’ve got your spoken word, the words of others, and your thoughts all going on and there’s nothing, at the beginning, to differentiate one from another. The story itself was fine, and a great look into an experience most (all?) of us reading will not get to live through any other way. However it could have used an editor or someone to review it for readability (and if ESPN did give it a look over then shame on them).

    • SFC B says:

      Of course it would help if I read the post where you originally linked to this where the previous commenters mentioned what I just did.

  7. John says:

    “I’ve got video of her that I’m breaking down to try to improve my game.”

  8. Ryan says:

    Morgan, I didn’t know you were a college baseball analyst good luck at ESPN keep writing quality articles

  9. Michele (Mitch) Molesky says:

    Morgan,
    The was awesome..the more I read from you, the more I love and miss you! You are a real class act and know how to put things into persepctive! I really respect a man who loves his wife and family so much. GO Morgan!

  10. Sally says:

    Great article! You made me laugh.

    Of course having lived in Houston (and going to High School at Redondo, so therefor understanding the culture shock between the two areas) I can giggle about your initial assessment of Houston “Bet they have cars with huge longhorns on the front. Women probably use a lot of hairspray. Place has to be hot. Probably like a desert.” very much NOT like a desert…more like a sauna…but spot on with the hairspray!

    Keep up the great work


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