Hot Stove Interview: Here’s a Bunch of Questions I Wasn’t Expecting

I did this interview yesterday with the guys over at http://hotstove.com  Tell me what you think. 


29 Comments on “Hot Stove Interview: Here’s a Bunch of Questions I Wasn’t Expecting”

  1. Jarred M says:

    This interview breaks down a lot of good stuff. Kinda recapping all of your previous blogs. A cool idea, having this phone interview. Only wished you too were on video. This gives people a great idea of how you (Morgan) thinks. Not only one sided, but from all points of view. Also love the beard pic. Wish i could grow one. You come across intelligent and thoughtful. A new refreshing style. Love this stuff!

    • Thanks Jarred. What is so amazing is how afraid everybody is to tell the truth. Owners don’t want to say that they are there to make money. Players have to measure their words so that they aren’t misinterpreted. And where does it get you?….it get’s you in trouble with fans because they can see you are lying or not being straight.

      I want you readers to get a honest take from someone who has been there. You may not like some of the things you hear, but you definitely don’t like being misled and lied to. Please ask questions and stay involved. If I know the answer I will try and give you a straight take.

      Morgan

  2. lisa gray says:

    well there boy, you sure nuff are doing your best to destroy the stereotype that elite athlete = arrogant jerk with no awareness of ones self or others. and not real too bright, neither.

    almost every other athlete who writes has an axe to grind or wants to “reveal” that someone else is worse than you thought. or is still in the game/minors and doesn’t dare talk freely for fear of punishment.

    as for me, i’m tired of gossip/dirt being exposed = “the truth” about how things are. i want to learn more about BASEBALL, about baseball strategy, about stuff you think you might could know but really guess at because no one ever tells you. either they figure that – well, if you are a female, all you care about is wearing pink crap and looking at brad ausmus ( 1 outta 2 ain’t bad) or that you are already supposed to know this stuff. don’t ask me how, seeing as how most of us who watch never were taught how to play.

    i wish the people who broadcast games talked like you

    (and i am still hoping you’ll get rid of this icky black background)

    • Lisa I am really working on the Black background. I haven’t found a template that I like yet. Your other point about learning is well said. I would sit in the clubhouse or watch fans during the game and say to myself, “how come this game is so popular and nobody teaches these fans about the game”? and “it stinks that players have to watch what they say so much or they will get crucified”?

      My goal here is to teach. But Lisa, I still need to get my format under control. I have thought about video, podcast, and a couple other ideas, but I don’t know what to do. What do you think would be good?

      Morgan

      • Meiczyslaw says:

        Morgan —

        I happen to read your blog over lunch at work, where our IT blocks the more interactive formats. Whatever else you do, please keep a written version available (i.e., remember transcripts for formats other than text).

        Off topic: I caught you working one of the southern California college games on Fox Sports West a few weeks ago. You made an interesting game out of one that I wouldn’t normally care about. Well done!

        — Meiczylsaw

  3. Matt Wood says:

    I enjoyed the hot stove interview. Thanks, again, for this accessibility to the fans.

    Here’s a thought regarding the comparison of Ron Washington’s situation to Hollywood or the music industry that was mentioned during this Hot Stove interview… Is Ron Washington looked at differently than a famous actor or musician because of MLB’s well-publicized and oft-discussed substance abuse policy? …which includes not only steroids, but also “drugs of abuse” (I think this is what MLB policy calls them). I am not aware of any similar effort by Hollywood or the music industry. This must be the difference. I am not saying that is correct.

    It was very interesting to me when you discussed the alignment between the major league manager’s strategy and the minor league player development. Makes total sense. I haven’t really heard anyone explain it so simply. Thanks.

    • Great point Matt. You are starting to learn and I am pumped up. You have looked pass the surface issue and tried to understand the real root of the problem. You can apply that to baseball as well. Every time a manager made a decision, I would sit and try to understand what he was thinking. I encourage you to keep looking past the surface.

      Morgan

    • Stephen Luftschein says:

      As a note Morgan, other industries do, of course, test, and in Hollywood, while you don’t hear about it, actors have to get tested for the completion bond of a movie. Frequently actors who are in trouble, can’t get certain parts b/c the insurance company won’t write the bond to insure the production. There is never a reason stated, and since the majority of movies/tv shows never see the light of day anyway, you won’t hear about it.

  4. Valencia says:

    Normally, I have a lot to say but Lisa pretty much said everything I wanted to say. She’s so right about how people think that we girls only know about pink unis (WHICH I DESPISE) and the cute players. I can’t count how many times I’ve shut dudes up in a bar when it comes to baseball. I’m not saying I know everything about the sport but I know enough. I spent 4 years working at ESPN trying to constantly ‘prove’ myself to the boys. Some got their feelings hurt, and some thought it was cool that I knew the difference between a baseball and a hockey puck.

    You were so right about the minor league system. That is one thing that irks me about the Astros. They always go for the ‘right now’ players instead of building up he minors which in turn builds up the majors. I can take a few losing seasons if that means I’m going to get solid team in the future. It all comes back to your earlier blog topic. COMMUNICATION. Some people just don’t know how important it is.
    I do hope you find a way to get a broadcasting gig somewhere. You have a lot to say and we all can learn from it.

  5. Dustin says:

    Well done, Morgan! Thanks for continuing to speak honestly and doing it with humility. Very refreshing….

  6. Valencia says:

    Oh and thanks for reconnecting me and Wave Robinson. I haven’t talked to him in at least 15 years!

  7. orlando says:

    Well done man! any interview that lasts over an hour and feels like 10 minutes, it’s a good one! that part where you talked about Greg Maddux watching video to scout batters, that’s one of those priceless moments you only get from playing the game. thanks for sharing that!

    • It was really amazing seeing Maddux talk about opposing batters. He taught me a lot of ideas that are counter to what most coaches and organizations say. It was fascinating.

      Morgan

  8. Gary says:

    Great job as usual. And I would love to see you write about what Maddux had to say.

  9. J.J. Gottsch says:

    Morgan – great to see what you’re doing. I believe you can provide a unique perspective for folks. Take care, JJ.

    • J.J.!!!!!!!! Good to hear from you. I told Reid that I will be a analyst for ESPNU on May 1st. It is Baylor vs. Texas. I think I will come by the park and say hi.

      Morgan

  10. Becky B. says:

    Good to hear your voice on the radio!
    I’m a girl, (like Lisa Gray) who knows and
    follows baseball! Not too many former
    players have alot to say about the game
    like you do! The Astros have a problem
    playing the younger guys in AAA. That problem
    is Tal Smith. There are more than a few guys
    in Round Rock who are ready for the Bigs.
    How was it for you, when the Astros brought you up?
    I don’t know if you have been following the club
    lately, but I do know you have a voice we don’t
    have. Give us some insight on how the jump to
    MLB goes! Thanks! Becky

    • Becky I love that you want to ask these questions. Baseball is just like any other job. It is vital that communication is clear. I actually don’t know what it is like in the Astros organization. I will always consider myself an Astro and it rips my heart out that they are struggling. As for Tal, I don’t know exactly how he is being used so it unfair to speculate. The bottom line is that players need to clearly understand exactly what is being asked of them. They also need to have a defined style of play. This unifies the organization and helps players understand what sort of players the Astros are trying to develop.

      Morgan

      • lisa gray says:

        morgan,

        i understand that you might not feel comfortable commenting on this, but it certainly appears to a whole lot of us astros fans that the astros Organization is NOT really interested in developing or promoting young players, but prefer to sign cheap vets.

        with the exception, of course, of the one or 2 guys/year who for some reason, are Designated for Success

  11. Becky B. says:

    Morgan…….the Astros are letting theses
    guys ROT in the minors! Drayton prefers to
    play the veterans, and as long as that happens
    there will be very little movement with the guys
    down in the minors. Thanks for answering my questions!
    I’ll keep you on my favorites list, so I can see what
    you’re up to! Becky:)

  12. Ashitaka says:

    It’s always nice to see an honest, upfront player. I love Hunter Pence, but it’s almost hard to see him as human because all you can ever get out of him in an interview is a series of cliches and cardboard answers. That’s why I appreciate guys like you and Lance (praise the LORD for Lance…) who can be upfront and honest and yet not cross the line. And then I see people that criticize Lance and guys like him BECAUSE he jokes around and has a good time. Maybe I’m jaded, but it’s hard for me to consider it anything other than jealousy, just plain jealousy of players who make so much to “just play a game” while the average Joe suffers in an office job with a boss they hate making peanuts compared to even a 23 year old making Major League minimum.

    Great interview, by the way. Be sure to let us know if you do more. One idea that popped into my mind that you might consider doing; perhaps you could get fans to email you suggestions on how replay or technology or what-have-you could be better implemented into baseball, and perhaps you could pick two or three of the “plans” you received and talk about it and what does and doesn’t or could and couldn’t work based on your experience. I know I have several ideas, but obviously, I don’t have nearly enough knowledge about how a game really works and how the umpires go about their jobs to just say “hey, this is the solution, why don’t they just do this?”

    Keep up the great work, and God bless.

    • Ash- Your first point is well taken. Fans normally will say that they just want players to be real. But when players give opinions they are usually misinterpreted. Take Torii Hunter for instance. Do you think his comment that “Latin players are imposters” was some sort of attack. Or can’t we all see that he meant that many latin players are black, but they are from latin countries and don’t represent the American black athlete. People have grown accustomed to attacking your words instead of the ideas behind them.

      Second point: Please ask any question. When I was growing up I had a strong personality in class. But I would notice that someone who was quieter wanted to say something. I would stop the discussion and ask that person what they thought. If somebody said “that question is stupid”, I would “fire” back at them saying that “it isn’t about the question, it is about the idea.”

      Ash- your point is a “hole in my armour”. I never want anyone to feel uncomfortable. Fire those questions and if you feel embarrassed, the please email me Morgan.Ensberg@yahoo.com

      Morgan

  13. Sofia M. Pena says:

    I finially got to hear the interview and LOVED it! I appreciate your honesty. I do think some of the questions were sort of “out of left field” and can see where you were caught off guard. I am not sure those guys prepared enough for your interview as it appeared that Tom was looking at his computer and quite possibly through morganensberg.com for questions. Nonetheless, I thought you handled it very well. So in keeping with the discussion about the players in the minor leagues…are those young players coached on being in front of the media? Are they taught how to respond so as not to offend or say something they shouldn’t or aren’t allowed to by the club?

    Sofia

  14. Billy Martin says:

    As a Cardinal’s fan I am shocked to enjoy this blog as much as I do. Sorry for the backhanded complement, but it is a complement none-the-less. You have a new fan.

    I do have to say, that while I agree with the spirit of your argument, growing up I wanted to play nothing but baseball. The ability to play year round and travel to play ball when I couldn’t in my hometown was awesome and I don’t regret it. So I guess what I believe is while we shouldn’t shoehorn our kids into baseball it’s not a bad thing they can spend as much time as they want playing baseball.

    Either way, you have a new fan a dedicated reader. Thanks for the insight.

    Billy


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