The Fake Jerry Crasnick

So apparently Jerry Crasnick, a guy who I really like, decided to ask a bunch of Hall of Famer’s what they thought about unwritten rules in baseball.  What?  Hall of Famers? Blyleven should be in the Hall! Dude you need someone who is a little more like the common man bro.  I’m here for you!  So I am having the “Fake Jerry Crasnick” aka Morgan Ensberg ask me these same questions.   You better be wearing some armour Jerry!

1.  Fake Jerry: Morgan you were a hitter.

Morgan: Barely.

Fake Jerry: OK, you occasionally swung a bat.

Morgan: Not really.

Fake Jerry: Morgan…you are interviewing yourself.  Stop being difficult.  You are losing readers.

Morgan: Fake Jerry you are kind of a jerk.  The real Jerry is a cool dude.  You’re lame.

Fake Jerry: I’m you!

Morgan: Then I’m lame.  Get to the question!

Fake Jerry: Fine.  Where were we? Oh, I remember.  A hitter stands at home plate and admires a home run.  Do you hit him?

Morgan: Yes.

Fake Jerry: That’s it?

Morgan: What do you want me to say Fake Jerry?   You wait until there are 2 outs and up by 4 or more runs.  You drill him in the ribs.

Fake Jerry: What if he just sort of admires it?

Morgan: Drill him.

2.  Fake Jerry:  Morgan, the hitter runs across the mound while you are nowhere near it.  Is that an issue?

Morgan: It isn’t a problem as long as going over the mound is the quickest way to get to your destination.   If a guy purposely goes out of his way to go over to the mound then that is different.  That is an act of aggression.

Fake Jerry: What if the hitter crosses the mound while you are standing on it.  Is there a difference?

Morgan: As long as the hitter doesn’t get too close to the pitcher then it is cool.

3.  Fake Jerry: Mo, Is bunting to break up a no-hitter a violation of baseball’s unwritten rules?

Morgan: Teams that are making a playoff run can bunt.  If the game means nothing then no.

4.  Fake Jerry: What’s your response if a hitter calls timeout while a pitcher is in the middle of your windup?

Morgan: I’m not a pitcher genius!  But I have an awesome knuckle ball!  This sort of depends.  If the batter is calling time after the pitcher is shaking his head a bunch of times then it is cool.  That stuff gets old.

5. Fake Jerry:  What do you do if you catch a hitter peeking back at a catcher’s setup, or getting signs relayed to him from a teammate on second base?

Morgan: Drill him.  You never look at the catchers signs ever!  That is way out of line.

6. Fake Jerry: If you think a hitter intentionally leaned over the plate to get hit by a pitch, how do you respond?

Morgan: If a guy gets hit and he is actually over the plate then that isn’t right.  If he chooses to get hit and it isn’t over the plate then that is fine.  You don’t have to get out of the way on a ball.  Pitchers should not get rewarded for missing their spot.

7. Fake Jerry: How offended are you if a hitter takes a big rip at a 3-0 pitch when his team is way ahead?

Morgan: Drill him.  I don’t need to explain that.  You drill him.

Fake Jerry: Special bonus question: If a player on your team gets drilled, are you obligated to respond?

If my player did one of the things mentioned above then he deserves it.  If we hit one of their players for doing something mentioned above, and then their pitcher retaliates….then we drill one of their guys.  You got that one Fake Jerry?  Oh and one more thing. If my teammate gets hit on an off-speed pitch then we don’t retaliate.

Fake Jerry: Thank you for you time Mo.  I don’t know why I didn’t ask you these questions in the first place.

Morgan: That’s because I am not a Hall of Famer Jer!  Keep it real Crasnick!

Fake Jerry: You know I can dig that!  Peace out!


39 Comments on “The Fake Jerry Crasnick”

  1. What’s your take on Bert Blyleven’s assertion that A-Rod was out of line for running over the mound?

    Are there scenarios on plays at home plate where it is considered a no-no to run over the catcher? Personally…I like contact….so I’d never just accept one of those lame “aw..ya got me…I’ll stop and you go ahead and apply the tag so we can get this over with” plays at the plate. I’d go hard in to home and hope that I disrupt the tag. Do I then get drilled for such aggressive play?

    • Blyleven is wrong if that is on Alex’s quickest route. The catcher thing is a tough one. The short answer is yes there are times to crush him and there are times when you shouldn’t. I would need more time to explain that.

      Morgan

  2. teamlittleguy says:

    Morgan:

    I haven’t laughed this hard since I watched Spinal Tap.

    Signed,

    The Fake Teamlittleguy

  3. Matt Lentzner says:

    This is all so arbitrary, Morgan.

    Why is it okay for a runner at second to try and steal signs, but not okay for the batter?

    And admiring your own home run doesn’t hurt anything except maybe the other team’s feelings. I thought MLB was played by grownups? We’re all on Braden’s’ case for having a hissy fit about someone walking on “his” mound, but isn’t this just as childish? I know there’s tradition and everything, but it seems like only baseball has all these weird rules about “respect”.

    It seems to me that now that Braden made a capital case out of the mound disrespect it is now officially an unwritten rule. Would you walk on a pitcher’s mound now if you were still in baseball? I wouldn’t just on the off chance that he agreed with Braden. Who wants to get beaned? And when people start going around the mound, anybody who does step on it is “disrespecting”.

    Thanks for the post anyway. It’s interesting to see what the rules are even if I question their logic and appropriateness.

    Matt

    • Matt, stealing signs from second is mostly done out of the pitchers glove….not the catcher’s signs. But even if a runner did “pick” the catchers signs, it is the catchers fault. A batter who looks down at the catchers signs and sees him put down 1 finger away is cheating.

      Matt if one of my teammates started walking I would be furious. This isn’t to say that they guy is a “bad person.” It just serves zero purpose except to embarrass the pitcher. I am not ok with that.

      Morgan

  4. Drew says:

    About what you said earlier “yelling at me for walking on the left side of the sidewalk”, it depends on how harshly you yell at me. I’m a baffoon for walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk but if you bite my head off & curse at me thats too much. Interesting that you’re now talking about these unwritten rules:
    “•No stealing bases with a big lead.
    • No bunting to bust up a no-hitter.
    • No admiration of long home runs from the batter’s box.
    • No going for the pivot man, rather than the base, on double-play grounders.
    • No swinging from the heels at 3-and-0 pitches. ”

    Also on the side of the Yankees, I disagree with Mark Teixeira’s actions against the Angels. He was mad about getting hit by a pitch so when he came around to score he bowled over the catcher. Hard. Gave the guy a concussion. That was his former teammate for a half a season in ’08. You got hit, get over it. That just classless in my opinion. Whats your take?

    • Well Drew I don’t really understand what you are talking about. I wrote a post on this stuff. By the way, you absolutely go after the guy at second base and crush him spikes down. That is the point of breaking up the double play.

      I don’t remember the Texiera thing.

      Morgan

    • Oh Come On says:

      That wasn’t Teixeira’s fault. Wilson was blocking the plate and when he brought his arm and mitt around, the only way to view that as Teixeira is that Wilson had the ball and was going to tag him out. It was a bang-bang play and Teixeira just did what he had to do to try to knock the ball out. It doesn’t matter that Wilson didn’t have the ball. Teixeira doesn’t know that and in the heat of the moment, Wilson might not have even known it.

      • Mike T says:

        My memory says differently. Wilson was on the wrong side of the plate, not even blocking it, and Teixeira could’ve touched the the plate easily without the collision.

        Was Wilson somewhat at fault? Yeah, but I still think it was dirty.

    • Mike T says:

      That guy who got bowled over was a September call-up for the Angels in ’08. He was only up this season because Mathis was on the DL. In 2008, the Angels catching duo was Mathis/Napoli.

      I doubt that Teixeira even knew who he was in 2008.

  5. LAprGuy says:

    @ Drew – Totally concur re: Teixeira. But what can you expect from a guy who won’t claim he’s only in it for the money (“my wife is more comfortable on the east coast”)?

  6. lisa gray says:

    translation of unwritten rules (and yes, I AM a real mother watch yo mouf)

    1 – use of good manners at all times is appropriate
    2 – do not attempt to, or enjoy, humiliation of the opposition. see Rule 1
    3 – if you cannot use good manners at all time, you need to sit in the corner (AKA “Drilling”) because see Rule 1
    4 – you are too old for temper tantrums and if you can’t behave, you have to sit in the corner while everyone else plays because you forgot all about Rule 1

  7. mko says:

    You don’t have to get out of the way on a ball.
    Actually, you do, rule 6.08 b:
    If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched.

  8. teamlittleguy says:

    Morgan: one question about this, and forgive me if you’ve mentioned it in another post. What if a player violates one of the unwritten rules, but it’s clear (or it’s made clear) to the opposing team that said player was called out for it by his team?

    Does that change the dynamic at all? Thanks!

  9. Don W says:

    Morgan,

    All this talk of unwritten rules and baseball etiquette reminds of an event that I would like to hear your thoughts on.
    Back when Ken Griffey Jr. was a young up-and-coming player the pitcher’s had started brushing him back quite a bit to keep him from extending his arms and hammering those outside corner pitches. Apparently he got tired of it and after being drilled the next AB he took a huge cut and let go of the bat so that it flew toward the pitcher. The pitcher had to take evasive action to avoid the pinwheeling, bouncing bat. Griffey was suspended but the brush backs stopped. I thought it was a pretty sharp move by a young player and in my opinion a bat is less dangerous than a thrown baseball.
    What’s your opinion on young Junior’s tactic?

  10. Drew, why is it okay for pitchers to hurl a fastball at a batter but when the batter gets physical its classless. Now im not defending Teixeira, because that is an extreme example, but the double standard on violence is very confusing.

  11. Drew says:

    I take Dallas Braden’s side over ARod’s, and basically what happened with Teixeira and the Angels is that he got hit by a pitch and was angry about it and not having the chance to take out a middle infielder on a play he decided to bowl over the catcher when he scored a run. The catcher was setting up for a throw that was quite late but Teixeira knocked him over as hard as he could and gave him a concussion. The reason he knocked the catcher over was because he was still mad about being hit by a pitch. My question is, the Angels were his former teammates for half a season in 08, how can he treat his former mates like that, much less any human being like that? I don’t fault him for wanting to live on the east coast but I fault him for giving a catcher a concussion when the throw wasnt even on its way to the plate yet.

    • Drew I really don’t remember that play with Teixiera so I wouldn’t know what to say. Catchers know where they are. If they are close to the baseline then they understand that getting hit is a possibility. Now understand, I am not siding with anyone here….I am just trying to give you some information that might shed light on the play.

      Morgan

  12. […] of a number of typically interesting and funny posts on the subject at his ever-enjoyable blog. His most recent is a response to an article on ‘unwritten rules’ by Jerry Crasnick at […]

  13. […] Ex-Houston Astros All-Star and current baseball blogger Morgan Ensberg has posted an interview with himself in which he addresses many of these issues from a hitter’s […]

  14. Fake Jerry says:

    8. Morgan, what would you do if a pitcher blew a kiss at you in the middle of an at-bat?

    9. Ok, ‘sberg, how about this one: your pitcher just corked three guys in the head in the previous inning. You are in the on-deck circle and your teammate at bat just got drilled and is being carried off in a stretcher. Are you expecting to get beaned as well and how do you handle it? N.B. the pitcher is big, mean and glaring at you.

    • 8. Probably nothing.

      9. Yes I am expecting to get hit. I would tell the catcher to make sure the ball is down. Then I would take the HBP and jogg down to first. In the coming days I would pull our pitcher aside without anyone knowing. Then I would firmly, but respectfully tell the guy that you can’t go “head hunting.” I would tell him that you have to get that ball down. It is dangerous otherwise.

      Finally on the big mean and glaring at you part. I don’t care. Our pitcher did something wrong. My beef isn’t with the other teams pitcher.

      Morgan

  15. Marc Schneider says:

    I’m confused as to when it’s appropriate to try to knock the ball out of the fielder’s glove and when it’s not. Several years ago, when he was playing for the Braves, Robert Fick knocked the ball out of the first baseman’s mitt as he was going by. He got hammered for that. But, presumably, if you are sliding into a base or trying to break up a double play, it’s ok to knock the ball out of the glove with the slide or, in the case of home plate, destroy the catcher even where there is little chance of being safe.

    What’s the difference?

    • Marc it is never ok to knock the ball out of the glove with your hands. I have never seen a player take out the second baseman or shortstop with his glove either. The times that a infielder drops that exchange is if they rush because they can hear a runner coming.

      Finally, some base runners don’t look to see where the ball is located when they are coming home. Another problem is that catchers will stand as if the ball isn’t coming and then all of a sudden they have the ball and are tagging the runner out. Catchers know not to stand in the way of the baseline. If the catcher is clearly off the line and then the runner hits him then that is wrong.

      Morgan

  16. Ashitaka says:

    Great stuff Mo. I guess I don’t really have a place in this, but I still think that, if I were a pitcher, I wouldn’t want opposing players running over the mound. I feel like it would be disrespectful, and would kind of mess with my mind. When I’m a pitcher, the mound is my office. It’s my castle. I do my work there, it’s my territory and it makes me feel safe. I don’t know if there’s anything too that, or if it matters even if it is, but I feel like I wouldn’t appreciate it much if some hitter went trotting across the mound when I was out there. Then again, I wouldn’t go and throw a fit to the media about it either like Braden.

  17. Marc Schneider says:

    Thanks, Morgan, appreciate the response. I know in the old days, runners would try to kick the ball out of the infielder’s glove with their spikes–going all the way back to Ty Cobb, I guess, who would actually try to cut players. I assume that doesn’t happen anymore, but do players today try to knock the ball out with their cleats? Of course, with the prevalence of head first slides, they really couldn’t do that.

    That brings another point, although it’s not really an unwritten rule. What is your feeling about headfirst slides? To me, it’s dangerous for the runner and not necessarily quicker getting to the base.

    Great blog; I just started reading. I have followed baseball for nearly 50 years, but it’s pretty neat to hear it from a guy actually playing. The former layers that are analysis, I think, are afraid to be too candid.

    • Marc I don’t think guys try and knock that ball out with their cleats. That would be hard to do. I like the head first slide.

      Glad you like the blog Marc. Come on back!

      Morgan

  18. Was wondering what happened to you Morgan.

    This blog is a great idea and I hope people take notice!

  19. Mike says:

    Bob Gibson I’ve heard used to yell at his own catcher when he would come near the mound…I wonder how he would respond to ARod walking over the mound.

    • Mike…I don’t thing Gibson would have done anything like Braden did. Remember, Braden was walking back to the mound and Alex jogged over the back side of it where the rosin bag was. This whole issue is so stupid.

      Morgan

      PS Bob Gibson throwing at guys just to do it is cowardly.


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