About Me

Morgan Ensberg is typing this so as not to use a “first person” voice.  Apparently this style of writing is better for the reader.  However, “I” am not a writer and don’t have the ability to keep that voice…so, back to first person.

Here is the short of it.  Walked-on to USC.  Was on the 1998 National Championship team.  Got drafted as a Senior in the 9th round in 1998.  Played on a team that won the NY/Penn League, Florida St League, Texas League, and PCL Championships.  Played 7 years with the Astros where we went to the World Series in 2005.  Back doored my way into an All Star game and Silver Slugger Award.  Finished 4th in MVP voting and get this…. I didn’t take steroids.  I’m all Norwegian baby.

Now I am a coach in the Astros Minor League system.  I hate that the Astros stink and will do anything to help them get back to winning.  I’m willing to get fired for the good of the kids.  I’m hard on the players and don’t give them a single inch.  My days are done and I’m going to do everything I can to help these kids get to the Big Leagues.

I’m a better dancer than Adam Everett.  Follow me on Twitter @MorganEnsberg or don’t.

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305 Comments on “About Me”

  1. Brad Rowe says:

    Morgan,

    I went to the game where you hit your last homer as an Astro… Actually, I met you on the 1st base line that night, got a picture with you and asked you to hit a homer for me. Your response was, “sure, you got it.” I was so excited when you hit it out… It sparked a thought….

    When you hit your first majors home-run, did you know it was going out as soon as your made contact? What do you remember about that moment?

    • Brad I do remember my first hr. It was off of Russell Ortiz and I hit it into the Crawford Boxes. I knew it was going out, but I put my head down and ran. It was really a fun moment.

      Morgan

  2. Steve says:

    Morgan – I really appreciate your candor and openness. Several folks have mentioned a desire for you to talk about the mental side of baseball. I would like to second this, especially as it relates to kids/players who over think and create extra pressure for themselves. Suggestions about coaching & parenting tips would be helpful. I enjoy your blog and have subscribed to the RSS feed.

    2nd topic – I live in a town that has a minor league ball team. It is on the lower rung and we enjoy getting to know the players. What is the nicest thing a person/family did for you when you were in the minors?

    • The fans in Round Rock were amazing. They cheered non stop and they encouraged us. We had a family there who we became close with and I actually stayed at there house during playoffs.

      I will get to the mental side at some point.

      Mogan

  3. AstroHog says:

    I have a question for you. I’ve always thought that in 2004 the Astros would have made the World Series if Phil Garner had not been so stuck on his plan for the late innings. Specifically, if memory serves me correct, 4 of the 5 losses you had that post season were credited to Dan Miceli, who only pitched 8th innings. Do you stand by Garner’s decision to keep sending Miceli out in the late innings?

    • I absolutely stand by Phil’s decision. He was trying to make the best decision possible so we can win. Hindsight gives us perfect vision.

      Morgan

      • John Wilson says:

        Morgan,
        New to your blog, but Astros fan since 1962 (OK–Colt 45s the first three years). I really appreciate your choice of words here–so many say that hindsight is 20/20, which is just average vision. But with hindsight one has the advantage of knowing how something actually turns out, which provides perfect vision. Big fan of yours–Best Regards, John Wilson

  4. Jerrald says:

    Thanks for doing this, it’s really interesting!
    From what I have read from you and about you, it seems like you are the kind of player that would make a great manager some day. Have you thought about going down that track at all or are you focused on getting into broadcasting at this time?

  5. Austin Layer says:

    Hey MO! I am 11 years old and i love baseball, its is my favorite thing to do. I actually have your autograph on a ball. What is it like hearing people keep yelling at you when you are trying to field a ball or a hit a ball? Does it ever get on your nerves or do you like the chanting or does it take away your attention from the ball and miss or make an error? I really miss watching you play. And mom loves Lance Berkman is he nice?
    Thank you and please reply

  6. AstroHog says:

    I guess I was asking more to the logic of it. I remember being skeptical of the decisions as they were being made.

    • To be honest with you I would have to watch the games again to remember the exact position we were in. This includes how guys were throwing, who was hurt, and a thousand other variables.

      Morgan

  7. orlando says:

    oh man! this is great! my cousin and I are huge Astros fans and you are still our favorite Astro! You signed my glove before a game a while back, but i kept using it and one time i left it in my car and my car flooded in the parking lot of my apartments, it rained and rained. anywho, back to my point, which I don’t have, just letting you know, I’ll follow this blog and God bless man!

  8. Austin Layer says:

    Yes she does. She knows how much I love you the Astros and you how excited when i got your autograph, she is the ones that showed me this sight. she has already asked you a question and she said i could to.
    thank you very much,
    Austin Layer

    • Alright then! I do love fans screaming but it isn’t fun to get booed. When the ball is pitched we don’t hear a thing. But in between pitches we can hear a lot. I love baseball though.

      Morgan

  9. John says:

    I found your site tonight and have spent a couple hours reading just about everything you’ve written so far. Thanks for sharing.

    I really appreciate your honesty and heart. Your view on Milton Bradley is refreshing and a good reminder that ballplayers are people not just uniforms. Most fans of the game really do respect that. Whenever people bring up the overpaid ballplayer bit, I steer the conversation to what it must feel like to have your worst days on public display and how I can’t imagine trying to play at a high level living in hotels, eating out all the time, coming to the park after a tough day (or great day) with the family, receiving bad news, etc. I’m saddened to hear about the Wrigley incident. The Zito post was great stuff. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about you here but the place I learned the least was the “about me” paragraph above!

    How about a post concerning about your opinion of Bobby Cox? I love that guy and you wouldn’t believe the heat he takes on Braves blogs. I was completely flabbergasted by it until I read your thoughts about communication, shielding from “heat”, etc. Makes sense now.

    Thanks again, and best wishes. I’ll be following along.

  10. John says:

    ps. Do you read Joe Posnanski? I found you through an Astro fan at his blog. He’s a treat and can really sum up why I love sports, particularly baseball. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on his recent post on Ron Gardenhire (Mar. 10) if you decide to post about Bobby/managers/etc. Just a suggestion, take it or leave it!

  11. Matt says:

    Morgan,

    First let me say I absolutely love what you are doing here. As a 2nd year high school J.V. baseball coach, I am constantly seeking out new information that will make me a better coach, and the kids better baseball players and people as a whole. I can already tell that I will be checking your blog out on a daily basis. It is great to get a point of view from someone that has seen the ups and downs that this beloved game brings, and I already have a few notes from some of your posts that will definitely be shared in practice today.

    Second, my wife is a huuuuuuuuuge Astros fan being born and raised about an hour and a half South of Houston. She was relocated up here to VA, but holds onto those roots. I will never forget going to Minute Maid in 2006 while visiting family and seeing you guys play the Cubs. Following the Astros with her along with my beloved Braves, I saw that you were definitely one of the guys that played the game right. Always hustling, always giving everything you have hurt or not. I know you’ve covered playing hurt already but you have my utmost respect for the way you played the game, which is one topic we covered at practice the other day, having that fight and determination.

    To wrap this long comment up, I wish you the best of luck in your new career. I was lucky to come across this from a post from MLB on Twitter. Who knows, maybe they’ll catch wind and see how popular your insights are and you can get a sweet job with MLB Network.

    • Matt a job at MLB would be awesome! I read a book by Jim Tressel (Ohio State Football Coach) and when he was coaching at Youngstown State, the Athletic Director gave him a great piece of advice. He say, and I am going to butcher this, “Keep your focus on where you are right now”. His point was this, I would love to have more work in broadcasting right now, but I don’t, so I will work my tail off on this blog because that is where I am right now. My hope is that we can develop a place where you have access to ask questions.

      You got me Matt?

      Morgan

  12. Carlos Jose Lugo says:

    Morgan,

    My name is Carlos J. Lugo, and I’m really glad to see you’re fine and interested in a career as a broadcaster. You’re not going to remember this, but I was a TV analyst for the Estrellas de Oriente ballclub in the Dominican Winter League, for whom you played a couple of times. I think you must add to your resume that you’re one of a handful of guys to hit 10+ homers in different winter leagues, you did it at Venezuela and at the Domninican. That’s not an easy fit, specially in the Dominican, notorious pitchers’ league as you probably remember. By the way, do you remember that hell of a ballclub the Estrellas had (including you, Jason Lane, Julio Franco, Alfonso Soriano, Vladimir Guerrero, Pedro Astacio, etc.) that didn’t even make the finals? That’s still a topic of frequent conversation dwon here.

    Best regards and I wish you the best of luck in your furure endeavors. The fans in San Pedro de Macoris have very fond memories of you.

    Carlos J. Lugo

    • La Estrella Blanca esta aqui!!!!!!!!! Carlos!!!! I remember you! Christi and I had so much fun in the Dominican that we talk about it all the time. For the fans in the US that don’t know, in the Latin American Winter Leagues, all of the great players get nicknames. When you come up to bat, they say your nickname and then your real name. When I heard the announcer say “caliente de caliente……La Estrella Blancaaaaaaaa………..Morgan En….bbbbb….rrrrrr” I couldn’t believe it. The kids who would sit on the outfield fence would shout “Estrella Blanca” trying to get my attention. I looked up at them and they said “Honron”!!! They wanted me to hit a homer for them. I would smile and say , “Yo espero”!

      Please say hi to the fans for me. The really treated me well.

      La Estrella Blanca

  13. Rincewind says:

    Hey, Morgan! I had heard about your blog but just found the time to read today. Really great stuff. I was a fan of the Astros/Colt 45’s before you were born, but you are one of my favorites. Having moved to Round Rock years ago I also got to watch you with the Express.

    As mentioned at least once previously I would like to hear your thoughts about learning the strike zone, and patience at the plate. Can that be a learned skill? If so, how?

    I would also be interested in your comments related to what goes on between pitches. How does the situation and your approach change, (fielder, pitcher, and hitter), with different counts, and with/without base runners, or depending on who is up next. My wife loves baseball and those are some of the things that she struggles with. After years of explaining I could use some help and different words to maybe bring it all together.

    I am curious, from a players perspective, who are the best players you have seen, and/or played with, and why. I am actually more curious about the why than seeing a list of names. To another professional baseball player what are the most important qualities and/or skills to have in your teammates?

    How much influence towards wins and losses does a manager really have? What about the other coaches? How important is a hitting or pitching coach to a teams success? Maybe tell us something that the first base coach does that most people don’t know.

    Coming from college what did you have to learn, or what skills did you have to develop before you were ready for the majors………Oh, one of my favorites – do you think the Astros of the past 10 years or so have kept players in the minors too long, or have they just not been ready.

    I could do this all day. But, I’ll stop now. Thanks for the blog.

  14. Jim says:

    Great site. I hope, after you’ve gathered enough thoughts, you put them in a book.

    I often hear announcers talking about how an umpire is squeezing the strike zone or has a loose one. Does it really make a difference? Is it enough to change a game plan based on who’s behind the plate? Is it enough that we should be calculating an Umpire ERA?

    Keep up the good work. I’ll be reading this as long as you choose to write it.

    • Jim it makes a HUGE difference. Players find out who is calling the game so that we know if he is going to call a bigger or smaller zone. The real problem is that umpires have a tough job and it is hard to tell if the ball actually hits a corner. But what catchers do is they gradually find out where the umpire is “stretching” the zone and they attack that spot.

      Morgan

  15. Andy says:

    Morgan:

    Nice start to your blog. I have always admired you as a player and look forward to reading what you have to say here in the future.

    Let me know if you want/need any baseball photos to support your efforts. I am a photographer and have a bunch of you when you played in Round Rock and Houston.

    Have a great day.

  16. Rui says:

    Morgan:
    This blog looks great; a lot of really insightful articles about the insiders’ view of baseball. I honestly had no idea you graduated from USC, and as a Cardinals’ fan who only knew to disdain you, I appreciate the opportunity to root for you. As a current USC student, I wish you the best with your broadcasting career

    • Rui says:

      Also, (sorry for the double post), I noticed that you talk a lot about Game Theory in your posts. As an Economics major trying to get into the business of baseball, game theory is exactly how I like to think about the game

    • Rui!!! Congrats on going to USC! It is a really special place. What year are you and how do you like it?

      Morgan

      • Rui says:

        I’m a junior right now. Honestly, I love the place. Being from the Midwest, I’ve found that there’s a certain “sexiness” factor associated with the school. If I meet somebody new back home who asks me what school I go to, I always get a “Whoa” look from them. It might not be academically as prestigious as the Stanfords or the Harvards, but it is trending upwards, and it is undeniably sexier than the others (as are the ladies…)

  17. vivaelpujols says:

    Hey Morgan, whadda you think about some of the saber stats out there. Have you ever checked out FanGraphs to see your UZR or WAR? Did you ever pay attention to that stuff when you were active as a player? Do you ever read some of the sabermetric studies at The Hardball Times or Beyond the Boxscore?

    Anyway, I really appreciate this blog, you’ve given great insights into the game so far.

    • I believe in most of those numbers. I believe teaching players proper fundamentals and clearly communicating expectations is more important. Basically, I believe that we are able to take talented players who floats “under the radar” and can place him in a position to be great. In other words, those numbers work, but only if you understand the situation that player has to deal with on the field, clubhouse, and media.

      Morgan

  18. CodyG says:

    whoa, so I just leave a comment and a former MLBer will read it/possibly respond to it. It’s great that you put this blog up I feel even closer to the game than I did before.Good luck Morgan.

    • That’s right Cody. All you do is hit those buttons on that computer with your fingers. Then I hit some buttons with my fingers. And there you have it! Technology is awesome!

      Morgan

      • CodyG says:

        Sweet,Morgan Ensberg just talked to me!
        Question now, as a player you had a high BB rate(really amazed by that 20% in’06),when you approached the plate was there a certain thing you did to draw a walk? I know the obvious answer would be “don’t swing at balls”, but could you say you were less aggressive in those PAs or did you have a gameplan?

        • I don’t believe in walks. That may sound strange, but I believe in hitting mistakes. My problems at the plate had to do with perspective. When I was in the box I was more concerned with the “outcome” then working the process. That means I wasn’t placing my body in a position to hit more pitches around the plate. I will get to that topic down the line. It is ironic that I would be a better hitter right now because I have had time off and that has given me perspective.

          Morgan

  19. Andy says:

    Hello Morgan, first off I’d like to thank all you did for the Astros, the fans, and Houston in general. You were the heart and soul of the 2005 NL Champion squad and people don’t forget that. My question to you is about your teammate Chris Burke. He came in with so many accolades throughout the minors, was projected to be the future at 2nd base, and seemed to have all the tools. I had projected him to possible be a .290/10-15 hr/80-90 rbi 25 stolen base guy eventually. You know basically a multi purpose top of the order threat, with good sock for 2nd baseman. What happened do you think the mental pressure got to him? Did he have the talent necessary to be a big league player? My other question is how close are you with the guys still Roy, Lance, for example and what will they have to do to turn their 2009 campaigns around? I should have some more questions for you soon! Best of luck in broadcasting, I’m actually almost ready to graduate with a broadcasting degree. I cohost a sports radio show and commentate baseball up in Huntsville at Sam Houston State University. I would love to have you a guest interview if you’d ever have the chance! Thanks for making this blog.

    -Andy

    • Andy, Christ Burke is a great ball player who never got a real chance to play. In my opinion, he was supposed to replace Biggio if he got hurt. Since that didn’t happen the Astros thought they would just throw him in center. That is a tough move. But the reality is that he has never had a chance to fail. You can argue that he got a chance, and that is true. But he wasn’t allowed to go out there every single day for a season and play.

      Morgan

      • Andy says:

        Excellent point there Morgan. Do you feel like there are a lot of players that have the MLB talent that just never get the right chance for whatever reason? I guess you would call them the AAAA guys.

  20. Jeanna says:

    Morgan, Its so great to have you around again! God bless you and your family and I wish you the best in your future endevors. I live in San Antonio, but was born and raised in Houston and my family and I traveled to Houston many times to see you play and for photo days. My kids made signs for you – FYI!

    They say there is no such thing as a stupid question, but Im afraid I might have one. Why did Jeff Bagwell’s shoulder break down if he was a 1B? I would understand if he played a position where throwing was vital and inevitable, but when I see 1Bs they catch, not throw. If your answer is because of throwing the ball around the infield, then why did he do that, or did he HAVE to do that? I do have arthritis (actually, Im getting chemo treatment for it)so I know we dont get to pick and choose which joints are effected, but I would think it would have to do with how much we use any given joint. I hope you can shed some light on this for me. Thanks.

    • Jeff’s shoulder was degenerative. Baseball aggravated it, but his body built up calcium deposits around the problem and there wasn’t anything he could do. That guy is a warrior. You will never know how much pain he was dealing with.

      Morgan

  21. Bob Ford says:

    Mo….dude!

    I was happy to hear that you still plan on staying in the game….and heading behind the mic. I remember one of the first conversations I had with you….on field during “family day” years ago. I asked you what you’d be doing if you weren’t in baseball….you told me you’d probably be a banker. I remember telling you should pursue broadcasting after your playing days….you are a natural.

    After one of your first games as an Astro….I was making a pit stop before hitting the road home…the post game show was blaring in the men’s room…..Alan Ashby was interviewing this guy….and I was blown away by the comfort, the ease that this guy had bringing a very articulate answer for every question…without once dropping in one “you know”. Who is this guy?

    I stepped back into the press box, and saw you standing just outside the dugout…wearing the headset. As a guy who makes his living behind the mic….I was immediately impressed with the presence and knowledge you brought to an on-air conversation.

    It’s apparent that is translating nicely to your written words as well…plus, your candor is really refreshing!

    I look forward to reading more as the season progresses….and hope to see you in the press box at MMP soon.

    All the best,
    Bob

    • Hey BOB! Great to see you here. I think comfort in front of the mic has to do with understanding what you are talking about. Growing up I would watch my Dad talk to everybody he ran into. I remember playing a basketball game in Compton and I looked up and saw my dad sitting with the other teams families just talking and laughing. He showed me through example how to engage people.
      I would love to be in that press box. Make that happen Bob!

      Morgan

  22. vivaelpujols says:

    Okay, one more question Morgan. How do you feel about luck in baseball? Roy Oswalt’s, for example, is a guy who’s been an amazing pitcher over his career, but he, like most major league pitchers, has stretches where he gives up a lot of runs and stretches were he gives up almost none. In those starts how much of his production is due to actual changes in performance (missing his spots, not properly sequencing a good hitter, worse stuff, etc.) and how much is due to things outside of his control (the batter getting good wood on pitches he wouldn’t most of the time, the umpire messing up some calls, the fielders missing some plays they normally make, etc.)?

    You can extrapolate this to you as a hitter. During some of your hit streaks and hitless streaks how much of the difference is due to the pitcher making really good pitches, or the fielder’s catching some hard hit balls, and how much is due to you performing worse?

    • gdm426 says:

      shouldn’t you be doing a penny pitch f/x?

    • Wow this is a great set of questions. Number one: I don’t believe luck exists. Two: Pitching is all about getting ahead with the first pitch. So if Roy does that consistently then he will dominate. Three: Reasons for not throwing strikes or hitting could be mechanical….could be physical…could be tough calls or errors. I would have to really go case by case in an actual game to show you. But I will touch on this later on in the blog.

      Morgan

      • vivaelpujols says:

        Okay then, I have a challenge for you Morgan ;). I recently wrote an article looking at AJ Burnett’s 10 best and 10 worst starts of 2009, in which there was an ERA difference of about 8. I found very little difference in terms of his stuff, approach and location, which lead me to believe that much of the difference was due to luck rather than Burnett’s performance.

        http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/what-do-stats-tell-us/

        However, there are obviously other factors not captured in the data such as individual approach to hitters, deception, etc. However, I don’t think those differences could add up to 8 points worth of ERA, so I do think there is luck involved.

        My questions is whether or not you disagree with that, and if so, could you give me some specific examples of factors that might cause the discrepancy? Maybe for a later blog post, you could explore video of Burnett in his good and bad starts and identify certain things that might cause the drastic swing in results.

        • I’ll look at it right now and see if I understand your point.

          Morgan

        • Remember there is no such thing as luck. Your argument is that location and stuff were the same. That tells me that he wasn’t getting ahead in the count on the 1st pitch and subsequent even counts during his bad outings. He may have the same stuff, but if he was behind in the count all the time, it doesn’t matter how hard he throws as much as batters know that he HAS to throw a FB on this 3-1 count. When a pitcher gets ahead of us on the 1st pitch, it opens up his entire arsenal of pitches. Whereas if he falls behind the whole time, a good scouting report will tell us that he gets back into counts with a certain pitch in this location. If we have a better understanding of what is coming we have a great chance of putting a good swing on a good hitters pitch.

          The only other point I can think of has everything to do with who he is facing. Burnett throws really hard and that means that most guys will hit the ball the opposite way because they are late or Power hook a ball. There is very little “true” spinning ground balls against guys like that. When I would get a ground ball from a left hander, I would actually set a wider stance expecting a unconventional hop. Batters don’t hit hard throwers as well (generalization). So when we do get a batted ball it is softer but with more “english”. This is harder to handle. The point is that it is difficult for managers to move fielders when balls are hit softer with “english”.

          Is there a way to check to see how often he started the AB with a strike?

          Morgan

          • vivaelpujols says:

            Yes. Here is the percentage of plate appearances starting with a non-in play strike in each group of starts:

            Good = 47.5%
            Bad = 44.4%

            That’s a difference of about 3% which is an overall difference of about 8-9 at bats, which doesn’t seem like a that huge of a difference to me.

            “The only other point I can think of has everything to do with who he is facing.” This I think is also the biggest factor. The guys he faced in his “good” starts were drastically different than the guys he faced in his “bad” starts. The question I have for you, and you would be able to offer great insight into this, is just how much a pitcher like Burnett (with *great* stuff) changes his approach based on the hitter. And just how much of a difference those changes can make in terms of his results.

    • hazel says:

      It makes me mad that Oswalt has never won a Cy Young award.

  23. spants says:

    Morgan, I gotta say that this is very, very cool.

    I don’t know if it was mentioned on another post, but I’d like to read about situational hitting. For instance, how do you make adjustments in order to move a runner, or hit a sac fly, etc? How much of those types of decisions are in the hands of the batter vs. the manager? That type of thing. Thanks for doing this.

  24. hazel says:

    Hello, Mr. Ensberg. Your writing has been really intriguing so far: I heard about your blog on a Cardinals website, so you’re definitely making the rounds. I especially liked the Zito v. Fielder article.

    I’ve got a question series for you: How often do pitchers “tip” their pitches? Can you tell what a pitcher is going to throw next? Is it helpful to know? From the beginning of the windup, how much time does it take before you can identify a pitch? What tips you off?

    Thanks for writing.

    • We are able to pick pitches sometimes, but it has to be a team effort. When I was on the Astros I heard of a guy tipping once. They just didn’t preach it. But at USC we were amazing at it because every guy was trying to find something. The short answer is that it could be his hand into the glove, something his glove does, when he winds-up, or a thousand other things. I plan on doing a story on this exact topic. Keep checking in.

      Morgan

  25. vivaelpujols says:

    Hey Morgan, I have another un-related question (and if I’m being too annoying, feel free to say so and I’ll stop!). How many instances of quick pitching have you witnessed as a player? Do umpires generally do a good job of identifying and punishing the offenders? And do you think that quick pitching has more of an effect on the pitcher’s mechanics/control or the batter’s timing (IOW, do quick pitches benefit pitchers or hitters more)? Thanks so much.

  26. Junior says:

    Morgan,

    Love the site, been reading all day since I came across it. I think your stories are great and refreshing to get the perspective from a former player from a recent decade. Since you’ve offered to have followers suggest topics you can write about, I have listed a few below:

    1. Write up to describe your fantasy baseball team, current or former players included and why.
    2. Best baseball city and why (ball park, city, fans…etc)
    3. Will the Pirates go 20 years with a winning percentage under .500? 1992 was the last time they were over .500. (No, I am not a Pirate fan but I feel a little sorry for them)
    4. What is it really like to be a professional baseball player?

    Appreciate your insight and look forward to future posts, even if you don’t chose my topics.

    -JR

  27. Kelsey says:

    Morgan,

    I really enjoyed listening to you call the Stanford/Texas game on CBS College Sports last year. Are you still going to be calling college games this year for CBS or anyone else?

    • I don’t have anything with CBS yet. But I do have 5 games with ESPNU and 3 game on FOX. I would love all the games I could get though. I love to work and teach the game.

      Morgan

  28. Jon says:

    I just found your blog. REally enjoy reading it and getting your insights. I am a lifelong Astro’s fan, I even tried out for the club in 1972 at the open camp try-outs they held at Tyler Texas. Obviously, I didn’t make it but hey….. you’ve got to follow your dreams.

    I was just wondering about your career. You had such a great start with the Astros and then it seems you went into a tailspin. When you left Houston for greener pastures I thought for sure you would bounce back because you had so much talent. But…………

    • Jon these are very good points. The fact of the matter is that my perspective was terrible. My entire career was based on feeling like I had to get a hit in every at-bat. I also was trying to put band aids on bullet holes instead of concentrating on good fundamental hitting. Basically I was too hard on myself and I never felt comfortable. It is different now. In fact, the irony is that I would be a better ball player today than when I played because I have had a chance to take a breath and see with clarity. Does that make any sense?

      Morgan

  29. Tommy O says:

    First of all, this is a wonderful website… thanks for taking the time for the fans. Best of luck in your broadcasting career.
    I have two questions.
    1) When you were called up in 2000 for a taste of the bigs, were you in awe of Caminiti? He was a former MVP and seemed to give 100% in everything he did. Without getting into the darker side, can you express what it was like seeing him go about his business at the hot corner?
    2) I believe you were drafted by the Mariners before you chose to go to college. Now that you’ve been through college, the minors and majors, what would you say to other late round draftees, especially considering how fond your memories are of USC?

    • Great stuff Tommy! I never saw Caminiti in the clubhouse because he was hurt and went home.

      I was drafted by the Mariners, but they didn’t offer me a contract. They wanted me to go to a JC as a “draft and follow”. That means that they had my signing right until 12 midnight the night before the next amateur draft. They no longer have that rule though. As for deciding to go to college, it was a great experience. You will hear me say this later, but life seems to be about working hard and having options. That is what college COULD do for anyone who goes if they understand the opportunity that they have. If they go there to party then it won’t work. But if they realize that this education can allow you to follow your baseball dream and still be alright when the game is done then it is a great move.

      Morgan

  30. Mat A says:

    Hey Morgan! My family and I followed your career closely and were big fans after Jim Catchot told us he knew a major leaguer (my mom worked with him). You probably don’t remember, but we actually met you one day in SF after a game. It was an awesome experience getting to meet you. I’m sad to see your playing days are over, but I know you will excel at broadcasting!

    My younger brother is now a freshman in high school and is doing really well(playing 3rd and pitching). I would love to see posts relating to basics about fielding and hitting that are important to learn at the high school level.

    Any inside information about the game (especially about the situational and mental aspects) is welcomed and I look forward to reading your insights.

    Mat

  31. Croxall says:

    A few things I think would be interesting for this blog: (1) stories about you and guys you played with describing work ethic as the basis for success; (2) what you think athletics teaches young people beyond the games of choice (i.e. what it can do for personal growth); and (3) stories about playing in the show that regular joes wouldn’t know.

    Jog your memory — do you remember that “crystallian sphere” quote?

  32. Derek says:

    Hey Morgan, I remember as a kid going to astros games and recognizing you for your hard work and your wide batting stance. What caused you to have such a wide batting stance? Also what did you think of Denise Liborio?

    • Derek the idea behind it was to keep my head still and to keep me from moving my body towards the pitcher. I never really wanted to hit that way, but I never had time to really fix it.
      I love Dennis.

      Morgan

  33. Jody says:

    Hey Morgan,
    I have never seen a player make himself and his knowledge so accessible. Its great how involved you are with this site. I just started coaching high school baseball myself and I really appreciate the advice you give on here.
    Thank you.
    Jody

  34. Dave says:

    Morgan,

    I’ve had the great pleasure of working the Harry Kalas, Richie Ashburn and some of the crew that broadcast the Atlanta Braves. I was Executive Producer for Radio for the Phillies.

    When my son was born, Harry announced it during a Phillies game. What a great thrill and memory.

    Dave

  35. John Tawa says:

    Hey Morgan!

    Sitting in an airport, again, and started thinking about you.

    I don’t forget the athletes who made an impression on me (“Stealing Home” — Easy Reader) and I wish you well in your broadcasting career.

    I moved from the beach to Portland with my family six years ago. It’s been good. My oldest boy had two homers, two triples and three doubles at the Cal Ripken 10-year-old World Series in August, where his team finished fourth, so I may be calling on you one day for pointers! He is a switch-hitting SS/CF who flies!!

    Take it easy, Morgan. Hope to hear from you.

  36. Hayden Baker says:

    You’re my favorite player and I admire you a whole bunch. I loved watching you in that 2005 season. You were on fire! I went to your last astros game and I was in the suites. I was so excited when you hit that Home Run. I was so sad when I heard you got traded.

  37. Hayden Baker says:

    I will. I play select baseball. The other day i pitched a one-hitter. With 16 K’s and 1 walk. My dad bought me a bat of yours at an Astros auction.

  38. JJ Cabrera says:

    Morgan,

    I just stumbled upon this blog and wanted to congratulate you on your career and future success. I followed you in Round Rock and Houston and I would like to wish you and your family the best of fortune. Thanks for everything that you did for the city of Houston and the fans. Keep up the great work on the blog!

  39. Hayden Baker says:

    So what do you think of the Astros this year MO.

    • Hayden I have commented on this earlier, but the Astros are in trouble. It looks to me like they signed a bunch of older guys so they could trade them at the break and restock their minor league system. I can’t figure out any other reason for their moves. My guess is that they will say “it is finally time to start over”. It is too bad because those guys on the field will have to take heat for playing poorly. This will lead to them not being able to produce. Does that make sense?

      Morgan

  40. Hayden Baker says:

    So Morgan how did it feel when you broke Carlos Beltrans “consecutive games with a home run” record?!

  41. Robert Bishop says:

    Hi Morgan,

    I loved watching and listening to your games for the Astros. I enjoyed hearing Alan Ashby provide commentary on the radio for your games and he would just light up (in a good way) when talking about you. I could tell that you where one of his favorite Astros. He was so good at explaining the game and making it enjoyable to listen to. I know you will do the same in your broadcasting career.

    Robert

  42. Carol Campbell says:

    Morgan,

    We had season tickets down the third base line when you played for the Astros. We were such big fans of yours that when we got our puppy in May of 2006 we named him Morgan Ensberg Campbell.

    Great to see this site, can’t wait to show my son. I’m sure he’ll have many questions for you.

    Still fans,

    Carol Campbell

  43. Hey Morgan! I’m one of Hayden Baker’s best friends. I play on his baseball team. He told me all about this site. I’m a huge fan of yours. I really wish you were still playing.

  44. Hayden Baker says:

    So what was your opinion on the World Series in 2005. Ya’ll had every game in the bag but you let it go. I went to game three and thought you had it but….

  45. Andrew says:

    Morgan,

    I’m a huge fan and I loved going to the games and watching the team. Seeing you play third bas was the reason I started playing third base in Pony League back in 03. I was really sad to see you leave Houston but I’m excited that I found your site and really appreciate the fact that you take time to share your thoughts on the game!

    Andrew

  46. Mike says:

    Wow! A friend just tipped me off to your site after I mentioned how ridiculously long that Mets-Cards 20-inning game took (given the fact that the first 18 innings were scoreless). Loved your input on your blog about the facts as to why they take so long.

    Then I came across the Bagwell/beer story, then you and your new announcing career,…

    I’m going to have to read this entire thing inside and out!

    Thanks for sharing your time and experiences with baseball fans. There are plenty of us who would rather hear a player’s stories than those of a beat writer’s.

  47. Mo!
    Dude so glad to hear you got a site going! I’ve been an Astros fan since I was born! And you were my favorite Astro since you joined the team! I respect you for your hard work and determination. I remember your three HR game!

    It’s so cool to see someone give the Lord credit for what they do on the field. Keep the site rollin! I’m gonna be on this thing non-stop!

    Colby

  48. Ashley Snyder says:

    Hi Morgan

    First i just want to say i miss you playing for the Astros. Your autograph was the first MLB autograph i ever got. My friend drug me to the game i had never seen a MLB game an i realy didnt care to. I went to a few college games with my dad when i was little an thought it was boring. But we got there an all of you were on the fence signing an i thought what the heck. I turned around a you signed the back of my shirt. I was like ok thats pretty cool. Then i watched the game that was in 2004 im hooked lol. I i got a few more autographs form other players an i even got one more from you off a home run ball you hit. But the shirt is my favorite. My friends tell my im a freek when it comes time for the season i cant miss an Astros game an if there not playing i just have to find something else. Thanks for inspiring my new found love. Good luck in everything you do

    Ashley

  49. Hayden Baker says:

    Well …. their winning! You think they can take the lead from the Cards?

  50. Maddie says:

    Hey Morgan! I’ve been a fan of you since the beginning 🙂 I cried when the Astros traded you. You were my favorite player and probably the best. You rocked 3rd base! I still have shirts with your name on the back and 14 has been my favorite number since I can remember 🙂 Good luck with broadcasting! 🙂 I guess I don’t really have any questions about baseball…I just wanted to say hi 🙂


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