Gamesmanship is baseball's 'psychological warfare'

June 22nd, 2022

In baseball, doing the little things right often wins games. The little details make all the difference. But what about doing the little things that may not be baseball related, but rather get into other players’ heads?

Join former All-Stars Jimmy Rollins, Ron Darling and special guest Sean Casey for a conversation about gamesmanship in the latest edition of the Unwritten podcast.

“There's psychological warfare out there when you're playing Major League Baseball against the most talented guys in the world. It isn't always just hitting and running and pitching. And those little things, sometimes just talking to a guy, maybe taking him off his game,” Rollins said.

Casey, who spent 12 years in MLB, learned a lesson in baseball etiquette early, as the former first baseman chatted up anyone who reached his base, including former All-Star Henry Rodriguez, whom Casey unintentionally got out.

“You can only see me, 23 years old, ‘Sean Casey, big fan of yours, bro. I freaking love you, I love your swing. And I love Montreal,’” Casey said. “Right when I say that, he turns to me and he says, 'Thanks a lot, man.'

“Right when he turns, [pitcher] Ron Villone [pulls off a] freaking step-off pick. I catch the ball, as he's saying 'Thank you, bro.' … He walked off, looked at me like, you know, what a jerk.”

You can listen to Casey’s hilarious story on this week’s episode, as well as stories of Alex Rodriguez getting into it with Dallas Braden for stepping on the mound and more. Tune in as Jimmy and Ron talk about all of baseball’s unwritten rules every Wednesday. Listen and subscribe now on Audacy, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.