During tonight's game/telecast I realized how important atmosphere is to the success of the telecast.
The attendance for the last three games of the road trip at Minute Maid Park in Houston was 22,068, 29,307, and 23,140. The atmosphere in that ballpark for those three games was disappointing but understandable. The Astros have never really been in the race after starting the season 0-9.
The attendance for tonight's Reds/Cardinals game at Busch Stadium was 43, 540.
Even though the Cardinals had fallen to 8 games behind the Reds after the atrocious road trip, our main theme for the show was to revisit the last Cardinals/Reds series in Cincinnati which the Cardinals swept and included a bench clearing brawl.
The main combatant for the Reds in that series was Brandon Phillips who precipitated the brawl by calling the Cardinals a bunch of "whiny bitches" among other things.
We addressed this issue in an opening segment. We came back from our last break of the open with open billboards, a shot of the packed Busch Stadium, and then a shot of Phillips who was batting second in the order for the Reds.
After the Reds lead-off batter flew out, I immediately took a shot of Phillips and audio opened the PA (public address) of Busch stadium as Phillips was introduced.
We expected the home crowd reaction to be negative towards Phillips and we were correct. There was a constant "boo" from the crowd during the whole at-bat.
When there were two strikes on Phillips, I had camera 3 (mid 1st) come wide to cover the explosion of the crowd in case Phillips struck out.
A great reaction was captured live and the atmosphere in Busch Stadium was electric.
After the third out of the inning, our Producer rolled out to commercial with the strikeout at normal speed with the audio being tracked.
A great roll out!
Phillips went 0-4 for the game and each at-bat was a blast to cut. The great atmosphere in Busch Stadium peaked during every Phillips at-bat.
The Cardinals scored two runs in the first inning and one in the second and held on to win 3-2.
This game/telecast would have been completely different in Minute Maid Park because of the atmosphere.
We are blessed that we have the privilege to cover Cardinals baseball at Busch Stadium.
For Cardinals' fans there is only one other venue that can capture the atmosphere of Busch Stadium.
Busch Stadium and Wrigley Field are two of the greatest ballparks to cover the great game of baseball.
Because of atmosphere.
Off tomorrow for FOX game of the week. Next game/telecast is sunday.
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