Friday, October 1, 2010

Nailing A Rare Play

The suicide squeeze is one of the rarest plays in baseball.
Because this play is so rare, the TV coverage is usually pretty basic. The mid-first base camera is usually utilized because this angle shows the pitcher, batter, and the runner. This replay shows the runner taking off from third base when the pitcher releases the pitch. To be the most effective, this angle must include the pitcher, the runner, and the batter.
There was a squeeze play in our game/telecast tonight and we nailed it's coverage about as well as can be expected.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Cardinals had a runner on third base with one out. A recent call-up, rookie catcher Matt Pagnozzi, was at the plate.
Before the first pitch our announce team speculated that a suicide squeeze may be in the works.
I took a shot from camera 1 (left field corner) shooting Cardinals manager Tony Larussa giving signs to the third base coach. I told camera 3 (mid-first base) to pull out wide and include the pitcher, runner, and batter.
The first pitch of the at-bat was a ball and the squeeze was not attempted.
I took camera 1 again and LaRussa gave some more signs to the third base coach. These signs were much more emphatically given and this was pointed out by our play by play announcer, Rick Horton - a former big league pitcher.
I went back to camera 3 and stayed on the shot as the pitcher delivered to the plate. From this angle, we could see the runner at third base break for home. As Rick announced "Here it comes!", I went to camera 4 (centerfield) as the pitch was delivered.
The suicide squeeze worked and the Cardinals increased their lead to 3-0 which turned out to be the final score.
The hero shots of Pagnozzi, the runner from third base, the fans, and the dugout celebration were very effective and the replays were great.
This very rare baseball play worked for the Redbirds tonight.
This very rare baseball play worked for our telecast tonight.
We nailed it!

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