Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Was Terrible

Tonight's St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers game/telecast was very entertaining for the Redbirds fans.
Too bad I butchered the telecast.
The Cardinals won the game in 2:34 by the score of 8 - 3.
There were many entertaining factors with this game.
Both lead-off batters homered to start the first inning.
There was some great defensive plays.
A Brewers' batter fell on his face rounding third base with a possible and probable inside-the-park homerun only to be tagged out. My cut on this play was absolutely awful. The viewer never saw the most important aspects of the play until the replay sequence.
I missed most of this marvelous game.
I could never catch a rhythm. There was no flow to the show.
This was the most entertaining game for Cardinals nation in the past six weeks.
I missed it.
I was terrible.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Flash Of The Past

The Cardinals beat the Brewers 2 - 1 tonight at Miller park in 3:12.
It will take a miracle for the Cardinals to overtake the Brewers this season as they are now 9 1/2 games out with 27 to play. But, this is one of the few games that have had ANY meaning in the past few weeks.
The fact that the Cardinals are not eliminated from the race put a little bit of importance to this game/telecast.
The Cardinals play the Brewers 5 more times in the next 8 days so, even though the future is bleak, there is a bit of meaning to these games.
I have stated many times in this blog that I am very, very spoiled. The Redbirds have been very successful for a long time. I have had the privilege of cutting Cardinals telecasts during maybe their most successful stretch in history.
All of us on the St. Louis Cardinals TV team know that the chances of post-season play for the Cardinals is slim.
But, the recent history of this organization creates a atmosphere of hope that the season isn't truly over yet.
Tonight's game provided that.
Tonight's game was a flash of the past.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Worst Homestand Ever

The Cardinals beat the Pirates 7 - 4 today to wrap up a seven game homestand in which they went 3 - 4.
I have never experienced such bad television baseball at Busch Stadium - ever.
Usually Busch Stadium is filled with wild, raucous fans. It is definitely an event to watch Cardinals baseball at Busch Stadium.
Not this homestand.
The Cardinals have fallen out of contention and are barely hanging on to their play-off hopes.
The pitching isn't sharp, there are lapses defensively, and you never know when their offense is going to show up.
The fans see this and instead of a crowd that is rocking and rolling, they are sitting on their hands.
Teams that play well and win create an atmosphere at the ballpark that makes people want to go to the game.
It is such great fun capturing that atmosphere on television thus bring that "feeling" to the viewers at home.
That atmosphere has disappeared from Busch Stadium.
I know, I just witnessed the worst homestand ever.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"You Just Know"

The Cardinals beat the Pirates 5 - 4 in 2:34 thanks to a 2-run Lance Berkman homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning.
This well-paced game reminded me of Cardinals games from the not so distant past. It is true that the Cardinals have had better pitched and better played games than this contest but despite the average pitching performance from the starter and despite some sloppy defensive work, this game moved along very nicely.
I know I sound like a complainer but, to me, there is nothing more enjoyable in a TV truck than a well paced game. The TV production team is able to get into a rhythm and there is a good flow to the show.
There are moments during a season where "you just know" what is going to happen. I just knew Berkman was going to come through in the bottom of the eighth inning in tonight's game.
I just knew.
I set up a couple of camera angles for replays just in case my premonition came true.
It did.
Our replay sequence of the homerun was great and our rollout at the end of the telecast was spot on.
I have had the good fortune of directing St. Louis Cardinals games for many years. Many gifted players have donned the birds on the bat in that time.
Therefore, throughout my career, there have been many occasions where "I just knew.
Tonight was one of those occasions.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'll Take It

The Cardinals beat the Pirates tonight by the score of 8 - 4 in 3:11.
This game/telecast was beginning to shape up into a replay of the Dodgers series. The Cardinals starting pitcher needed 38 pitches to get through the 3rd inning when the Pirates scored 3 runs.
But the bullpens settled in and Matt Holliday hit a clutch 3-run homerun in the bottom of the 8th inning to put the game away.
For many years I have been spoiled by the great success of Cardinals baseball. I have come to expect well-pitched, well-played and well-paced baseball games.
However, with the recent slide of the Cardinals, I am starting to expect poorly pitched, poorly played and poorly paced games.
This contest fit nicely between well pitched, played, and paced games and poorly pitched, played, and paced games.
Not the type of game/telecast I want but better than our recent game/telecasts.
I'll take it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Series Recap: Bad Ending, Bad Everything, Bad Inning

The LA Dodgers beat the Cardinals today by the score of 9 - 4 to wrap up a three game sweep of the Redbirds at Busch Stadium.
During my 24 years as part of the St. Louis Cardinals TV production team, I don't remember a three game series that was more difficult to televise.
My two previous blogs "Crushing Loss" and "The Epitome of Stink" pretty much summarized the game/telecasts of the first two games of this series.
Today's clunker of a game could be titled "One Bad Inning" because the game was over for the lifeless Cardinals after the top of the third inning when the Dodgers scored 6 runs.
Here is a recap of that inning:
Wild Pitch - Both runners advance
2-Run Single
RBI Double
RBI Single - Runner to 2nd base on a throwing error
Ground Rule RBI Double
Single - Runners on 1st and 3rd
RBI Single - Runners on 1st and 2nd
Sacrifice Bunt - Runners on 2nd and 3rd
Fielders Choice - Runner out at home
6 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, wild pitch, 1 error, 38 pitches.
Game 1 of this series had a bad ending. Game two was a horrible, horrible baseball game. Game three had one bad inning and no exciting innings.
A telecast can make a good game bad and sometimes even a bad game good.
There was NO CHANCE for these bad games to look good on television.
Believe me, we tried.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"The Epitome of Stink"

In 1972, during my senior year in high school, our football team went 6 - 3.
One of our losses came by the score of 63 - 30.
The first practice after that 63 - 30 game, our football coach lined up the first string defense (of which I was a part) in front of the rest of the team and the B-squad. Our football coach, coach Busselman, pointed to the first string defense and said to the others looking at us, "I give to you the epitome of stink."
Now I would like to give my summary of tonight's Dodgers at Cardinals baseball game.
After the first inning the score was 3 - 0 Dodgers.
The Dodgers led 7 - 0 after two innings.
After 3 innings the Dodgers led 8 - 0.
Going into the 6th inning the Dodgers had a lead of 11 - 0.
The Dodgers completed their scoring with a 2-run homerun in the top of the ninth when a Cardinals position player was pitching.
The Cardinals finally got on the board in the bottom of the 9th.
So, with the score 13 - 1 with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th the Dodgers made a pitching change.
The Cardinals added another run and this 2:59 game ended with the score of 13 - 2.
Now please allow me to quote coach Busselman as I describe this game.
"Ladies and gentleman, I give to you the epitome of stink."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Crushing Loss

The LA Dodgers beat the Cardinals 2 - 1 tonight scoring both of their runs in the top of the ninth inning.
Chris Carpenter breezed through 8 innings and the game itself had a wonderful pace. Carpenter hit the first batter of the 9th inning and his day was done.
The bullpen did not come through and the Cardinals suffered their most crushing defeat of the 2011 season.
As I wrote in my book Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From the Director's Chair (now available on the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook), a TV baseball director must respect (in order) the game, the fans, the players, and the TV crew working the contest.
In order for the director to respect these different factions, the director must not become too attached to the team being covered.
Don't get me wrong, I love the St. Louis Cardinals. I wish they would win every game.
But if I become too emotionally attached to the team as I am cutting the game, I couldn't provide the best game "cut" for the viewers.
Trust me, tonight's game/telecast was very, very difficult to cut. As I cut the game, I need to make sure I don't get too high when the team is going good and I can't get too low when times are tough.
I must save these emotions until I am off the air.
Well, I am now off the air.
This was a terrible loss for all of us who love the St. Louis Cardinals.
A crushing loss indeed.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

They Just Don't Care

The TV crews in every major league town are different.
They have different personalities, different senses of humor and different work ethics.
Some crews are a joy to work with and some crews are a pain in the ass.
Throughout my 28 year career of producing and/or directing major league baseball, I have met every type of TV crew member that you can imagine.
I have worked with the good guys and the jerks, the hard workers and the lazy ones, the creative members and the boring ones, happy and sad, healthy and sick, introverts and extroverts, the positive members and the negative ones, the optimists and the pessimists.
I have been on the same TV team with all these types of people throughout my career.
I must say that not only have I been on the same TV team with all different types of people, I have enjoyed being on that team and that may be the most important reason that I love directing major league baseball.
There is, however, one certain type of crew member that I do not enjoy having as a member of my TV production team.
That is the crew member that just doesn't care.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Rare Off-Day Blog

In yesterday's blog, I lamented about tomorrow's off-day in Chicago.
My lament had nothing to do with Chicago. I love Chicago.
I lamented my upcoming off-day because, I believe, there is nothing worse in this profession than off days on the road.
This is a rare blog in that I am blogging after an off-day instead of after a game.
But, I felt a need to blog because today's off-day was actually a great day.
I woke up late.
I drank my morning coffee with a delicious cranberry/orange muffin.
I did my 30 minutes on the treadmill.
Then, I read for a couple of hours and was totally relaxed.
Invigorated, I went shopping on Michigan Avenue for my Grandson, Brendan.
I bought him a clothing franchise and felt great.
After that wonderful excursion, I met the Cardinals equipment manager and great friend Rip Rowen for beers and dinner.
Rip and I have something in common - we both have wonderful wives.
We both lamented the fact that we were not with the women we love but we made the most of our situation.
I question the theme of yesterday's blog because each day is what you make it.
This off-day in Chicago was actually a great day.
This day was relaxing and I spent it with a great friend.
Tomorrow we are televising from Wrigley Field with our only telecast of the weekend.
Big Fox has Saturday and ESPN has the Sunday night affair.
I will blog about tomorrow's telecast, but the rest of the weekend will probably remain silent.
I know you will understand.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The Cardinals beat the Pirates 7 - 2 tonight in 2 hours and 46 minutes.
There were three homeruns to cut in this game which I always enjoy, but the telecast itself was at times bumpy.
There was a messy billboard and I boxed the TD (excellent by the way) into a corner with a confusing command concerning the Foxtrax element.
Other than that, the telecast was fairly clean.
I like the Pittsburgh crew. They work hard, they listen, and they are fun to be around.
The past three telecasts were fairly enjoyable and I look forward to going back to Pittsburgh in September.
Now my dilemma.
Tomorrow is an off day.
It is 1AM and I just arrived in my room in Chicago.
I know I am in Chicago, which is my favorite city in baseball, so I shouldn't complain but I don't care for off-days on the road.
I have been coming to Chicago for 25 years.
I have been there and done that.
To show you how off-days mess with my thinking, I am actually considering going to the Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox game tomorrow night.
Whatever happens, I will try to make the most of tomorrow - an off-day on the road.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The RF Camera

The Pittsburgh Pirates home telecasts include a RF (radio frequency) camera.
Fox Sports Midwest, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, is working hard to include a RF camera for their 2012 home productions.
What a great tool!
The RF camera is successful in two areas.
The RF camera adds quality to the telecast and the RF camera captures the fun at the ball park better than any other tool utilized by the TV production team.
Thus, the RF camera sells more tickets than any other camera used during a telecast.
Perhaps each team should provide a RF telecast for each home TV production. Just a thought.
I believe that the home telecast should accomplish two goals: put the viewer on the field AND in the ballpark.
Putting the viewer on the field through proper camera and replay usage is the best way to judge the baseball coverage quality of each telecast.
Putting the viewer in the ballpark is another goal of the TV production team during a telecast.
(Both of these goals are equally important)
The best procedure for enhancing the ballpark experience for the viewer is with the utilization of the RF camera.
When the TV production team captures the play on the field with camera shots and replays and shows how much fun it is to be at the ballpark with the use of the RF camera, then the TV production is a grand success.
The Pirates telecast accomplished both goals tonight.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Edge

In order to keep on top of things during a TV sports telecast, the director must have the "edge".
The TV sports director cannot and must not lose concentration.
The TV sports director must maintain that "edge" at all times.
The director who televises the NFL must have the "edge" for 16 regular season games. These games occur once a week.
The TV directors for the NBA and the NHL televise approximately three games per week. Therefore, the "edge" must be maintained about every other day.
As the TV baseball director for the St. Louis Cardinals, I am in the director's chair for 155 games in a six month period which averages to about 26 games a month.
This presents a credible argument:
Is it tougher to maintain an "edge" one game a week, three games per week or 6 games per week?
I don't believe that any one sport is more difficult than the other when maintaining that "edge". Once a TV spots director is "in the chair", something takes over that pushes the director to perform at a high level of concentration.
That something is the "edge".
For the TV baseball director, once the season starts he/she must get into a specific mindset that is required in order to maintain the "edge" for a six month period. I do not enjoy off-days on the road because these off-days disrupt my mindset. I want to maintain my "edge" especially when I am on the road.
At home it is important to maintain that wonderful "edge" as I direct the game, but it is also very nice to give the mind a break from the "edge". Therefore, I find off-days at home to be very therapeutic. Ask my family and they will agree as well.
Off-days at home are nice.
Off-days on the road with my wife are also nice.
Off-days on the road alone seem to take forever.
I began a roadtrip to Pittsburgh and Chicago tonight.
I have an off-day in Chicago on Thursday followed by two off-days at home on Saturday (Big FOX) and Sunday. (ESPN Sunday Night Baseball)
I am not looking forward to Thursday and I can't wait for the weekend.
It's all about the "edge".

Saturday, August 13, 2011


During a baseball telecast, the director is constantly making adjustments trying to develop a rhythm as he/she cuts the game. Adjustments are much more prevalent when the director is working with a road crew rather than the familiar home production team. Making the proper adjustments in developing a nice flow to the show is very rewarding. There is no better feeling for a TV sports director than when you have a nice rhythm going.
The same is true for the athletes on the field during a Major League baseball game.
The key to success for these players is their ability to make adjustments throughout the game.
Pitchers and batters must make adjustments during at-bats.
The most successful pitchers and the best batters make higher quality adjustments than the less successful players.
When adjustments are made by the players on the field quality baseball occurs and the game is a blast to cut and fun to watch.
Perhaps the most important person on the field that determines whether adjustments must be made is the home plate umpire.
Tonight's home plate umpire had an off night. This umpire had such an off night that neither the pitchers or the batters could adjust during the at-bats.
There were bad pitch sequences and terrible at-bats all night long.
This was an ugly baseball game.
When the actions of one person on the field affect the quality of the game then the game is in trouble.
It is true that anyone can have a bad night, (read my blog from yesterday) but it is truly awful when a single person's "bad night" ruins the game.
That is the summary of the Rockies/Cardinals baseball game from Busch Stadium tonight.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Tonight's game/telecast between the Colorado Rockies and the Cardinals was the perfect sort of game to deliver a crisp, clean show.
The game was played at the wonderful pace of 2:27.
Good pitching contributed to this well-played game. The only blip on the pitching radar for the Rockies occurred in the 6th inning when the Redbirds plated 5 runs.
This was the type of game that all TV baseball crews look forward to on their way to the ballpark.
It's too bad that the St. Louis Cardinals telecast of this game did not deliver for the viewers.
This telecast was as totally sloppy affair.
My game cut was the most glaring reason for this ugly, sloppy telecast.
The Rockies scored their only run with a 4th inning homerun. As you may know from my book Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From the Director's Chair (now available on the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook) cutting the homerun is great fun for every TV baseball director. My cut on the Rockies homerun tonight, however, was terrible. There was no flow to the cut, the shots didn't work at all together, and I was embarrassed by this absolutely boring homerun cut.
Near the end of every inning, I plan my shot to break. Sometimes we roll out with video of a particular play from the inning and I don't have to plan my shot. Three times tonight I planned my shot to break and three times the shot didn't work. Once the Rockies manager moved out of the shot just after I took it and an ugly shot was the result.
The most effective shots to break are the ones that revisit, if you will, an important play of the inning. The other two times my shot to break did not work was because I did not adjust to a better shot that would have "revisited" the inning with a higher quality shot.
I was horrible tonight.
I was off a beat all game long and could never develop a flow of the show.
Very, very sloppy and very, very frustrating.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


The Cardinals beat the Brewers in 2:34 by the score of 5 - 2.
Back to back well-pitched, well-played, and well-paced baseball games.
Now that is more like it.
We had a wonderful flow to the show tonight.
Our regular technical director (TD) was on vacation tonight and I worked with a TD that I had never worked with before. I didn't know what to expect as I arrived an hour earlier than usual to go over the elements with Brad our fill-in TD.
Brad was great!
Cool, calm, and collected.
I knew before we went to air that tonight's game telecast was going to run smoothly.
I hoped the game would follow suit and it did.
Even though I was confident that Brad would do a good job, I went into the telecast "pulling the reins" in a bit. I did not want to overwhelm Brad with too much too early.
I realized very early on that I could be aggressive in my cut and I was not apprehensive in the least to take chances.
I transitioned with one effect to a source and transitioned off with a different effect.
I transitioned from a shot with a lower third graphic on the air side to a different shot with a graphic from channel two.
This guy was flawless!
A great game, a great telecast, and a flawless TD.
It doesn't get any better than that.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


After 7 straight games of three hours plus because they were poorly pitched, poorly played, and poorly paced, the Brewers and Cardinals played in a 2:22 game that included good pitching, playing, and pace.
The Brewers fans enjoyed the game/telecast more than the Cardinals fans as the Brewers won the game by the score of 5 - 1.
But because the game itself was one of the better played, pitched, and paced games in the past week, I believe Cardinals fans enjoyed the game/telecast much more than they have enjoyed the previous telecasts from the past week.
I am not saying that Cardinals fans were happy with the outcome of the game, I am just suggesting that the Cardinals fans are so use to well-played, well-pitched, and well-paced games, because Cardinals baseball has been so good for so long, that tonight's game/telecast was a welcome relief to the crap that has aired for the past week.
I admit that Cardinals fans and the Cardinals TV crew are spoiled by the success of the team but this success puts a good pressure on us, the TV crew, to deliver a memorable "look" at the game we are televising.
We owe it to the great Cardinals fans.
Poorly played, poorly pitches, and poorly paced games make our task much more difficult.
Tonight's contest provided us with a nice respite from the horrible games of the past week.
We were given a nice game to televise tonight and we delivered.

On And On It Goes......

After completing the most difficult roadtrip for televising baseball that I have experienced in my career, I couldn't wait to get back in the truck for the home game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Surely the combination of televising with our home TV crew and the battle between the two best teams in the NL Central Division would lead to a great and exciting telecast.
Certainly the days of horrible baseball were in the past.
The game had it's exciting moments.
The Brewers beat the Cardinals 5 - 3 in 10 innings in a game that both clubs had a chance to win.
However, the pace of the game was terrible.
The time of this game was 3:53.
I was a bit fried after getting off the air.
I am wondering what tonight's game/telecast has in store for us.
On and on it goes......when this ends nobody knows.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Prayers Not Answered

Today's game/telecast finally got underway after a 1 hour 21 minute rain delay.
The game was played in 3:23 and the Cardinals beat the Marlins 8 - 4.
The steady light rain that occurred throughout the game created a couple of almost comical instances on the field. Twice the grounds crew stopped play so that they could apply drying materials to the infield dirt. They did not do this by hand. They did it with motorized carts that had spreaders connected to the back of the vehicle. What I found so comical was that while the grounds crew was doing this, the players were all on the field in the rain watching. We are not talking a minute or two, we are talking 10 minutes!
The head grounds keeper did a fantastic job in a no-win situation. I don't know what they pay this guy but double it!
In my 24 years of involvement with St. Louis Cardinals baseball television I have never witnessed a more difficult roadtrip to televise than the trip we just completed to Milwaukee and Florida. This trip was filled with poorly pitched, poorly played, and poorly paced games.
After each game/telecast, we of the St. Louis Cardinals TV crew thought for sure that the next telecast would get better.
Unfortunately, each game was worse than the previous game.
Our prayers were not answered.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

2 - 1 Score, 3:23 Game

The Cardinals beat the Marlins tonight by the score of 2 - 1.
A 2 - 1 score is a great score that any TV baseball director loves to cut.
3 Hours and 23 minutes.
This time of game is a length that every single TV baseball director detests.
I love what I do for a living.
I get to watch the greatest game in the world, baseball, and they pay me to do it.
The people who do not like the game of baseball say that the game is boring because the game is too slow.
They will cite a game such as the Cardinals/Marlins contest tonight as an example of their argument,
And in cases such as this, it is hard to argue with them.
As a TV baseball director, tonight's game/telecast was one of the rare game/telecasts that come around every so often.
A low scoring game that takes a long time to complete.
A low scoring game where finding a rhythm is a most difficult process.
Low scoring games usually equate to a game with a good rhythm.
"A show with a flow".
Not tonight and hopefully not for a long time.
At least the Cardinals won this game.
This could have been worse.
I could have been a member of the Marlins TV team.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Moment

As I have blogged before, every game as a principle moment.
Tonight's moment occurred in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Cardinals were leading 3 - 2 and the bases were loaded with 2 outs.
The Marlins best player, Mike Stanton, was at the plate and Cardinals rookie, Lance Lynn , was on the mound.
The count was 2 balls and 2 strikes.
I made the comment, "You know the count is going to go full" and our Producer said, "No, he is going to get him".
Lynn struck out Stanton with a blazing fastball and the Cardinals won the game.
I took tight shots of the batter and the pitcher to enhance the moment.
I was very lucky in the fact that the third base coach had been blocking my tight shot of Lance Lynn throughout the at-bat but I had a good, tight shot of Lynn before he threw the final pitch of the game.
Leading up to the final pitch I was hoping that the third base coach would move and I could get that effective shot of Lynn that I was looking for.
He did move, I took the shot and thus had a nice sequence of shots to capture the moment.
This was a nice telecast that was only enhanced when we captured the moment of the game.
Very satisfying.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Great Day

The Cardinals beat the Marlins tonight by the score of 7 - 4 in 3:29 and I was not bothered in the least by the length of the game
This was a poorly pitched game from both of the starters and I was not bothered in the least.
Another bad game on this roadtrip and I felt good.
I kept my focus throughout the game and I felt good about my performance as well as the performance of the crew because I knew this day would end well.
I am now sitting on the balcony with my wife Jane and my grandson, Brendan, is asleep in the hotel room.
This game could have matched the terrible game from yesterday in Milwaukee and, in fact, almost did.
But I was not affected by tonight's contest like I was after yesterday's joke of a game.
I knew that despite every effort from tonight's baseball game to discourage me, I would be with my wife and grandson after the game.
There was absolutely NOTHING that could have possibly happened tonight that was going to take away from the fact that I knew I was going to be wonderfully happy when I returned to the hotel.
I hugged my wife and kissed my sleeping grandson when I got to my room and the happiness enveloped me.
It doesn't even bother me that the wonderful people who read this blog may think that I am a dweeb for writing a sappy blog.
This was a great day!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


As I stated in yesterday's blog, the Cardinals/Brewers game was quite unique.
Cutting the unique game was fun and I enjoyed it.
There was one aspect of this game that I failed to mention. The length of this game was 4 hours and 28 minutes - 4:28.
Yes, I admit that I did enjoy cutting this unique 4:28 minute game.
However, I failed to mention that this unique, 4:28 minute game occurred the night before a getaway day game.
After some sleep I made my way to Miller Park hoping, praying for a well-paced, well-pitched, well-played game.
The following is my summary of today's Cardinals/Brewers game telecast:
After 2 innings, the score was 4 - 3 Cardinals and there were 7 total hits in the game.
After 3 innings, the score was 5 - 4 Brewers and there were 13 total hits in the game.
After 5 innings, the score was 7 - 4 Brewers and there were 17 total hits in the game.
After 6 innings, the score was 9 - 5 Brewers and there were 22 total hits in the game.
Going into the 7th inning I was totally fried but still very thankful that both starting pitchers were removed from the game. After 6 innings the Cardinals starter had thrown 100 pitches and the Brewers starting pitcher had tossed 113 pitches.
The Brewers ended up victorious by the score of 10 - 5 and there were 26 total hits in the game.
I don't mean to complain because I love cutting the game of baseball.
Baseball can be the most beautiful sport in the world and positively invigorating.
Baseball can also be downright ugly and absolutely draining.
I prefer the former.
After the game, we flew to Ft. Lauderdale and I am now on my balcony at the Ritz Carlton looking at the water.
I'll shut up now

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Unique Game

Tonight's Cardinals/Brewers game had a little bit of everything.
The Cardinals won the game 8 - 7 in eleven innings and what an eleven innings it was.
In the 4th inning, Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia hit his first career homerun and raised his season average to .089.
In the 7th inning, the Cardinals best player Albert Pujols was hit by a pitch on the wrist by an up and in fastball.
The Cardinals later tied the game 7 - 7 in the 7th inning getting one run despite having the bases loaded with nobody out.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, the Brewers best player Ryan Braun was hit in the ribs by a 97 mph fastball in retaliation for the Pujols hit-by-pitch.
The Brewers loaded the bases in that inning with nobody out and did not score.
In the top of the 10th inning, Cardinals catcher, Yadier Molina, was ejected after being called out on strikes. Our replays showed the pitch to be a ball.
The usually mild mannered (but intense) Molina went ballistic on the home plate umpire and was ejected as well he should have been.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, the Brewers had a runner on third base with two outs and two of the best players in baseball due up. We speculated in the TV truck that the Cardinals might intentionally walk both of these players - Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. The Cardinals elected to pitch to Braun who was batting .375 in his career against the Redbirds pitcher.
Braun grounded out to third base on the first pitch.
With two outs in the top of the 11th inning, Cardinals slugger, Matt Holliday, reached first base on an infield ground ball. What was more surprising was the fact that Holliday then stole second base for his first stolen base of the season!
The batter at the plate was the National League's homerun leader, Lance Berkman.
Berkman, who earlier reached base with a bunt single, hit a Texas League bloop single to shallow left field and the Cardinals took the lead 8 - 7.
The Cardinals held on and won what may turn out to be their most important win of the season.
In turn, this could be a game that the Brewers look to if they do not make the playoffs.
A good victory for the Cardinals, a tough loss for the Brewers, a unique game for the fans.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Shot of the Game

Almost every game/telecast includes a "shot of the game".
This is the shot that everyone talks about the next day.
Did you see that shot of Albert when Holliday went deep? Did you see that shot of Berkman as he crossed home plate. Did you see that shot of LaRussa in the 6th inning?
You know what I am talking about.
That telltale shot of the game.
The "shot of the game" is a factor of the telecast that every member of the TV crew is striving for. The game will dictate the "shot of the game". The "shot of the game" may come in many different categories.
The celebration of a walk-off win.
The wonderful moment of an accomplished milestone.
A rare play and the reaction of the players to that play.
99% of the time the "shot of the game" is defined by a positive moment during the contest - a win, a milestone accomplished, a rare exhiliarating moment.
1% of the time the "shot of the game " will tell the story of a disappointing affair.
The Cardinals were beaten by the Brewers tonight by the score of 6 - 2.
Tonight's "shot of the game" was a shot of Cardinals starting pitcher, Chris Carpenter. Carpenter was cruising through 4 innings and unravelled in the 5th inning when he gave up 5 runs. The "shot of the game" occurred during that inning and it showed the sweat running off of the brim of his baseball cap. Our play by play announcer even said as I took a tight shot of his ball cap, "No folks, it's not raining".
Cardinals fans will not talk about any certain play from tonight's game/telecast. They will talk about the sweat running off of Chris Carpenter's cap.
Why not?
It was the shot of the game.