Friday, August 31, 2012
During our camera meeting before the first game of the Cardinals/Nationals series I said to camera 5 (Right Field corner) that his only responsibility was to "show me something I have never seen before." Despite the fact that the Cardinals were destroyed tonight by the score of 10 - 0, this operator captured a truly remarkable shot. It was the shot of a father explaining the game to his young son. I stayed on this fantastic picture for over twenty seconds because it was so wonderful. The Washington Nationals should use this powerful, powerful shot on a TV commercial. They would sell thousands and thousands of tickets. Nice going camera 5, you captured the shot of the year!
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Yesterday I wrote about a bad apple who affected a telecast. Tonight I write about a great, great TV crew with a bunch of talented TV techs. This DC area crew is absolutely one of the best crews in all of baseball. The EIC's of our truck worked their asses off in putting out many fires until we finally went to air. We didn't even have any audio leaving the truck until 6:10 PM - 20 minutes before we went to air. I salute each and every member of this crew. This road TV crew makes us feel as if we are televising at home!! In DC the crew is great, the truck is great, the scenics are great, and the ballpark is great. I can't wait for tomorrow's game/telecast.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
There were three TV feeds going out of PNC Park for the Cardinals/Pirates game tonight. The Pirates home feed, our visiting feed, and a Wednesday Night ESPN feed. After the game/telecast tonight (which the Pirates won 5 - 0), I was talking to a member of one of the other feeds who I have known for a long time. He was telling me about a member of their crew who was being "a total pain in the ass" the whole day. My friend swore that this attitude affected the whole telecast. "This was a hard show to do" he told me. "This crew member disrupted the whole show". Anyone with any experience in live television sports has been in this situation. One person can disrupt the whole show. As I have stated in this blog before - if you don't enjoy this wonderful business do something else. Do yourself and everyone else on the crew a favor - leave.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The Pirates had a runner on 2nd base with two outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning. I decided to take a chance. I told camera 1 (mid 1st) to show me home plate tight and then I had him pull back to a fairly tight shot of the plate. I told the operator "If there is a collision at the plate, this is where I want you. Beat the throw and frame that shot." Wouldn't you know it, the next pitch the batter singled to right field and there was a violent collision at home plate. The Cardinals' star catcher was shaken up on the play and was removed from the game. Our replay sequence of the play showed exactly how violent that collision was and how unbelievable it was that the catcher held on to the ball. Taking chances during a game requires a great degree of luck. Well, tonight we were very lucky. The viewers will certainly remember the Cardinals catcher getting smoked at home plate. They will hardly remember that the Cardinals got smoked by the Pirates 9 - 0.
Monday, August 27, 2012
I was sitting in the truck here in Pittsburgh this afternoon about 2:45 when I experienced a pleasant surprise. One of my camera operators was actually practicing! I often see our Busch Stadium camera operators practicing but this is a rare occurrence on road game/telecasts. I praised the operator and thanked him and throughout the telecast he did a great job. Apart from the :30 minute rain delay during the game, this 4 - 3 Cardinals victory was a nice clean show. After my pleasant surprise earlier in the day, this successful telecast did not surprise me at all.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
As I sit in my hotel room here in Pittsburgh, I find it hard to understand why today's Cardinals/Reds game wiped me out. The Cardinals won the game 8 - 2 in 3:14. There was really nothing stressful about this ordinary game and yet my brain is mush. We lost camera 3 (mid 1st) for the fourth inning and I was down to only 2 of my own cameras but that has happened before and we didn't miss a beat. I certainly don't feel as brain dead as I did after our 19 inning, 6:07 game of a week ago but I'm close. Big 3-game series with the Pirates starts tomorrow and I can't wait. Let's hope the old brain recovers.
Friday, August 24, 2012
The Cardinals beat the Reds tonight 8 - 5 with a 6-run 6th inning. The Redbirds are now 6 games behind the 1st place Reds and still lead in the race for the 2nd wild card team by 2 games over the Dodgers and the Pirates. This is a very meaningful series both both clubs. Games that "mean something" give a little rush to the TV crew as well. The adrenalin kicks in throughout the game/telecast. This 3:35 game was a fun game to televise. The Reds led 4 - 1 and 5 - 2 before the Cardinals scored 6 in the 6th to win the game. As the top of the 6th inning began, our Producer said "The Cardinals are going to win this game." As we walked back to the hotel here in Cincinnati after the game he said "I just had a feeling they were going to win this thing." He was right. Off tomorrow - Cards on FOX. I can't wait for sunday. Maybe I'll get a prediction from our Producer about sunday's contest.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
The Cardinals overcame a 4 - 0 deficit today to beat the Astros 13 - 5 in 3:20. I actually feel sorry for my peers on the Astros. This Astros ballclub may be the worst baseball team ever. There is absolutely no life to this club. True, I have been spoiled by the long successful run by the Cardinals but I still can't imagine what it would be like to televise a team as awful as the Astros. Trust me, I would televise our 19 inning, 6:07 game of last Sunday every day as long as I didn't have to cover this Astros club.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Every TV baseball production crew loves a well-pitched game. Kyle Lohse provided just that for the Cardinals TV crew tonight as he tossed 7 wonderful innings giving up just 3 hits. He threw 87 pitches with 63 strikes - outstanding! On offense, every batter wants to come through with a clutch hit. Yadier Molina did just that with an RBI single in the bottom of the 8th inning that gave the Redbirds a 4 - 2 lead - money!. On defense, every player wants to make that outstanding play that will surely appear as a Web Gem on sports highlight reels. Jon Jay did just that in the top of the 6th inning with one of the greatest catches of this season - WOW! Pitching, hitting, and defense - the Cardinals provided just that in their 4 - 2 victory over the Astros tonight
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Adam Wainwright painted tonight. He painted with his fastball, he painted with his curveball and he painted with his cutter. The Cardinals beat a not very good Astros team 7 - 0 in 2:42 and Wainwright was in total control the whole game. This complete game 5-hit shutout included one walk and 12 strikeouts. Wainwright threw 71 strikes and 34 balls. This was a masterpiece. Not only did Wainwright emulate Pablo Picasso with his performance, he also emulated a bus driver - he took the Astros to school.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
I left my home at 8:55 AM to drive to Busch Stadium for the 1:15 Pirates/Cardinals game. I arrived home at 8:14PM. That's right - 11 hours and 19 minutes after I left for the ballpark I arrived home. Games that last 6:07 will do that to you. The Pirates beat the Cardinals 6 - 3 in 19 innings. To add even more torture to this gruelling day the Redbirds tied the score in the bottom of the 17th inning after the Bucs took the lead in the top of the inning. Little did I know that the 14 pitch at-bat that happened in the 4th inning was a sign of things to come. This marathon became almost too much to bear when in the bottom of the 17th inning, after the leadoff batter singled, there was a 8 pitch at-bat mixed in with 7 tosses to first base. (You may have heard the cursing from the TV truck.)
Friday, August 17, 2012
The Pirates beat the Cardinls tonight by the score of 2 - 1 in 2:47. This game was a very well-pitched, well-played contest except for the top of the 4th inning. That inning included a walk, an error, a wild pitch, and a passed ball. It's too bad that such a good game will only be remembered for a terrible ten minutes. One will see walks in just about every game. Although not as frequent as walks, errors occur as well in most games. There might be a wild pitch and/or a passed ball a couple of times a month in major league baseball games. But to have a walk, an error, a wild pitch, and a passed ball during a ten minute span in the same half inning is very rare. This rare half inning cost the Cardinals a victory. A terrible ten minutes indeed
There was a long 1:25 rain delay to start the game tonight between the Diamondbacks and the Cardinals. There was a long homerun with one out in the top of the ninth inning by the D'Backs to tie the score at 1 - 1. On the next pitch, there was another long homerun to put Arizona up 2 - 1. The game ended at 11:31 PM with Arizona beating St. Louis 2 - 1 and this long day ended at 12:22 when I arrived home.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The Cardinals beat the Diamondbacks 5 - 2 tonight in 2:31. This is every TV tech's favorite type of game. Well-pitched and well-played. It is amazing how these two aspects of a baseball game go hand in hand. When the game is well-pitched, there is a flow to the game and therefore the game is well-played. The players all get into a rhythm and this most beautiful sports shines. This type of game affects the telecast as well. What a pleasure it is to develop a nice flow to the show. There is a ryhthm to the telecast that makes this business so pleasurable. Just as it is near impossible to stomach a poorly pitched and thus a poorly played baseball game, it is wonderful to be a part of a well-pitched and thus well-played game. I want to personally thank the pitchers in tonight's Diamondbacks/Cardinals game.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
One of my favorite people and favorite TV baseball directors cuts the game for the Arizona Diamondbacks. This guy is one of the most creative people in our industry. We always get together before games and compare notes.I have often said that the most rewarding aspect of directing live television sports and baseball in particular is the fact that one learns something each and every game/telecast. One of the reasons I enjoy and respect the Diamondbacks director is that I learn much from our conversations. When his career is over this director will go down as one of the most influential directors ever in the world of sports television. A favorite indeed.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
The Cardinals took a 7 - 4 lead with 3 runs in the top of the 8th inning only to give back the 3 runs to the Phillies in the bottom of the eighth on a 3-run homerun. I knew the Phillies were going to tie the game with a 3-run homerun. I even said "They are going to tie this thing up and we are going 20". I was wrong on the length of the game as the Phillies won the game in the 11th on an infield single. I knew the Phils were going to tie the game up after a Cardinals' reliever walked the first two batters in the bottom of the 8th. I believe in the "baseball Gods" and I knew that the payback for the two walks was going to be a bitch. It was.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
This is live television. You get one (1) chance to capture a moment in the best possible way. Therefore, there is no such thing as a perfect telecast. You are going to make mistakes and/or you are not going to capture a particular play as good as you could have. Sometimes a certain moment in a telecast IS captured perfectly. These are the most rewarding moments of any game/telecast. On our telecast, when we capture a certain moment in a wonderful way, we don't go running around the television truck throwing out high fives while we hoot and holler and on our telecasts we don't make excuses when we don't capture a moment as good as we might have and we don't hem and haw after the fact. So for all you TV crew members who believe they NEVER mess up or if they do make a mistake they say it's "not my fault" or "but I blah blah blah" here is some advice - STFU!!
Friday, August 10, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies star pitcher Roy Halliday was fabulous tonight as he beat the Cardinals 3 - 1. He threw 8 innings and allowed 2 hits and 1 earned run. He tossed 72 strikes and 27 balls. Philadelphia Phillies star second baseman Chase Utley smashed a 2-run homerun in the bottom of the 8th inning to supply the winning margin for the Phils. Cardinals star right fielder Carlos Beltran was 2 - 4 with a solo homerun in the top of the second inning. The game ended when Phillies star relief pitcher Jonathon Papelbon threw out Cardinals' star Beltran as he tried to steal 2nd base with a runner on third, 2 outs, and Redbirds' star player David Freese at the plate. The stars came out tonight.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
The Cardinals beat the Giants today 3 - 1 in 2:37. Both starting pitchers were spot-on. This well-pitched, well-played game equated to a well-paced, well executed telecast. Good pitching = good quality of play = good pace to the game = good pace to the telecast = good show. All things being equal, this was a very good telecast.
The low point of this 2012 season occurred during the Giants/Cardinals game tonight at Busch Stadium. The low point was not the 15 - 0 drubbing that the Giants handed the Cardinals. The low point was not the 3:19 minutes it took to play this game. It wasn't the home plate umpire, Tim McClelland, and his incredibly slow strike call. It wasn't that the Giants outhit the Cardinals 15 - 4. The low point was not that rain was threatening at the end of the game. (It started raining 11 minutes after the game ended) No, the low point occurred in the bottom of the ninth inning with a runner on first base (single) and nobody out. The low point occurred when the Giants pitcher WALKED the batter with a 15 - 0 lead and rain threatening at any moment. I probably did not have to write this as I'm sure everyone heard my screams of disgust when ball four arrived at home plate.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Tonight's game between the Giants and the Cardinals was one of those "wow" games. There weren't any mediocre plays and there weren't any good plays. This game won by the Giants 4 - 2 in 2:51 was a game that featured many great plays and moments. There was a 3-run homerun by the Giants and a Cardinals player hit 2 homeruns. The Cardinals made four outstanding plays on defense as well. This can be a difficult type of game for the Producer. These great moments must be revisited throughout the telecast and there orchestration is no easy matter. Our regular Cardinals' Producer was off to football meetings and the person who replaced him doesn't have the experience of our regular Producer which during a game such as this one may warrant concern. No worries. Tonight's Producer was cool, calm, and collected the whole telecast. There was a nice flow to the show. In fact, as the game went on this Producer got better. I remember saying "wow" throughout the telecast for the great plays of the game. I also remember thinking "wow" as our Producer led the way to a superb telecast. Nicely done!
Monday, August 6, 2012
The Cardinals beat the Giants tonight by the score of 8 - 2 in 2:36. With the Giants in town that means my good friend and fellow director, Jim Lynch of the Giants, is also in the house. I wrote about Jim in my book "Cutting The Game" as I believe that Jim is one of the most talented TV baseball directors in the game. I look forward to televising Cardinals/Giants games because of the pre-telecast chat that Jim and I have before every game. We clue each other in on tendencies of each ballclub. We talk about the starting pitchers for the game updating each other on how fast the pitcher works with the bases empty or with runners on base. We talk about experiences from past telecasts and generally we prepare each other for that evenings game. Believe me, these chats are invaluable as we prepare for the telecast. I respect Jim immensely and I look forward to chatting with him before tomorrow's game/telecast.
Saturday, August 4, 2012
The Cardinals were victorious tonight over the Brewers 6 - 1. As I wrote last night, the Brewers are a bad baseball team. But the performance tonight by Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright greatly overshadowed this fact. Wainwright would have beaten the '27 Yankees tonight. He threw a complete game with 98 pitches of which 73 were strikes. He had 7 strikeouts and 0 walks. He was in total command the whole contest. The first batter of the game doubled on a play that should have been made to start the game. The Cardinals outfielder catches this ball 9 times out of 10 but not tonight. Yes, it was a tough play but it should have been made. This was one of the most enjoyable game/telecasts of the 2012 season. The Cardinals fans celebrated the return of the 1982 World Series Champions before the game and the spectacular performance by Wainwright after the game. Heck, Wainwrights performance overshadowed the 1982 celebration.
The Cardinals beat the Brewers tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 9 - 3 in 3:18. We were commenting in the truck tonight about the amount of bad baseball and bad baseball teams there are in the big leagues this season. The Brewers won the NL Central division last season with a great team. My how they have fallen off. This is a bad baseball team. Even with super-star Ryan Braun and very good players like Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks, this is a bad baseball team. The Cardinals previous two opponents, the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs are horrible. I think the NL Central Division is a perfect example of the good teams/bad teams scenario. The Reds, Pirates, and the Cardinals are all very, very good baseball clubs. The Brewers, Cubs, and Astros are all terrible. I have never noticed such a descrepency between the quality of baseball clubs ever during my 29 years of covering Major League Baseball. I don't like it. Give me parity.
10:00 AM - wake-up. 11:00 AM - 35 minutes on treadmill 1:30 PM - lunch with an old friend at Capital Grille 3:00 PM - Arrive at TV truck. 6:42 PM - First pitch 9:27 PM - Final out 10:31 PM - Leave Coors Field 3:11 AM - Land in St. Louis 3:40 AM - Get suitcase at Busch Stadium 4:21 AM - Pull into my driveway 4:26 AM - Get into bed. Oh, the glamour.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The Cardinals beat the Rockies tonight by the score of 9 - 6. The time of game was 2:59 minutes and this did not include the 1:26 rain delay in the top of the eighth inning. This made for a long day at Coors field but as we said in the truck "Better tonight than tomorrow night". That's because we have a night game on a getaway day. Tomorrow will certainly be a longer day than today as we will probably arrive in our doors at about 4AM. Again, looking at the bright side - 16 of our next 19 games are home at Busch Stadium. This is the best stretch of games for Cardinals' baseball and I am looking forward to them