Sunday, September 30, 2012
The Cardinals beat the Nationals 10 - 4 in 3:07 this afternoon at Busch Stadium. The Redbirds jumped out to a seven run lead after 3 innings and the game was never in doubt after that. Another low pressure, low intensity type of game that is much needed at this time of the baseball season. The most memorable moment of the game came when the home plate umpire took a foul ball directly off his face mask. The blow staggered the ump a bit and most definately had to hurt. He stayed in the game and was pretty consistent the rest of the way. Just three games remaining in the regular season and the Redbirds should clinch the final wildcard slot for the playoffs. I look forward to that telecast.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
The Nationals beat the Cardinals in 10 innings tonight by the score of 6 - 4. This 3:38 affair included the funniest moment I have EVER seen in a baseball game. The Nationals' left fielder, Michael Morse, hit a grand slam homerun in the top of the first inning. The umpires reviewed the blast and signaled homerun as they returned to the field. On the original play, Michael Morse thought he had a homerun and was rounding the bases. The Cardinals played the ball as if the play was not a homerun and eventually tagged Morse out as he tried to return to first base. Our replays showed that it was indeed a homerun. What happened after the umpires ruled a homerun was truly the most hilarious moment I have ever seen on a baseball field. When the crew chief motioned that the play was a homerun, the Nationals players started rounding the bases. The umpires stopped this action and made each runner return to his original base with Morse returning to the batters box. Then Morse, without a bat, took a swing as if he was hitting the ball again. The players circled the bases and the score was 4 - 0. Absolutely hilarious!
Friday, September 28, 2012
A 5-run first inning, a 4-run 2nd inning and a 3-run 8th led the Cardinals to a 12 - 2 victory over the Washington Nationals tonight at Busch Stadium. This 2:51 blowout was just what we needed on the St. Louis TV side. With a 9 - 1 lead after two innings we were able to relax and present a good telecast. Well pitched and well played close games are a blast to televise. These affairs create a focus on the TV crew that can be quite intense and game after game of these tightly fought contests can begin to be a bit of a drain on the brain. We have had quite a few of these contests lately so tonight's runaway game was greatly welcomed. As relaxing as this game was for us on the St. Louis TV side, I know how excruciating this game was for our TV peers doing the Nationals broadcast. Lucky us!
Thursday, September 27, 2012
The Lastros beat the Cardinals 2 - 0 in a brisk 2:27 tonight at Minute Maid Park in Houston. I miss the Houston Astros. This used to be a wonderful rivalry. Both home ad road games were electric as each ballpark was full of rowdy fans. It is great fun feeding off the energy of the crowd when cutting a baseball game or any sport for that matter. The announced crowd of 18,712 was the largest announced crowd of the three game series but even this crowd did not generate much enthusiasm. A 2 - 0 game should provide the crowd with some reason to rock and roll but, and I understand why, it is difficult to be fired up when the record of your ballclub is 50 - 105. This win gave the Lastros 51 wins with 6 games remaining on the 2012 schedule. I miss the Astros.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The Cardinals defeated the incredibly bad Loosetan Lastros tonight in 2:42 by the score of 4 - 0. How bad are the Loosetan Lastros? This question was answered in the top of the second inning during tonight's game. After the first two Cardinals batters were eliminated to start the inning, the Cardinals pitcher doubled down the left field line. This obviously upset the Looseton pitcher. On the next pitch the Cardinals batter drove in the run with a single to centerfield. The pitcher stayed on the mound and did not back up the play behind home plate. On the next pitch, the Redbirds runner on first base stole second base WITHOUT A THROW! The batter then walked and the Lastros pitcher complained to the home plate umpire that there was really only three balls. Of course, he lost that argument. Then, during the next at-bat, the pitcher asked the home plate umpire for the count three pitches in a row after he had thrown his first three pitches to the batter. Rebuilding? No......embarrassing!
Monday, September 24, 2012
The Cardinals beat the Astros tonight by the score of 6 - 1 in front of an announced crowd of 12,584. In truth, there were about 7500 patrons for this affair that lasted 3:03. During the top of the first inning I asked the low first camera operator (an excellent op by the way) to give me a shot of the pitcher. As expected, he immediately went to a waist shot. What was totally different about this particular shot, however, was that the background for this shot showed only empty seats. Absolutely no fans were in this shot at all. After my third waist shot of the pitcher, I told the camera operator to ONLY give me head to toe shots of the pitcher. The head to toe shot actually showed some fans in the background. It should be a rule for every sports TV director to try as much as possible to not shoot empty seats. The primary goal of every TV sports director is to promote the game. Shooting empty seats takes away from that goal.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
It does not matter what city I am in. It does not matter what venue I am directing a baseball game from. And, it is most certainly NOT wrong. It's not even bad. What am I talking about you ask? This is what I am talking about: When I ask a camera operator for a shot of a certain player, EACH AND EVERY camera operator in sports immediately gives me a waist shot of that player. Every single time - EVERY TIME. Like I stated, it is not the wrong shot and it is not a bad shot. When I am cutting the game at Busch Stadium, I have three cameras that can shoot the batter. I have 3 cameras that can shoot a left-handed batter and I have 3 cameras that can shoot a right-handed batter. This gives me 9 different batter shots for lefties and righties. Each of these three cameras can give me a head to toe shot, a waist shot, and a tight face shot. I like to mix up these shots during a telecast and I like to save the tight face shots for late in the game. Despite the fact that each camera can give me 3 different shots of the batter, EACH AND EVERY CAMERA OPERATOR in the country gives me a waist shot when I ask for a shot of a player. Not wrong and not bad - just weird.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Yesterday, the Cubs beat the Cardinals 5 - 4 in extra innings. Today, the Cardinals beat the Cubs 5 - 4 in extra innings. Yesterday, the Cubs tied the score with a homerun in the ninth inning. Today, the Cardinals tied the score with a homerun in the ninth inning. Yesterday's game was a shocker to the St. Louis Cardinals. Today's game was a shocker to the Chicago Cubs. What will tomorrow's game bring?
Today's Cardinals/Cubs game/telecast was set up perfectly. Cardinals/Cubs at Wrigley Field. Chris Carpenter making his highly anticipated first start of the season. The Cardinals leading the second wild card race by 2 1/2 games over the Milwaukee Brewers who are playing the National League's best team - the Washington Nationals. A great chance to widen the lead in the wild card race. Carpenter and the Cardinals followed this perfect script throughout the game. Carpenter pitched 5 solid innings and the Cardinals were leading the Cubs 4 - 2 with 2 outs, nobody on base with 2 strikes on a Cubs batter in the bottom of the ninth inning. He singled to right field on an inside fastball. The next batter hit a 1 - 2 changeup for a home run to tie the score. The Cubs won the game in the bottom of the 11th inning 5 - 4. As I watched the game tying homerun hitter circling the bases I was stunned. I remember thinking "What just happened?"
Thursday, September 20, 2012
The Cardinals beat the Looseton Astros 5 - 4 at Busch Stadium today. This painful exhibition of baseball by the Looseton Astros took an excruciating 3 hours and 27 minutes. The Cardinals who lead the 2nd wildcard race by 2 games are very fortunate. They get to play the Looseton Astros 3 more times this season.
I figured out the Astros. They know they are bad. They have played so badly for so long that they believe that they are a terrible baseball club. And they play like it. They play with the "let's just get this over with" mentality. They know they will not win. They know they don't have a chance. I am not sure if the rebuilding process for the Astros will work. I believe that these players will only know losing. They are so rock bottom that they cannot and will not get out of the hole. These guys only know losing. They know.
The Astros are the worst baseball team I have ever witnessed. The Cardinals beat the Stros tonight 4 - 1 in 3:11. From top to bottom this Astros club is just plain bad. I admire my peers on the Houston TV team. This IS the most difficult job in all of baseball. Covering bad baseball can be very, very painful. The Astros TV team should be hospitalized for the pain they must go through each and every game/telecast.
Monday, September 17, 2012
We were in the bottom of the 10th inning when the switcher crashed. Down, out, kaput. We were down to one camera (high third) for two batters and then we had camera 2 (high home) and camera 4 (centerfield field). The engineers were working frantically to bring our side of the dual up to speed when we found out that the home show was in trouble also. Unfortunately for them, their only camera was camera 5 (low first). We all understand that these things happen in live sports television. It was just too bad that this incident occurred during the highest rated telecast and most important game of the 2012 season for both the Cardinals and the Dodgers. The game ended after 12 innings and all we had on the dual side was a router that we could punch in individual cameras. From the bottom of the tenth inning on we had no graphics. no Fox Box, and no replays. We felt better about the siuation then the Dodgers' TV production team because the Redbirds won the game 5 - 3.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
The LA Dodgers scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning after two were out to beat the Cardinals 4 - 3 in 2:55. With the winning run on second base, a soft liner was hit at the Redbird's second baseman who jumped high and the ball caromed off the heal of his glove and bounced away from him. I then took a shot of the runner rounding third base and I stayed on the shot as he slid into home plate. I could have cut to high home camera for the throw home but the play at the plate wasn't really very close so I stayed on camera 5 (low first base) to score the winning run. In retrospect, I probably should have gone to camera 2 (high home) for a better perspective on the play.
Friday, September 14, 2012
I really like the TV crew here in LA. They are fun to work with, very professional, and you never have to tell them the same thing twice. The problem with LA is not the crew, the problem is the turnover from show to show. I will have 3 different TD's, 7 different camera operators, 3 different tape ops, 2 different audio mixers, 2 different duet operators (graphics)and 2 different video operators in 4 game/telecasts this weekend!The crews here in LA are great. They are just different each telecast.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
There was a playoff atmosphere at Dodger Stadium tonight as the Cardinals beat the Dodgers 2 - 1 in 3:06. I believe that atmosphere is one of the major components that contribute to the quality of the telecast. That is one of the reasons why I am so grateful that I direct Major League baseball games for the St. Louis Cardinals. The atmosphere at Busch Stadium is certainly in the top 4 of all Major League baseball parks. Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field should all be included on that list. Bottom line is that ATMOSPHERE SELLS TICKETS. The viewer at home feels the atmosphere at the ballpark and wants to be part of it. The importance, therefore, of atmosphere is two-fold. Atmosphere raises the quality of the telecast and atmosphere sells tickets. Capturing the atmosphere is relatively easy. Creating atmosphere - now that's the key.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
This is my 25th year with St. Louis Cardinals baseball. I am spoiled. This has been a very good team for a long time. I have come to expect good things with this baseball team. The 100+ win teams of 2004 and 2006 set a high standard that has set the foundation for the expectation of good baseball. This I knew. Each and every year I knew. Each and every year I expect good competitive baseball and each and every year I get what I expect. This, however, has been a trying season. I know they are a good team and I enjoy going to the ballpark each and every day. However, the foundation of my expectation of good baseball may be starting to crack a bit. In my heart, I know what I want to expect. I want to expect good baseball. I want to know. Again.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Throughout a baseball season I will direct anywhere from 155 to 160 games with half of these games on the road. A TV sports director must make adjustments during each and every game/telecast. The pace of the game will dictate these adjustments. Also, adjustments must be made with the each and every crew. Every single crew member does things differently. Every camera operator operates his or her camera differently. The high first base operator in each city has his own style as does the high home operator and the centerfield camera op. They all have different styles and it is up to the Director to adjust to these different styles. Trust me, I know by the third inning which operators are the most proficient and which operators lack quality. Just as important as the Director adjusting to each crew member is the crew adjusting to the Director. Every TV sports Director cuts the game differently. Every Director has his or her own style. Just as some Directors are better at adjusting to the crew, some crews are better at adjusting to the Director.
Monday, September 10, 2012
The Cardinals lost to the Padres tonight by the score of 11 - 3 in a poorly pitched, poorly played game that lasted 3:20. I can't and won't complain. This past Saturday my daughter got married and I took off the whole weekend. While my family and I were celebrating this wonderful occasion, this is what occurred during the three telecasts I missed: Friday night, Cards vs Brewers at Busch Stadium. The game started AFTER a 2 hour 32 minute rain delay. 13 innings and 4 hours and 30 minutes later the game ended. The final out was 2:05 AM and the Cardinals lost 5 - 4. The Redbirds lost on Saturday night 6 - 3 in a yawner that took 3:32 to complete and Sunday the Cardinals won an extra inning game 5 - 4 in 3:23 after the Brewers tied the score with a 2-out homerun on a 2 - 2 pitch in the top of the ninth inning. Trust me, I can't and I won't complain about tonight's game.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
I cut today's 5 - 1 Cardinals victory over the Mets a bit under the weather. I'm sure I was a distraction to the crew with my hacking and blowing my nose. I have been feeling lousy for a few days and I decided during the day that I am taking tomorrow's telecast off. My daughter is getting married on Saturday and I want to be well for her big day. This is the first game in 25 years that I have missed because of illness. Our Producer, Mike, will cut tomorrow's game. I also have the weekend off and will write again from San Diego on Monday. By the way, the medical term for my illness as the Doctor put it "You have a doozy of a sinus infection".
Monday, September 3, 2012
The Cardinals beat the Mets today 5 - 4 in 3:09 at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals led the game 4 - 0 going into the 7th inning and 5 - 4 entering the ninth. The leadoff batter for the Mets in the top of the 9th inning doubled down the right field line and was called out for missing 1st base on an appeal by the Cardinals. We were ready for the appeal and the live cut of reactions on the field and our replays were very enlightening and memorable. I don't recall an out call on an appeal that had so much effect on the outcome of a game. It was great to be at Busch Stadium working with the home TV crew. They made me feel like I was televising from DC.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
The St. Louis Cardinals TV production team would like to thank the TV crew for the Cardinals/Nationals series this weekend in DC. This crew works hard and is alot of fun. Our telecasts were super clean and included some of our best moments of the 2012 season. From top to bottom there is not one mediocre member of this crew. Let me rephrase that - each and every member of this crew is outstanding. They are pleasant and professional. They have a good time and don't miss a beat. It is a privilege to work with them. We return to DC in exactly one year - September 2, 2013. I look forward to that series!!