Friday, May 31, 2013
At 7:15 tonight, the Busch Stadium grounds crew put the tarp on the field. It wasn't raining. At 7:50 tonight, the game was postponed. It wasn't raining. We signed off at 8:00 tonight. It wasn't raining. I live 37 miles north and west of the stadium. Twenty minutes into my drive home I ran into one of the most violent storms I have ever seen. I was driving 35 to 40 miles an hour in unbelievable rain, strong winds and nonstop lightening. At 8:30 the storm hit Busch Stadium. Great move by the Cardinals in their cancellation of the game tonight even though it wasn't raining.
What a game! The Cardinals latest phenom pitcher Michael Wacha pitched 7 innings of 2 hit, 1 run baseball and was just outstanding facing only 2 over the minimum. He left with a 2 - 1 lead. That's the good news. Now the bad. The game started with a 1 hour rain delay. With the Cards leading 2 - 1 entering the ninth inning, the bullpen gave up the lead. After the Royals had scored 3 runs and had the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the ninth inning another rain delay occurred. 4 hours and 32 minutes later the game resumed. 12 minutes later the game ended. 1st pitch at 7:16 pm. Final out at 3:14 am - 7 hours and 58 minutes later. It is 4:37 am and I am going to bed. Bad day indeed. Oh yea, rain in the forecast for tomorrow - in fact, all weekend.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
A come from behind victory by the Cardinals over the Royals took 2:50 to play tonight at Busch Stadium. This 5 - 3 win was one of the most exciting victories of the season by the Redbirds. Going into the bottom of the eighth, the Cards trailed their cross state rivals by the score of 3 - 1. They scored 4 runs and this inning contained one of the most memorable sequences of our 2013 TV season. The Cards had runners on first and second with the lead runner being the tying run. The runner at first base, Yadier Molina, kept signaling the runner at second base, Allen Craig, to get a bigger lead. Between every pitch Molina kept coaxing Craig to expand his lead. The batter, David Freese, proceeded to hit a single to left field and Craig scored just ahead of the throw. He may not have scored if he hadn't extended his lead. Just a wonderful example of our viewers at home seeing something the fans in the stands didn't see. Just a classic quality moment on an excellent telecast.
The Cardinals beat the Royals in KC tonight by the score of 4 - 1 in 2:07. Yes that is right - 2 hours and 7 minutes! The Cardinals' rookie pitcher gave up just 2 hits in 7 innings and the bullpen once again shut the door. This was the Royals 10th straight loss at home. Could it possibly get worse for the Royals? We landed in St. Louis at 11:47pm and as we landed I received a text from a friend on the Royals TV crew. Their charter flight had to be cancelled and they were now bussing to St. Louis with an anticipated arrival of 4AM. 10 losses in a row at home and a horrible May win/loss record. The Cardinals have the best record in baseball. The Cardinals have the best road record in baseball. We arrived in St. Louis BEFORE the Royals left Kansas City. The St. Louis Cardinals TV team is blessed. We could be the Royals.
Monday, May 27, 2013
The Cards beat the Royals 6 - 3 in 2:46 today in Kansas City. 2:46? Are you kidding me? This piece of dung seemed to last 4:46. I ask my peers in the American League - How do you do it? How? I love the sport of baseball but this crap that went on today is awful. Is this the norm in the American Leage? If so, get rid of the DH? Immediately!! Baseball is meant to be played without the DH. Baseball is a better game without the DH. Baseball is always talking about speeding up the game. Wanna speed up the game? Get rid of the DH!!
Sunday, May 26, 2013
I am currently at 32,000 feet as we make our way to Kansas City. The Cards beat the Dodgers 5 - 3 today at Dodger Stadium in 3 hours and 15 minutes. This was a perfect example of how the pace of our telecast was of a much higher quality than the pace of the game. There were many different paces for this game throughout the game. At times this game moved and at times it felt like the game was stuck in the mud. However, I was pleased with the pace of our show. Our use of flashbacks and full page graphics was as good as we've featured all season. When the game moved, we were right there and when the game slowed the pace of our telecast never waivered. A good day all around.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Watched the Cards lose and the Blackhawks win tonight with my good friend Brian - our tape room Producer - as we enjoyed the night life in Pasadena, California. Off days on the road generally suck. Even though our Cards lost, we had a good time together and this off-day was a good one. Off days at home are very rewarding and off days on the road are tough. This was an exception to the rule.
Friday, May 24, 2013
It took 2:58 for the Cardinals to beat the Dodgers 7 - 0 tonight at Dodger Stadium. This game/telecast made me realize how blessed I am. The Cardinals are consistently good. The grind of this profession, and believe me it is a grind, is so much more easily handled when the team being covered plays well. I spoke with my peers on the Dodgers side about this very fact and they agree wholeheartedly. When a team is not playing well the grind becomes very difficult. The Dodgers are not playing well and my buddies with the Dodgers are feeling the effects of "the grind". Off day again tomorrow because of Big Fox so I suppose there will be some hockey television in my future. Stanley Cup Hockey - a nice respite from the grind.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Off day in LA. What do you do on an off day in LA? You watch hockey. My Blues are out of it but I still enjoy watching the great sport of hockey. I spent this off day watching the Rangers beat the Bruins and the Red Wings beat the Black Hawks. Tomorrow the Cardinals open up a three game series with the Dodgers. We televise on Friday and Sunday with Saturday being a Big Fox game which means I am off once again. I will be watching more Stanley Cup hockey Saturday night!!
I am in my room in LA contemplating tonight's telecast after a 2:15 bus ride from San Diego. It is 1:27AM and I am grateful for the way tonight's game/telecast played out. The Cardinals 5 - 3 victory in 2:37 was a very clean show. The Cardinals starting pitcher was making his Major League debut and that was the story line we followed the whole game/telecast. The game will always dictate the TV coverage and tonight's game followed that tenet to a T. There were no surprises tonight and for that I am very grateful. A very basic game and a very basic telecast. Sometimes that is needed. Tonight it was.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The final score was 10 - 2 as the Cardinals beat the Padres tonight at Petco Park. This 2:38 minute affair was a complete opposite game for the Redbirds from last night's game. They scored 10 runs and were in complete control the whole game. This telecast was also completely different from last night's show. Night and day in fact. This was one of our cleaner telecasts of the season and it included some special moments as well. We captured the Redbirds lead-off batter visualizing his swing while stretching in the outfield before the game and aired the video during his first at-bat. During a shot of the Cardinals' dugout after a grand slam homerun, we captured an elated Redbird who signaled that he had "called" the homerun. My favorite moment of the telecast occurred when the Cards centerfielder slid awkwardly into home plate. Our replays showed why that happened. The on-deck batter who was signaling the runner to slide was completely blocked by the home plate umpire. Just a great, great shot from our low third (camera 1) operator. A high quality telecast tonight indeed.
Monday, May 20, 2013
The Padres beat the Cards 4 - 2 in 2:46 tonight at Petco Park in San Diego. The Padres played superbly on defense making four outstanding plays in the field. Unlike the play of the Padres our telecast was quite the opposite. This show was the biggest stinker of the season for St. Louis Cardinals television. I will not highlight the lowlights of this show because I don't have the time or the space to cover all the garbage that aired tonight. The St. Louis Cardinals TV production team takes a very low key approach as we cover each game. We take pride in the fact that our game coverage is quite good. However, sometimes our low key approach is misunderstood by local crew members that we don't care and therefore the effort put out by the crew is maybe not 100%. Believe me WE DO CARE. We on the Redbirds TV team take full responsibility for the ugly television that aired tonight. We are not going to turn into a bunch of screaming assholes but the crap that aired tonight will NOT air tomorrow.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
The Redbirds beat the Brewers today by the score of 4 - 2 in 2:34 at Busch Stadium. My low first (Cardinals dugout) cam (camera 5) went down in the fifth inning. This is the camera I use for pickoffs at 1st base and lead runners. I really didn't realize how much I depend on this camera during a game. I made an adjustment and had my mid-first camera (camera 3) my pickoff camera and my lead runner camera. This adjustment came after a play in which no cameras followed the lead runner because I didn't adjust my camera responsibilities in time. A TV sports director can get very comfortable with the camera positions and responsibilities. The trick is not to get too rote with your game cut. I don't feel that I get too rote, but I sure missed camera 5 today.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
It took 10 innings and 3:48 for the Brewers to beat the Cardinals 6 - 4 tonight at Busch Stadium. This was another game with no pace. The middle innings dragged even with a nice strike zone from the home plate umpire. At 9:37 pm I received a text from my wife. It was a picture of my grandson who was over for a sleep over! Of course this 6:00 start didn't help as the game went extras. I may have lost a bit of concentration after the text because I hadn't seen my grandson in almost 3 weeks and I couldn't wait to see him. My thoughts were on my grandson for the most part tonight.
Friday, May 17, 2013
The Cardinals beat the Brewers tonight 7 - 6 in 2:49 at Busch Stadium and there were many reasons to be happy for the TV director. #1 - There were three homeruns hit in the game. A grand slam and two 3-run homers. As you know, the homerun is the most fun a TV baseball director has while cutting the game. #2 - There was a fairly good pace to the game and a very nice flow to the show. #3 - There was a 1 - 2 - 3 top of the ninth inning. #4 - A Cardinals victory. Believe me, this was a welcome change from garbage games of the Mets series.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
It took the Mets 2:53 to beat the Cardinals today at Busch Stadium by the score of 5 - 2. There was a better pace to this game compared to the first three games of this series but that would be like saying that a turtle is faster than an inchworm. Even with a fairly big strike zone from the home plate umpire this game moved slowly. Don't get me wrong, I love the game of baseball. So it seems weird to me that I prefer less of a game than more. Does that make any sense?
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I was talking with the Mets TV director before tonight's Mets/Cards game. I said to him "Man do I feel for you. You have a hard, hard job covering that team." He agreed with me and said "The pace of our games is excruciating." Directing TV baseball can be very difficult if there is no pace to the game. A good "flow to the show" is almost impossible during a poorly pitched and/or poorly played game. In fact, 99% of the time a poorly pitched game WILL lead to a poorly played game. There was a horrible pace to tonight's contest which lasted 3:07. 3 hours and seven minutes for a 4 - 2 game - are you kidding me! The Cardinals' victory at least took some of the sting out of that poorly paced turd of a game.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The Cards beat the Mets tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 10 - 4 in 2:39. This laugher was over well before 2 hours and 39 minutes. The Redbirds led 9 - 0 after 5 innings and the Mets did not have a clue. The Cards starting pitcher was making his Major League debut and this made for a nice story line for our telecast. Pre-production is very important for any telecast. However, pre-production may be most important for "laughers" such as tonight's Mets/ Cardinals game/telecast. One of our pre-produced elements for tonight's game/telecast was capturing the grips of one of the Cards recent callups. To our good luck, this pitcher entered the game in the seventh inning - well after the game was really over. Showing his grips on his pitches really added quality to our telecast. When a game is lopsided (like tonight's) it is really easy to "mail it in". Pre-produced elements keep the TV team focused and "mailing it in" never enters the equation.
Monday, May 13, 2013
The Cards beat the Mets 6 - 3 in 2:54 tonight at Busch Stadium. After two innings of play the Mets starting pitcher had thrown 46 pitches and the Cardinals starter threw 54 pitches. 100 pitches in 2 innings! The first two innings took 1 hour to play - exactly 1 hour. Truly excruciating baseball. Then the game turned around. The pitchers found their groove, the game moved and there was a good flow to our show. Excruciating baseball is very difficult to cover. The concentration level of everyone on the TV team is severely tested. Thank God the game turned around. If not, the TV production team would have been totally fried.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
For our third straight game/telecast a pitcher flirted with a no-hitter. Jorge De La Rosa of the Rockies was throwing a no-hitter with two outs in the seventh inning. Just as we started preparing for the no-hitter the Cardinals had consecutive base hits. We had our strategy down from our experience of the previous two games so we were ready. The Rockies beat the Redbirds 8 - 2 in 3:05 and for our TV team today was a lot of fun.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Adam Wainwright was nearly as good as teammate Shelby Miller today as the Cardinals beat the Rockies 3 - 0 in 2:40 at Busch Stadium. Miller gave up a broken bat single to start yesterday's game and then retired the next 27 Rockies. Wainwright carried a no-hitter for 8 1/3 innings today with the only blemish being a one out walk in the fifth inning. Miller and Wainwright retired 40 consecutive Rockies until that walk. With two outs in the ninth inning Wainwright gave up the second hit of the day to Colorado and finished with a 2-hit complete game. This was definitely the most fun I have ever had in back to back games. Beginning in the seventh inning, we started airing our drop-ins and promos so that we could cover the possible no-hitter with no interruptions. This was a great move by our Producer as we were able to concentrate totally on the event unfolding on the field. This 2 hour and 40 minute affair seemed like it took 20 minutes. Could tomorrow's game be a three-peat of the first two games of this series? I can't wait to find out.
Friday, May 10, 2013
The Cards beat the Rockies tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 3 - 0 in 2:36. This was the greatest pitching performance I have ever witnessed during my 30 years in Major League Baseball. After the first batter of the game in which the Rockies' lead off batter reached first base with a broken bat single, Redbirds rookie hurler Shelby Miller retired the next 27 batters in a row! A perfect game minus one. Miller was in TOTAL control the whole game. He had 13 strikeouts and there was not one ball hit hard. He finished off the game with a 3-pitch strikeout with the batter not even swinging. The greatest pitching performance I have EVER witnessed! WOW!!!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The Cardinals beat the Cubs 5 - 4 in 2:53 at Wrigley Field today. This exciting come from behind victory was par for the course for a Cards/Cubs game at Wrigley. There was more energy at Wrigley Field today compared to last night's contest and I believe the telecast captured the excitement. The most exciting part of our day, however, occurred after the game. We had a police escort to O'Hare and a trip that probably would have taken almost 2 hours took 27 minutes. The Chicago rush hour parted like the Red Sea and it was smooth sailing for our traveling party. I even made it home to watch game 5 of the Stanley Cup playoffs between the Blues and the Kings. A good day all around.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
I love Wrigley Field! During the 26 years I have been a part of St. Louis Cardinals baseball television, Wrigley Field has always been my favorite venue in baseball. Things have changed. The Cubs beat the Cards tonight 2 - 1 in 2:37. This was a well-pitched and well-played game. Perhaps the best pitched and best played game of the 2013 season. However, unlike the past, the atmosphere at Wrigley was definitely different. It's true the Cubs have been bad for awhile and they may lose 100 games this season. I believe that is the reason for the "different" atmosphere tonight at Wrigley. I have officially changed my mind about the best venue to televise baseball in the Major Leagues. It's Busch Stadium!!
Sunday, May 5, 2013
After 3 hours and 12 minutes of excruciating baseball the Cardinals beat the Brewers 10 - 1. The Cardinals threw 116 pitches and the Brew Crew threw 193 pitches. This awful game never developed a decent pace. Instead, this game went slower and slower and slower. A game like this turd can be and is mentally draining. This is the type of baseball game where the play of the game is the final out. We are in Chicago with an off day tomorrow. The Cubs are playing the Rangers in a rain out make-up game tomorrow night and I am going to be there. At least if it's another awful game I can leave.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
I think I might have to make every Kentucky Derby day an off day like today. Just because I know you want to know: I $1 tri-boxed 6 horses. I had the first place, third place and fourth place horse but not the second place horse. Oh well, still a great off day.
Friday, May 3, 2013
The Cards defeated the Brewers tonight by the score of 6 - 1 in exactly 3 hours. This game was special in that two Cardinals pitchers made their Major League debuts tonight in back to back innings which was the first time that had happened for St. Louis since 1990. The first rookie got his three outs on 14 pitches of which 8 were strikes. And the second rookie retired his 3 batters on 6 pitches of which all were strikes. The bullpen has been a trouble spot for the Redbirds all season so the bullpen's performance tonight added some optimism for the Cardinal faithful. This was another quality telecast from the solid Milwaukee crew. Our best shot of the night showed Carlos Beltran offering tips to a Brewers rookie. Beltran was apparently showing the rookie the best way to utilize his eyes while at the plate. And, this shot was captured during pre-game batting practice. Good TV crews capture moments during a game. Great crews capture moments before games, during games and between innings. A special game for the Redbirds rookies. A special moment for our telecast.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
The Redbirds beat the Brewers tonight at Miller Park by the score of 6 - 5 in 3:18. Our telecast discovered a new talent in the Milwaukee TV family. Our low first camera operator (camera 1) was absolutely sensational! There were two shots of a fly ball to right field with a runner tagging up on second base where this operator framed the shot perfectly showing the runner and the outfielder in the same shot. Great!! Then, this operator framed up a runner who had just scored with a trailing runner following him showing him where to slide. Great!! Great camera operators "feel" the moment. Our low first operator "felt" it tonight. A great, great pleasure to watch!!
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
It took 2:37 for the Cardinals to beat the Reds at Busch Stadium today. The highlight of the day for me had nothing to do with the game/telecast. This was a clean telecast with only a few "moments" that could define the show. The highlight of the day for me concerned my son. He worked the Fox Box for the Cincinnati feed last night and before he flew home to Minnesota he wanted to take in the game at Busch Stadium. During the game he caught a foul ball! But, better yet, he gave the ball to a young boy who was sitting next to him. The boy's family was very appreciative and took a picture of my son and their son. All this happened while the crowd in the 3 sections around them gave my son a nice ovation. My highlight of the day!