Saturday, June 29, 2013
The Cards beat the A's 7 - 1 today in 2:48. Adam Wainwright threw his fourth complete game of the season and was in control the whole game. Good pitching is a TV baseball director's best friend. When a game is well pitched like today's game a director is able to establish a rhythm and there is a wonderful flow to the show. It also helps that this Bay Area crew is outstanding. I have long maintained that the TV crew in the San Francisco/Oakland area is one of the best in TV sports. Not only are they good at their craft, they are a fun group to work with. I don't think I have ever heard a crew member from this area complain. Trust me, I am not complaining.
Friday, June 28, 2013
A very good Oakland A's ballclub beat a very good Cardinals ballclub tonight in Oakland by the score of 6 - 1 in 2:42. If you take away the bottom of the 2nd inning when the A's scored 5 of their runs, this was one of the better paced games of the 2013 season. The bottom of the second inning took 35 minutes to play which means that this game was played in about a 2 hour pace. A game with a 2 hour pace usually means (99% of the time anyway) that the two teams involved are very good ball clubs. Why did the bottom of the second take so long to play you ask? Because the Redbirds starting pitcher threw 51 pitches in that inning alone. In the last thirty years, that is the most pitches a Cards pitcher has thrown in one inning. This is my 26th year of televising Cardinals baseball. It is a fact - that is the most pitches I have ever witnessed for one inning in a Cardinals baseball game. That means in over 3500 baseball games I witnessed something I have never seen before. 51 pitches - wow!
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Usually, off days on the road suck. When I am on the road I want to work. Usually. There are some cities where off days can be quite enjoyable. San Francisco is one of those cities. Today was an enjoyable off day. Whether you care or not, this is what I did on this off day in San Francsco. I got out of bed at noon. (Remember it was a very late night) After showering, I had coffee at Starbucks with John Rooney and Dan McLaughlin and then went to my favorite greasy spoon - Lori's Diner for breakfast. Later on in the afternoon my good friend Rip Rowen, who runs the Cardinal's clubhouse, and I went to the Napa Valley Winery Exchange ( a great wine shop) and bought some wonderful bottles of wine. I am enjoying one as we speak. Tonight, I went to dinner at Scoma's (great) with John Rooney, Jim Jackson (radio producer) and Ricky Horton. My Cioppino was unbelievable! I just said goodnight to my lovely wife and I am going to bed. A great day - even if it was an off day.
Ah, the glamour! After our game in Houston, we flew to San Francisco for a weekend series with the Oakland A's. At 1:26 AM pacific time the pilots of our charter aborted the landing because the SF airport was down to 1 runway and there was heavy fog over the airport. At 1:52 AM, we landed in Oakland and while it was nice to be on the ground our busses were at the SF airport. At 2:48 AM our busses arrived on the tarmac and we departed for our hotel in San Francisco. At 3:18 we arrived at the hotel. I entered my room at 3:28 and my suitcase arrived at 3:59. It is now 4:20 AM and I am going to bed. Thank God for the off day tomorrow.....I mean today. Ah, the glamour!
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The Astros beat the Cards tonight 4 - 3 in 2:47 tonight in Houston. I am currently at 32,000 feet as we are flying to San Francisco to play the Oakland A's in a weekend series. There were really only two moments in tonight's game. The Redbirds led 2 - 0 after the first two pitches of the game and the Astros scored all their runs as they batted around in the 4th inning. There was really nothing at all notable about this game except for those two moments. Two moments in 2 hours and 47 minutes. Sometimes that is all the game will give you.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
It took the Cardinals 3 hours and 11 minutes to beat the Astros 13 - 5 in Houston tonight. Blowouts are not usually that much fun to televise as they usually include bad pitching. This game/telecast was no different. However, in the bottom of the 8th inning the tally lights on all the cameras went out. The centerfield camera (camera 4) had a tally light the whole half inning - even when his camera wasn't on the air. I just constantly reminded the camera operators that they were "hot" and we got through the inning without any whip pans. It is a very rare occurrence when the entire tally matrix system goes down and it takes teamwork to get through it unscathed. The engineers fixed the problem quickly and the ninth inning was smooth sailing.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
I am sitting in my office and it is 9:54 PM on Sunday night. Because of rain, the scheduled 7:00 Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN is going to start in six minutes at 10:00. We are so lucky that tomorrow is an off day. Even better, the Cardinals changed the time we are leaving until tomorrow night! We have to be at Busch Stadium at 8:00 PM with our bus leaving at 8:30 and take off scheduled at 9:15! How about the Texas Rangers? If tonight's game is a typical 3 hour game the game will end at 2:00 AM. Their bus to the airport will be between 2:45 and 3:00. They should take off about 3:30 where they are flying to New York. They would then land about 6:30 or 7:00 AM which will get them to their hotel around 7:30 or 8:00. We of the Cardinals party were so lucky tonight and for that I am truly grateful. It is now 10:00 and I am going to watch the game FROM HOME!
Friday, June 21, 2013
Despite the fact that the Cardinals were defeated 6 - 4 by the Rangers tonight at Busch Stadium this was an enjoyable show. It is rare when the telecast is more enjoyable than the game but that was the case tonight. The game was not enjoyable because there was some terrible pitching from both clubs. The Rangers starter started poorly giving up 3 runs in the first inning and a run in the second. He settled down and pitched quite well the rest of the night. The Redbirds starter didn't even make it out of the second inning. The telecast was most enjoyable because we aired many flashbacks from the 2011 World Series in which the Cardinals beat the Rangers in seven games with game six possibly being the greatest World Series game ever played - at least from a St. Louis perspective. Truly a bad baseball game. Truly an enjoyable telecast.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
The very talented Cardinals beat the not so talented Cubs tonight 6 - 1 in 3:03 at Busch Stadium. I was talking with one of the Busch Stadium guards and telling him how blessed I was to televise Cardinals baseball. I told him that I couldn't imagine doing 155 Cubs games each season because they are so hapless. The Cardinals scored 4 runs in the 6th inning to put the game away. During the rally, one of our camera ops found a Cubs fan sitting amongst Cardinals fans looking distraught. I told the operator to "sit on him" which means don't leave the shot. The announcers were making mention of the poor unhappy Cubs fan and right on cue the Cubs fan shook his head in disbelief. The next Redbird's batter put the game away with a 2 - run single. The replay sequence finished with a real speed replay of the Cubs fan. You heard the crack of the bat and saw the Cards fans around the Cubs fan explode in excitement. You also saw the fatal expression of the Cubs fan as he hung his head, shook his head and hung his head again. This was one of the greatest replays we have ever had on Cardinals television. One of the top 5 replays of all-time for sure!
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
It took 2:53 for the Cardinals to beat the Cubs at Busch Stadium tonight by the score of 4 - 1. This was a game that took almost 3 hours to play and the Cubs scored only 1 run on 2 hits. Why did this game take so long to play? For everyone watching on television and for every fan in the stands at Busch the answer was obvious. The starting pitcher for the Cubs was the slowest worker of the season on the mound. "Look at me. I am a starting pitcher in the Big Leagues! Everyone gets to watch ME pitch. I am going to enjoy this and just take my sweet old time." Yup, that is exactly what this pitcher was thinking every single second he was on the mound. No wonder this pitcher is 3 - 9!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
The Cubs beat the Cards 4 - 2 tonight in 2:34 at Busch Stadium. This game started weird and ended weird. The Cubs scored all their runs in the 1st inning off the best pitcher in the National League - Adam Wainwright. The game ended with the Cardinals' base runner being called out for going out of the base path while trying to break up a double play. This was the correct call by the umpire and it stopped a Redbird's rally and ended the game. Between the first inning and the ninth inning this was a wonderfully played baseball game and a perfectly paced telecast. A strange beginning and a stranger ending describes this game telecast perfectly.
Monday, June 17, 2013
The Cards beat the Cubs tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 5 - 2 in 2:43. Both starting pitchers threw the ball well and there was a great pace to the game and a good flow to the show. It's too bad that this nice game began after a 1:59 rain delay. This was a scheduled 6:08 start because it was also on ESPN and I arrived in my door at 11:37. Oh well, the game itself was quite enjoyable to televise, we had a good telecast and the Redbirds won. A good night indeed.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
The Mets defeated the Cards tonight by the score of 5 - 1 in 2:33 at Citi Field in New York. There was a tremendous pace to this game/telecast the whole evening. This was a very enjoyable telecast as the game dictated a great "flow to the show." I am now off until Monday when the Cubs come to Busch Stadium. My father was elected as a member of the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame and the ceremony is Friday night at Target Field in Minneapolis as part of the pre-game between the Twins and Detroit Tigers. I can't wait to be there as I am so very proud of my dad.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
The Cardinals beat the Mets tonight 9 - 2 in 2:53. The first three innings of our telecast tonight were so bad that I could have thrown up. In my thirty years of televising Major League Baseball, I have never EVER been involved with more ugly baseball television - ever! Therefore, I will not talk about this telecast. I will talk about how blessed I am to be a part of St. Louis Cardinals baseball. This team is good! This team is very very good! Televising bad baseball is tedious and difficult. Televising good baseball is easy and fun. We on the St. Louis Cardinals baseball TV team are blessed and we know it. We have an obligation to deliver this wonderful product in a quality fashion. And we do. How could we not? This is fun!!
Monday, June 10, 2013
I admit it. I am spoiled. I travel with the Cardinals on their charter and this charter is first class. This charter has a great menu and lots of beer and booze. Today, our pre and postgame host, Pat Parris and I flew from St. Louis to New York because the last two Cards' telecasts were on Big Fox and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. We flew to NY on this off day and our original direct flight was cancelled. We were rebooked on a flight through Cincinnati and were scheduled to leave Cincy at 8:00. That flight was delayed until 8:40. Anyway, we landed in NY at 10:45 and I was in my room at 11.40. Ah, the glamour!
Friday, June 7, 2013
In the biggest game of the 2013 season the Cardinals beat the Reds 9 - 2 in 3:11. We had a FAIRLY clean telecast like we always do here in Cincinnati. I like this crew and we usually have good telecasts out of Great American Ballpark. This blog will not be a wrap up of the game/telecast. This blog will present THE reason why the Cardinals are consistently good. The most successful athletes in any Major League Sport are the athletes that are the most confident. Confidence is the most important trait for any athlete at any level. The St. Louis Cardinals have been very good for a very long time because of confidence. I believe that the number one reason why the Redbirds have been so good for such a long stretch is because every single home game has over 40,000 screaming adoring fans. These screaming fans are adoring because the Cardinals consistently win. The Cards consistently win because they KNOW they are going to win. They are CONFIDENT they are going to win. Why are they so good? Why are they so confident? Because they are reminded each and every home game by a full Busch Stadium. A full Busch Stadium of screaming confident fans. On the other hand, the Reds only sold 91% of their seats tonight for their most important game of the 2013 season. These fans didn't scream and were not very confident. A confident fan base would have filled Gret American Ballpark tonight. I am confident the Cardinals will walk through the National League this season. Big FOX tomorrow and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball so I am off until Tuesday in NY vs the Mets.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Most telecasts are filled with good moments and bad moments. Most Major League games are filled with good moments and bad moments. Tonight's game/telecast was the epitome of the previous statements. As we all know, the most fun a baseball TV director has is cutting a homerun. The Cardinals hit 5 homeruns tonight - great, great fun!! Great, great moment!! Bad pitching is the main culprit for bad moments. We had a bad moment tonight. With the Redbirds leading 12 - 5 in the top of the ninth inning, the Cards pitcher walked consecutive batters with the bases loaded. Bad, bad moment! As bad as it gets. On the plane to Cincinnati for a huge weekend series. We are only doing tomorrow's game as Saturday is a big FOX game and Sunday is ESPN. I am looking forward to many good moments this weekend. I'll be watching for sure.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
The Diamondbacks/Cardinals game began tonight after a 46 minute rain delay. 3 hours and 4 minutes later the D'Backs beat the Redbirds 10 - 3. The game was moving along nicely until the bullpens became involved. This rather nice game turned into a real tedious stinker. I would like to give every Major League pitcher a bit of advice. And I can give those pitchers some very valuable advice in just 2 words. These two words will insure that each and every pitcher who heeds them will have a long and very prosperous career. THROW STRIKES.
Monday, June 3, 2013
It took the Cardinals 2 hours and 39 minutes to defeat the Diamondbacks 7 - 1 tonight at Busch Stadium. Once again, the Redbirds starting pitching controlled the game. This was one of the smoothest game/telecasts of the 2013 season. There was a wonderful flow to the show because there was a wonderful flow to the game. Smooth may be the most desirable word for a TV sports director. The only hiccup of the night occurred in the second inning. Our centerfield camera (camera 4) went to black right before a pitch. I immediately told the tight centerfield camera (camera 6) to "pullout and frame like camera 4". After a batter, the problem with camera 4 was fixed and the rest of the show was very smooth. Smooth - love that word.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
The Giants beat the Cardinals 4 - 2 in 2:40 today at Busch Stadium. There were three moments during the telecast that really stood out. One of the moments involved the play on the field, another dealt with the on field Pregame ceremony and the third memorable moment occurred in the stands. The memorable moment during the game came after the last out of the third inning when both Yadier Molina and manager Mike Matheny were ejected from the game. The ejections occurred at 1st base and the shot of the commotion from our leftfield camera (camera 1) was framed so that it included the fans going crazy in the background. The Pregame ceremony included a young fan on the field pretending he was a pitcher and he was emulating a windup. What really enhanced this memory was that it was captured in super slow-mo. My favorite moment of the telecast happened during the first at-bat of the game. Their was a toddler sitting with his parents eating a huge chocolate chip cookie. Between batters we revisited the kid to see the progress he was making as he devoured the giant cookie. The sequence wrapped up with his father dutifully wiping the chocolate mess from the kids face.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
The Cards beat the Giants 8 - 0 in 2:42 today at Busch Stadium. The Redbirds scored 7 runs on 9 hits in the 3rd inning off Giants hurler Matt Cain. Cain, who threw a perfect game last season, was also perfect in 5 of the 6 innings he was in the game. The 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th innings were all 1-2-3. The Cardinals scored one run on one hit off the San Francisco bullpen in the 8th inning. Shelby Miller of the Cardinals threw 7 innings of shutout ball and the bullpen finished the game. Except for the bottom of the third this was one of the better pitched games of the 2013 season. Well pitched = good pace = a most comfortable telecast.