Saturday, August 31, 2013
I am currently in my hotel room watching a fireworks show put on by the Pittsburgh Pirates. It really is an incredible show from my 20th floor room. There were plenty of fireworks during the game as well. During the bottom of the third inning, the Cards manager visited the struggling Redbirds pitcher on the mound and really let him have it. Two pitches later and the Pirate batter hit a homerun! The stern look of the manager's face after the homerun may have been the shot of the night.
Friday, August 30, 2013
I am a baseball fan. That is why I enjoyed tonight's Cardinals/Pirates game from PNC Park in Pittsburgh. I did not like the fact the Redbirds were shutout 5 - 0. In fact, I never like it when the Cards lose. However, in a season that has seen some of the worst play and awful pitching ever, I really enjoyed tonight's pitching performance from the Pirates starter. He was masterful. All pitchers should watch tape of this game. The Pirates pitcher attacked all game. He worked fast and expressed a great confidence in his ability. I respectfully tip my cap to this pitcher. Well done!!
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Let me see. I am in Pittsburgh on an off day. I arrived at my hotel at 7:15 pm from St. Louis. The Pirates are playing the Brewers here in Pittsburgh tonight and the game started at 7:00 EST. Here is my choice - scalp a ticket and go watch the ballgame or go to the Capital Grille for a nice steak and a bottle of fine wine. I know I made the right decision - the steak was perfect and the wine was delicious.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
A three hour 10 - 0 beat down was handed to the Cardinals by the Reds tonight at Busch Stadium. As the season winds down, the quantity of "mush" on the brain is determined by the quality of baseball on the field. In my thirty years of baseball television, I have never witnessed more bad baseball games than I have experienced during this 2013 season. Therefore, when good quality baseball is played such as the previous two nights at Busch Stadium, I feel very good mentally. However, after a game such as the one tonight, I am mentally tired. My brain is mush. I am not physically tired in the least but I am mentally exhausted. Tomorrow's off day could not come at a better time.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The Cards defeated the Reds at Busch Stadium tonight by the score of 6 - 1 in 3:02. There were two different teams on the field at Busch Stadium tonight. One team, the Cardinals, wanted to be there and the other team, the Reds, didn't want to be there. There was nothing more evident to this fact than the two pitchers that finished the game for each team. The Reds pitcher threw 29 pitches - 15 strikes and 14 balls. He took his sweet old time between pitches. He walked around the mound, he shook off his catcher repeatedly, he wiped his brow after every pitch. Every single mannerism screamed "I DON'T WANT TO BE HERE!!! The Cardinals pitcher threw 15 pitches - 11 strikes and 4 balls. He worked fast, got back on the rubber and never shook off his catcher. His every mannerism screamed " MY GOD, I LOVE THIS!!! This Reds team may not make the playoffs.
Monday, August 26, 2013
The Cards beat the Reds 8 - 6 in 2:49 tonight at Busch Stadium. What a game! The Reds jumped out to a 4 - 0 lead with 4 runs in the second inning. There were 2 triples hit in that inning. During the bottom of the third inning, Matt Holliday hit an absolute bomb into Big Mac Land which is in the upper deck in left field. This made the score 4 - 3. Then, in the bottom of the seventh inning, Allen Craig hit a grand slam to put the game away. Prior to the slam our play by play announcer had one of the greatest "set up" calls I have ever heard. Right before the first pitch of the at-bat he said "....and this year Craig is batting .667 with the bases loaded. Our color analyst responded with "wow". The pitch was delivered and Craig hit a grand slam. Just absolutely great!!
Sunday, August 25, 2013
5 - 2 was the score as the Braves beat the Cardinals in 2:41 today at Busch Stadium. There were really no exciting moments during this game. In fact, our best replay came from a fan in the stands. After the third out of an inning, a Braves player tossed the ball into the stands. A fan, very eager to catch the ball, fell flat on his back with his feet facing the sky. The super slo-mo angle was especially entertaining. It says alot about the game on the field when the most memorable moment occurs in the stands.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
It took 2:59 for the Cards to beat the Braves by the score of 6 - 2 tonight at Busch Stadium. Except for the ninth inning when the pace of the game was interrupted by pitching changes, this contest had a rather nice pace. Our telecast got into a rhythm and we had a very clean show. I ended the show with a 2-box effect that had a game cut in the larger box and the Cardinals' manager in the smaller box. When the game ended this effect showed a real time reaction from the manager that I felt was quite effective. I plan on using this effect more during telecasts.
Friday, August 23, 2013
Finally a well-pitched, well-played and well-paced baseball game that included many exciting moments. There was a complete game thrown by the Cardinals' pitcher. There was the longest homerun of the season at Busch Stadium by a Cardinals' outfielder. There was an ejection of a Braves player. The atmosphere in the TV production unit was very comfortable as the noise was greatly diminished from last night's game/telecast. Whenever there is a game such as this - well-pitched, well-played and well-paced, it allows the TV crew to get into a rhythm and there is a great flow to the show. We had that tonight. Finally!
Thursday, August 22, 2013
The Cards beat the Braves 6 - 2 in 2:56 at Busch Stadium tonight. I have never seen a larger contingent of people in a TV truck than I saw tonight. The Braves travel a huge party of television professionals to assist with the show. Also, I don't remember a louder TV truck - ever. During a game/telecast, I listen to the Producer, the announcers and tape and camera chatter. (Thankfully, the tape and camera chatter is usually at a minimum. Unless you are at Citi Field in New York) I am able to hear everybody. But, if the people in the truck are loud, that makes it very difficult to hear what it matters to hear. Namely the Producer and the announcers. Tonight, the noise in the truck was too loud and it was a distraction. Quiet please.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The Cards jumped out to a 7 - 0 lead after 1 1/2 innings today and held on to beat the Brewers 8 - 6 in 3 hours and eighteen minutes at Miller Park in Milwaukee. This seeming cake walk turned into a bit of a nail biter and was very very draining. Just as in most of the games this season, this one had a horrible pace the whole day. Trying to stay focused when the game is dragging is absolutely a difficult chore to accomplish. I am now at home and I am doing the same thing the game did today. I am dragging.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in 2:55 at Miller Park by the score of 6 - 3. The Brew Crew scored 5 runs in 1 inning to put this game away. As a TV baseball director, I have always found that my focus is intensified when there is a lot of action going on during the game. During the 5-run inning, I was totally focused on the action on the field. On the other hand, I have found that my focus strays during lulls in the action. I recognize this immediately and instantly change course and regain focus. This was a game that tested my focus. Apart from the 5-run inning, there really wasn't a whole lot to be excited about. Even though the 5-run inning cost the Redbirds the game, it was my favorite moment of the telecast.
Monday, August 19, 2013
The Cards continued their 6-game road trip with an 8 - 5 victory in 3:26 at Miller Park in Milwaukee. I really like Milwaukee. The weather reminds me of my home state of Minnesota. I really like the TV crew from Milwaukee. They work hard and it's fun to be a part of their TV team. However, I am sorry to say that I am not a fan of Miller Park. From a fan in the stands point of view, Miller Park may be a great place to watch a game. From a professional viewpoint as a TV baseball director, Miller park is not a "friendly" place to televise. The dugout cameras are terrible. The mid level cameras are fairly nice but all the other camera positions are average at best. I am talking camera positions not operators as the Milwaukee camera ops are very good. Maybe I am jaded about Miller Park because I just left my favorite ballpark - Wrigley Field. It's like I went from first class to coach.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
The Cardinals beat a bad Cubs team today at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Before the game/telecast, I walked around Wrigley and soaked in it's aura. I love Wrigley Field. It is my favorite ballpark in all of baseball. I devoted a whole chapter to Wrigley Field in my book "Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From The Director's Chair". I can't wait for May 2, 2014. That is the next time we visit Wrigley!
Friday, August 16, 2013
The Cubs beat the Cards at Wrigley today by the score of 7 - 0 in 2:38. The Cardinals' starting pitcher walked the first three Cubs batters of the game and they all came around to score and the game was over. There is truly nothing worse than having a baseball game over in the first inning and knowing it is over. How can it be possible to know a game is over in the first inning you ask? The Redbirds are in a bit of a funk right now and they have been for the last few weeks. Because of there recent play, you just knew that after that awful first inning they were done. Trying to maintain the proper concentration necessary to cover the great game of baseball on television is very difficult when you believe the game is over and the team you are covering has no chance. That was the demon I fought today and, trust me, today's game was truly difficult to cover. However, after a nice steak and delicious bottle of wine at the Capital Grille and I am over today, looking forward to the off-day tomorrow and eagerly anticipating Sunday's telecast.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Two nights ago I had quite a good time cutting the Pirates/Cardinals game even though it lasted 4:55. Last night I enjoyed cutting the 2:30 Bucs/Cards tilt. Today, the Cards beat the Pirates 6 - 5 in 4:11 and it wasn't that much fun. I take full responsibility for today's extra inning affair. Going into the top of the seventh inning with the Redbirds ahead 5 - 4, I told our color analyst "We are going to be here a long time today." I just had that inkling. Sure enough, a Pirate homer in the top of the eighth inning tied the score and the game continued until the Cards prevailed in the bottom of the 12th. In my "Prayer" blog of a few days ago, I asked God to please not have a certain Chicago Cubs pitcher pitch against us during either of the two series we have remaining with the lowly Cubs. Well, I am currently in Chicago the night before our three game series with the Cubs begins and sure enough we are facing that dreaded Cubs starter. On get-away day!! Will it ever end? Hey, that is what I say whenever that Cubs guy pitches.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
2 hours and 30 minutes!! That was the time of tonight's Pirates/Cardinals game at Busch Stadium. To put this into perspective, this game was 2 hours and 25 minutes shorter than last night's marathon. I honestly do not remember the last time we had a game with such a good flow. The Cardinals set a franchise record during the past few weeks. They had 15 consecutive games that lasted over three hours. This had NEVER happened in St. Louis Cardinals history. Trust me, I love good baseball. However, I am not a fan of poorly paced games. Maybe it is because I am in a TV truck cutting cameras and a good pace means a good flow to the show. I wonder what the fans in the stands feel about the pace of the game. Do they really care? I don't know. Any thoughts?
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
The Cards beat the Pirates 4 - 3 in 14 innings and 4 hours and 55 minutes tonight at Busch Stadium. A long, long day indeed. But you know what? This was the most fun game of The 2013 season for the St. Louis Cardinals TV crew and it's fans. There was so much in this game. The Cardinals tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning when the Bucs left fielder dropped a routine fly ball in the bottom of the ninth with Pittsburgh leading 3 - 2 with one out. Later, that batter came around to score to tie the game. Both teams had chances in extra innings to win the game and both teams foiled the other teams chances with double plays! This was one of those rare games where there was more action in extra innings than during the first nine innings. Plus, walk-off wins are a joy to cut and tonight's game was only the second game of the season that the Redbirds won in walk-off fashion. A long day indeed but worth it!!
Monday, August 12, 2013
The Cards were off today before their important 3-game series with the Pirates. What did I do on this well needed off-day? I watched the Indians/Twins game. Hey Minnesota Twins fans. The director of your games, Matt Gangl, is scary good. I have done thirty years of Major Leagur baseball and I learned from watching his game cut. My God he's great!
Sunday, August 11, 2013
The Cards beat the Cubs today in 3:44 by the score of 8 - 4. I love baseball. I truly do. But if there was ever a reason to not love the game this game today would fill the bill. Awful, terrible, boring, crappy, torturous, mind numbing, frustrating, maddening and insulting. These are not the words that I would use to describe today's Cubs/Cardinals game. These are words that I would use to describe the Cubs starting pitcher. The Cards go to Chicago next week and the Cubs return to Busch stadium for the last three games of the regular season. Please, please, please God make sure this guy doesn't pitch in any of those games!!! Please.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
The Cubs came from behind to beat the Cardinals 6 - 5 in 3:08 at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals are in a bad slide at the moment. When they hit, they don't pitch. When they pitch, they don't hit. Some people have started to hit the panic button here in St. Louis. They are still 6 1/2 games up in the wild card so relax. This is early August. I am not worried in the least. Now if this was the middle of September then I might be a little worried. Relax Cards fans!
Friday, August 9, 2013
I need to know how a 3 - 0 baseball game with 12 total hits can last 3:14. I need to know how a game can last that long when the home plate umpire had a huge strike zone and really didn't miss many calls. I need to know how the pace of a game can fluctuate as much as this game between the Cubs and the Cards did tonight at Busch Stadium. I need to know how Major League pitchers need to pick and pick instead of attack. I need to know why mediocre pitchers don't watch and learn from the successful pitchers in the game. I need to know. If you know tell me because I need to know.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
The Dodgers beat the Cards tonight by the score of 5 - 1 in 3:02 at Busch Stadium. The Dodgers played this game just a little bit better than the Redbirds. In fact, one pitch made the difference in this game. The Dodgers hit a 3-run homerun in the 6th inning and that was really the difference in this contest.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
The Cardinals lost to the Dodgers tonight 13 - 4 in 3:47 at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals lost their starting pitcher Shelby Miller after the second pitch of the game when he was hit on his pitching elbow by a line drive. The Cardinals fans lost interest in the snail paced game well before the Dodgers scored 4 runs in the top of the ninth inning. I almost lost my cool when the Dodgers reliever walked the second batter in the bottom of the ninth inning with the score 13 - 4. I have lost all memory of this piece of crap of a game.
This blog is to my peers and my peers only. Congratulations to All Of You!! Apart from us, there is NOT one person in the WORLD who has any clue what we do. Every single telecast - EVERY ONE!! We present baseball television to our viewers. Every telecast! We make over 3,000 calls every show. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we don't. Most of the time we get it right. I am so proud of my TV community. Nice going!!!
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
The Cards beat the Dodgers tonight 5 - 1 in 3:14 at Busch Stadium. This was a good game between two good teams. A fun game to do. I love well played and well pitched games. The highlight for me tonight was not the game. The highlight for me was that I was a guest on "Live at Shannon's" radio broadcast from his restaurant after the game. This 1-hour program seemed like it lasted 5 minutes. It was a blast!
Monday, August 5, 2013
Today was a busy day for the St. Louis TV production crew. We had our annual Champions Club telecast where our announcers sit in the Club to broadcast the game. It was our turn to utilize the Phantom Cam which is a super, super slo-mo camera. The replays from this camera are spectacular. We had a side by side by side today at Busch Stadium with Cards TV, Dodgers local TV, and ESPN. 12 Major League players were suspended from the game for using PED's. This was a very hectic day that never seemed to let up. I am a bit fried.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
It took the Cardinals three hours to slaughter the Reds 15 - 2 today at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. The Cards scored 4 runs in the first inning and never looked back. As I have blogged before, there is a lot less pressure for the TV crew when a game is a blowout. Usually, blowouts can be fun for the winning TV crew and total hell for the TV crew on the losing side. I said usually because today's blowout by the Redbirds wasn't as fun as other huge victories because this was the last day of a three city 11 game road trip. We were a little fried already from this longest trip of the season so we were all thinking "alright, enough is enough, end this thing already!"
Saturday, August 3, 2013
The Reds beat the Cards 8 - 3 in 3:03 tonight at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. The highlight of the night came in the bottom of the 7th inning when the Redbirds brought in a rookie reliever with the bases loaded and one out. On his first pitch the Reds batter flew out to short left field and then on a 3 - 2 pitch the Cards rookie struck out the Reds batter with a nasty slider. Even though the score was 5 - 3 in favor of the Reds, all the momentum favored the Cardinals. Then came the bottom of the eighth inning and the "lowlight" of the night. Two homeruns later off the rookie and the score was 8 - 3 and the game was basically over. This was a perfect example of a rookie experiencing the highs and lows of the game. We'll see how he bounces back.
Friday, August 2, 2013
The Cardinals defeated the Reds in Cincinnati tonight by the score of 13 - 3 in 3 hours and 23 minutes. Here are some of the totals for tonight's game from the Redbirds side. Beltran 3-3 & 4 runs, Craig 3-3, 3 runs, 3 RBI, Freeze 4 RBI, Jay 2-5, 3 RBI, Descalso 3-5, 3 runs & 2 Hr. Here are the pitching totals from the Reds side: Arroyo 3.2 innings and 84 pitches. Partch 1.1 innings and 46 pitches (21 strikes, 25 balls), All Cincy pitchers 115 strikes and 85 balls. I ask you this - Was this a game of good hitting or bad pitching?
Thursday, August 1, 2013
The Cards beat the Pirates 13 - 0 tonight in 3:22 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Pirates had beaten the Cards in the first four games of this five game series and were trying to sweep St. Louis in a 5-game series for the first time since 1916. What happened was a respite for us on the St. Louis TV side. The Cards won in a blowout. The first 4 games of his series were mentally draining and the last thing we needed on the St. Louis TV side was another draining telecast. Thank God this did not happen. I am now in my hotel room in Cincinnati and it it 2:12 AM. I should be more fried than I am but I'm not - thanks to the blowout.