Monday, September 29, 2014
The Cardinals became the NL Central Division Champs before they took the field to play the Diamondbacks. We were just moments away from the Cards batting order when we learned of wholesale changes in the lineup. Our graphics guru did a wonderful job of correcting the lineup and defense graphics in a quick fashion. Apart from that mayhem to start the telecast, this was the first meaningless game of the 2014 season. We of the Cardinals TV team are quite blessed. Let me count the ways. Only one game of the season was meaningless. Every single home game had an attendance over 40,000. The team had a winning record for each month of the season - the only NL Central team with that accomplishment. The TV team is becoming quite efficient in covering post game celebrations. A member of the Arizona TV team said to me after we were off the air - "Do you know how lucky you are? I responded "Yes I do and I am grateful each and every day. I am blessed." Thanks to all who follow this blog.
The Cards had a chance to clinch the Central Division tonight in Phoenix against the last place Arizona Diamondbacks. It was almost like they didn't show up. A late 3-run homer won the game for the D'Backs, but I can't really say it was the difference in the game. The difference in the game was the indifference the Cards seemed to have in regards to the importance of the game. I guess they were waiting for the 162nd and last game of the 2014 season to become champs of the division.
Friday, September 26, 2014
The Cards beat the D'Backs 7 - 6 in 10 innings tonight in Phoenix. I would like to thank Fox Sports Arizona for the nice gesture they gave to us at Fox Sports Midwest tonight. The Cardinals are in the playoffs and are trying to win the NL Central Division with only this weekend left in the regular season. The Diamondbacks are at the end of a losing season. Therefore, these games are of a bit more importance to the Cardinals. Thus, Fox Sports AZ made the decision to allow Fox Midwest to be the primary feed and Fox AZ to take a dual feed. Unprecedented! Thank you Fox AZ. I hope that one day we can reciprocate.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
The Cubs beat the Cards at Wrigley today 3 - 1 in 2:41. Once again, even though the game was at Wrigley Field, there was nothing memorable about this game. Therefore, there was nothing memorable about this telecast. We are now flying to Phoenix for the final three games of the 2014 season. These three games are against the worst team in the National League if not all of baseball. The final three games. The final three games against one of the worst teams in all of baseball. The grind continues. Thank God for the light at the end of the tunnel.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
The Cubs beat the Cards tonight in walk-off fashion 4 - 3 with a single in the bottom of the 10th inning. Even though the Redbirds have earned a playoff spot, they still are battling for the division championship so every game has meaning. For example, I know we are having more fun than the TV teams of the Twins and the Indians who played each other tonight in Minneapolis. The Cards have a 1 1/2 lead over the Pirates for the division crown with 4 games to play. Things are certainly looking good. Why then am I not excited to be part of this pennant race. Am I spoiled with all the success the Cards have enjoyed for the last decade? No, I am not spoiled with all their success. I am not excited because I know the Redbirds will win the division. Don't get me wrong - I love their success. I love the game of baseball. I'm acting like I've been there before. Because I have.
Monday, September 22, 2014
28,893 fans showed up at Wrigley Field tonight to watch the Cards beat the Cubs 8 - 0 in 3:00. I don't ever remember a Cards/Cubs game at Wrigley Field in which there was no atmosphere but the was the case tonight. Any hope of a typical "electric" Wrigley Field during Cards/Cubs contest disappeared when the Redbirds went ahead 7 - 0 after the top of the 5th inning. Things only got worse when the Cubs used their September callups to finish the game. No atmosphere and AAA players is not the Wrigley Field I have come to know and love. I didn't enjoy tonight at all.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
After last night's Reds/Cards game I pleaded with the baseball Gods to please give me a game that would not make me nervous. Therefore, I must thank the baseball Gods for answering my prayers. The Redbirds beat the Reds in 2:52 tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 8 - 4. As you know, the homerun is a favorite of TV baseball directors to cut during a game. Well, the baseball Gods also gifted me with 4 homers in the game of which 3 were hit by the Cardinals. Off tomorrow because of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball and then 6 more games to end the season. Thank you baseball Gods!
Friday, September 19, 2014
The Cards beat the Reds 2 - 1 in 2:35 tonight at Busch Stadium. The pace of this game is the pace all TV baseball directors love. This game was an absolute blast to cut tonight. However, the Reds had runners on first and third with one out in the top of the ninth inning. As a TV baseball director, I loved cutting the top of the ninth inning. As a Cardinals fan, I was none too happy about the situation. However, all TV sports directors MUST separate the team from the game. The primary responsibility of all TV sports directors is to respect the game. You have to cover the game with respect or the baseball Gods will bite you in the ass. That being said, a huge blowout game would be nice. How about Cards 8 Reds 1 tomorrow? Please.
It took 4:26 for the Cardinals to beat the Brewers tonight at Busch Stadium. The final score was 3 - 2 in 13 innings but the game was decided by a managerial decision in the bottom of the 8th inning. The Brewers elected to remove their starting pitcher who was absolutely dealing at the time. This is not a case of hindsight is 20/20 because we all disagreed with the decision at the time. Sure enough, the Cards tied the score and eventually won the game. This exciting victory didn't seem to last 4 hours and 26 minutes - it was 4:26 of great fun.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
This was the best game of the 2014 season for the St. Louis Cardinals. This was the best telecast of the 2014 season for the St. Louis TV team. This 2:32 affair had a great flow to the game and the show. Just as the starting pitchers for both clubs had great rhythm, this telecast had great rhythm. Our Producer wanted some rollout isolations of Cardinals players after the final out and they worked to perfection. Our super slo-mo camera operators were spot on and provided some of the best replays of the season. Busch Stadium was electric all game long. A great, great show all the way around. Absolutely the best!
The Cardinals were leading the Brewers tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 2 - 1 as they entered the ninth inning. The time on the clock was 9:34 PM. The game was almost over. The Brewers, after a lead off walk, tied the score and the game went 12 innings before the Brew Crew prevailed 3 - 2. The Cardinals scored their first run of the game 4 batters into the game with a bases loaded walk. The Redbirds almost put the game away in the bottom of the first inning but were able to score only one more run. This game was almost over twice and instead it took 3:55 to play it out. The time on the clock was 11:10 PM.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
The Cardinals were victorious over the Rockies today at Busch Stadium by the score of 4 - 1 in 3:03. For teams that are in contention like the Cardinals, September baseball is fun and exciting. Every game has meaning and this leads to many dramatic moments. The standings and the scoreboard are of great importance to every contending team and it's telecast. For teams out of contention like the Rockies, September baseball becomes similar to spring training games. Players are literally performing for next year. Expanded rosters allow managers to "try out" players as they look to the future. Just as spring training games suck to televise, September baseball games must suck for the non contending teams and their TV crew.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
The Cardinals defeated the Rockies tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 5 - 4 in 3:24. The Rockies scored 3 times in the 9th inning to make this game close but the Redbirds really dominated this game. This was another fun telecast for the St. Louis TV team. It is the hope of every sports telecast to make the show "big". Our RF camera operator does an outstanding job each and every telecast. This is important because the RF camera may be the most important tool we have to make the show "big". Whether it is used for beauty shots of Busch Stadium or used in game coverage with base runners or isolating the pitcher, this camera is a most valuable tool.
Friday, September 12, 2014
Matt Holliday hit the hardest ball I have ever seen in a baseball game in the first inning tonight at Busch Stadium. The 3-run homer in the bottom of the 1st inning set the stage for the Cards 5 - 1 win in 2:44. This was one of the better telecasts of the 2014 season for the Cardinals TV team. Just as Holliday nailed that ball in the first inning, our TV team nailed this telecast.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
The Reds beat the Cards today in Cincinnati by the score of 1 - 0 in 2:12. This was the best pitched game by both teams in a Cardinals game this season if not ever. Every TV baseball director loves good pitching which means low scoring which means a great pace. Yes, this game filled the bill in all these categories: great pitching, low score and great pace. However, for some reason this game didn't get the juices flowing. There really wasn't any "edge of the seat" moments in this game. I'm not going to say this game was boring but this game wasn't exciting and I don't know why.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
You never know what you are going to see in a baseball game. Take tonight's game between the Cardinals and the Reds in Cincinnati. The starting pitcher for the Cards had been non verbally complaining about the home plate umpire's strike zone from the bottom of the first inning. He wasn't screaming or yelling. He was mostly just staring after a call he was questioning. In the bottom of the 3rd inning, however, the home plate umpire had had enough and he ejected the pitcher after a pitch when the hurler was standing on the mound. We did an In Sync replay the showed the umpire taking off his mask and telling the pitcher to "knock it off." The pitcher then said to the umpire (we read his lips) "Whatever". He was then tossed from the game. You just never know what you will see during a baseball game. You never know.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
The Reds beat up on the Cardinals 9 - 5 in 3:33 tonight in Cincinnati. This was a poorly pitched and played baseball game most of the night. I was happy that the telecast was better than the game. We covered the best points of the game in a great fashion. A Cards rookie collected his first Major League hit and RBI and another Redbirds rookie recorded his first Major League strikeout. I guess that when the game is lousy nice moments such as these standout and, therefore, the coverage shines. As the season comes to the end there will be more and more of these moments. We will nail them.
Monday, September 8, 2014
The Cardinals continued their annual September surge to the Postseason with a 5 - 0 victory over the Reds tonight at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. I watched the "death" of the Brewers postseason hopes during the first 4 games of this road trip. Tonight I watched the post funeral of the Cincinnati Reds. The remaining games of the 2014 season for the Cardinals include games with the 5 of the worst teams in the National League. Thus, there are no meaningful games left for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2014 season. Meaningful games are the most fun to televise. Therefore, while it is good for our TV team that our team is very successful, it sucks that we have no meaningful games left this season. This Cardinals team will breeze to the playoffs.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
I witnessed 2 deaths today. The first death occurred in the 6th inning of the Cards/Brewers game. Our TV truck died. We lost all power to the mobile unit for about 20 minutes. But, miraculously, our TV truck came back to life. The second death I witnessed today was the playoff chances of the Milwaukee Brewers. Before they had even lost today's game by the score of 9 - 1, they were done. They were done mentally. They were done physically. They botched relay throws and showed no effort on a catchable foul ball. Done. In first place for 150 days this season and now they will not make the postseason. Yes, the Brewers postseason hopes died today. I know. I watched it. Unlike the TV truck they will not come back to life.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
How did the Cardinals win this game? They beat the Brewers in Milwaukee by the score of 5 - 3. They scored 5 runs on 4 hits and the recorded 3 errors in the bottom of the 1 st inning. The Redbirds didn't even have a base hit after the 4th inning and it seemed like the Brew Crew threatened every inning. I guess games like this happen when you have won 7 of your last 8 games and you are playing a team that has won just 1 game in it's last 11. As soon as we were off the air, I thought "How in the hell did they win this game"?
Maybe it was the game. Nicely played with some good pitching. Maybe it was luck. Every successful telecast needs some luck. Whatever it was, this telecast was night and day better than last night's show. The Brewers broke out of their slump - losers of nine straight - and the Cards suffered their first loss after six wins. The TV team broke out of their one telecast funk with a good show. Let's see what tomorrow's game/telecast brings to the table.
Friday, September 5, 2014
It is too bad that we had an awful telecast on the biggest game of the year. There was little if any pace to this abortion. We even had a MASSIVE whip on the air. This was a big, big win for the Cardinals as they beat the Brewers in Milwaukee by the score of 3 - 2. This 3 - 2 affair took 3:25 to play. That means it took a long time for the victory, but it also means there was 3:25 of shit on Cardinals Television tonight.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
The Pirates/Cardinals series ended today with a walk-off 1 - 0 win in the bottom of the ninth inning. Great, great fun. Just great, great fun. This was the most enjoyable series of the 2014 season. This was the best pitched series of the 2014 season. This was the best played series of the 2014 season. This was the most exciting series of the 2014 season. Great, great fun indeed!
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Since 2000, the Cardinals have fielded some very competitive teams. Teams that one just knew they were going to win the game. This was especially true when Albert Pujols was playing for the Redbirds. When televising such teams the TV production team can deliver the telecast in a very confident fashion. Well, for the first time during the 2014 season, the TV team is feeling that confidence on the field and it is carrying over to the telecast. Before the season started, this Cards team was picked by many to run away with the NL Central division. Today, September 2, the team is starting to prove that prediction correct. The confidence displayed on the field is creating a very enjoyable experience in the TV truck. This enjoyable experience is carrying over to the telecast. Thus, Cardinals Nation is feeling it as well. Finally.
Monday, September 1, 2014
Once again the Cardinals came from behind to win a game. This time the victim was the Pirates. The Redbirds scored 3 runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and held on to win 5 - 4. I get so pumped when Busch Stadium is rocking and it rocked a bunch of times today. There was a pinch-hit 2-run homerun to tie the game followed later by a 2-out base hit to take the lead. The final out in the top of the 8th inning and the final out of the game both came on strikeouts and both came when the crowd was going crazy. Like the players, I believe the TV crew feeds of the frenzy of the crowd. This game/telecast was electric and to be part of it was an absolute blast!
Sunday, August 31, 2014
The Cards overcame an early 5-run deficit and beat the Cubs 9 - 6 in 3:26 today at Busch Stadium. The Redbirds broke a 6 - 6 tie in the bottom of the 8th inning by scoring 3 runs. The bottom of the 8th inning was great fun to cut. The Cards loaded the bases with nobody out. The next two batters struck out and there was an 0 - 2 count on the next batter. After almost getting hit in the face by a pitch, the batter laced a bullet off the pitcher's leg to drive in 2 runs. The next batter also singled and the game was put away. Even though this was not a walk-off win it sure felt like it. Great fun!
The Cubs and Cardinals split a day/night doubleheader today at Busch Stadium. The Cubs won the day game 5 - 1 and the Cards took the nightcap 13 - 2. We televised both games with about 2 1/2 hours between games. This was a very long day for our TV team and they performed admirably. However, this long day was made even longer when the Cardinals scored 9 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning of the night game. This half inning took 34 minutes to play and included two walks and a hit batter with the bases loaded. Not surprisingly, the pitcher who committed the walks and allowed 6 runs to score without recording an out was sent to the minor leagues after the game. Also not surprisingly, there was much cursing going on in the TV truck.
Friday, August 29, 2014
The Cubs used 4 homeruns to defeat the Cards 7 - 2 tonight at Busch Stadium. If you are a Cardinals fan you hate the Cubs. If you are a Cardinals fan your two favorite teams are the Redbirds and anyone playing the Cubs. This is why I am going to make a statement that I have never made concerning the Cubs. This Cubs team was impressive tonight. That's right - impressive. The youngsters on that ballclub are eye opening. After watching that team tonight, I firmly believe that if they sign a couple of electric starting pitchers they will compete much sooner than I thought previously. Impressive indeed!
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
It took 2:43 for the Bucs to beat the Cards 3 - 1 today in Pittsburgh. Once again, the crew in Pittsburgh did a great job. The only difference between today's game/telecast and the previous two was that today's contest didn't have many memorable moments. There wasn't any "wow" plays. In fact, our best replay was a super slo-mo replay of a box of Cracker Jacks being tossed in the air by a vendor. Off day tomorrow and then a 4-game weekend series with the lowly Cubs. Ho hum.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The Pirates defeated the Cardinals tonight at PNC Park 5 - 2 with a 3-run homerun in the bottom of the 8th inning. The 2:56 affair was, once again, very entertaining. Any baseball fan would appreciate and enjoy this entertaining game. True, with the victory, the Pirates fans enjoyed this game more than Cardinals fans but this game was fun to watch and fun to televise. Kudos to the Pittsburgh members of our TV team. Once again, they "felt it" and delivered.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Good pitching, good defense and timely hitting make for a good game and a good telecast. That is what we had tonight as the Cardinals beat the Pirates 3 - 2 in 2:55 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Cardinals' TV camera operators during tonight's game/telecast were spot on. Whenever I looked for a shot tonight, those shots were there. No hesitation and excellent framing made for a good brisk telecast. It seems that a good flow to the show is contagious. That was proven tonight. This was one of the most enjoyable game/telecasts of the 2014 season.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
The Cards lost to the Phillies today and we are currently flying to Pittsburgh. I am looking forward to the Pittsburgh series and I know my attitude will be in better shape. Today's game/telecast offered little, if anything, to fire up the viewer much less the TV team. I don't want to be negative but there was just something about this game that bored me to tears. If a TV sports director is bored the viewer is bored. Even though I fought it and fought it, even though I tried every director's trick in the book to fend off my ennui, the game defeated me. I never gave up but I gave in. I surrendered. I apologize.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
The Cards beat the Phillies 6 - 5 in 12 innings tonight in Philly. This was a game that included many strange plays. The Phillies bungled a relay throw on a bloop single to left field that resulted in a run scoring and the batter making it all the way to third base without a throw. A Redbirds batter hit a ball over the centerfielder's head that nicked his glove, bounced off the wall, hit his foot and bounced over the fence. It was ruled a ground rule double. This game was so strange that our play by play announcer twice asked me "If I had ever seen a play like that?" You never know what you might see at a baseball game. Tonight's game proved that.
Friday, August 22, 2014
The Phillies defeated the Cardinals tonight in Philadelphia by the score of 5 - 4. The score was 5 - 4 after three innings and that was when the game ended. Absolutely nothing happened after the third inning. Nothing. The first three innings took as long as the last six. There were really two different games tonight between the Cards and the Phillies. First three innings - much action. Last six innings - nothing. After the bottom of the third inning - that's when the game ended.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Here is the timeline of my day at Busch Stadium today. While in the beginning of our pre-game show the head of security came into the TV truck and asked for our Game Producer. He said he believed the Producer's car was damaged in the parking lot. I knew our Producer walked to Busch Stadium and since we drive the same make of vehicle I thought it just be my car that was damaged. It was. I park near a highway overpass and my guess is something fell from the overpass and landed on my back window which was shattered. Oh well, I'll get it fixed. Then, after the Cards jumped out to a 5 - 0 lead, there was a 58 minute rain delay after the bottom of the seventh inning. The Cards opponent, the Cincinnati Reds, were lackluster during their at-bat in the top of the 8th inning and even worse during the bottom of the inning when the Redbirds tacked on two more runs. Wouldn't you know it, the Reds brought the tying run to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. The player grounded out and the game ended. The rain delay was 58 minutes and the 8th and 9th innings took 50 minutes. Tomorrow will be a better day. How can it not be? It's an off day and I get to go to Philadelphia!!
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Once again the Cardinals took an early lead. Once again the Cardinals fell behind. Once again the Cardinals won in walk off fashion. Tonight's telecast was our yearly "This One's For You" show where we televise the game from Busch Stadium and interact with our troops from Afghanistan. I look forward to this show every year. Once again I was almost overcome with emotion as we interviewed families as they spoke to a loved one overseas. Trust me, it is very difficult to cut a telecast when little kids are crying while talking to their daddy. Once again I was cutting cameras with a huge lump in my throat. Once again it was worth it. Once again this was a fantastic experience!
Monday, August 18, 2014
Cutting homeruns during a game is great fun as I detailed in my book "Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From the Director's Chair." Cutting a game with a walk off win is even more fun. That is what we had on the Reds/Cards game tonight at Busch Stadium. The Redbirds won the game in walk off fashion in the bottom of the 10th inning - great, great fun. The only circumstance more enjoyable to cut than a homerun or a walk off is the end of a no-hitter or a perfect game. Who knows? Maybe tomorrow!
Sunday, August 17, 2014
For eight innings a splendid baseball game was played today at Busch Stadium between the Padres and the Cardinals. Going into the ninth inning the Cards led by the score of 7 - 4. The reliever for the Redbirds proceeded to walk the first two batters of the inning. That is where the cursing started. After a terse visit from his manager, he promptly struck out the batter thus somewhat stopping the bad language. He then walked the next batter to load the bases and the cursing began again. The cursing stopped as the pitcher was removed from the game. This reliever managed to end the game and the Cards won. The joyous cursing began and the angry cursing disappeared.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
After a 1:47 minute rain delay, the Padres beat the Cards 9 - 5 tonight at Busch Stadium. What is the worst scenario for a TV baseball production team? Bad pitching? Bad umpiring? Bad baseball? Extra innings? Bad weather? I don't know the answer to that question because I don't believe there is a bad scenario in this profession. I make my living covering Major League Baseball. The highest quality of the greatest game in the world. Speaking from my heart, I love the 2 - 1, 1 - 0 great pitched games. Maybe that is the reason I dislike the DH. All in all, I love this game. If this game wants to try and trouble me with bad whatever - I am not troubled. I love it! I am blessed!
Friday, August 15, 2014
4 - 2 was the score as the Cards beat the Padres in 3:00 tonight at Busch Stadium. This was a show with a good flow. The Redbirds starting pitcher threw strikes and had a nice rhythm all night long. The Padres starter found his rhythm after the first inning and both pitchers provided an entertaining duel. It didn't look that way in the bottom of the first inning as the first three Cards batters of the game walked. Maybe the most drama of the evening occurred before the start of the bottom of the 8th inning when the grounds crew took aff the covering of the tarp as if expecting rain. It did start to rain but not hard enough to stop the game. The rain ended during the top of the ninth and the game ended without a delay. Thank goodness! 5 minutes after leaving Busch Stadium I drove through a downpour that lasted most of my 40 minute drive home.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The Cards beat the Padres tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 4 - 3. Or did they? In the top of the ninth inning, the tying run for the Padres was thrown out at the plate. Even though the call was ruled correct after a replay review, I still think the runner was safe. Now, every member of any TV sports team wants their team to win every game. Count me in that category. Therefore, I am very pleased with the outcome of tonight's affair. But, even with replay review, it was a missed call. I don't know why it bothers me so much but I'll take it.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
We are in the air flying home from Miami after the Cardinals 5 - 2 victory tonight. For most of the 2014 season the pace of Major League Baseball games have left a lot to be desired. I don't know if the pace of the game increases or decreases the pleasure factor of the baseball fan or if the pace of the game is only important to the TV crew working the game. I think the typical baseball fan wants to see a well-pitched and therefore a well-paced baseball game but I can't be sure. I do know that MLB is very concerned about the pace of the game. Well, MLB would have loved tonight's Cards/Marlins affair. It took 2:40 to complete this game. A nice pace indeed.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
The "Wow" factor of last night's game/telecast was nonexistent in tonight's game/telecast. At least the Cards lost fast. It took only 2:34 to lose to the Marlins by the score of 3 - 0. To put this in perspective, the highlight of the telecast was a homerun off the foul pole. Two totally different game/telecasts. Last night, I was pumped after the show. Tonight, it was like there wasn't even a game.
Monday, August 11, 2014
What a game! The longest homerun I have ever seen hit wasn't even close to the loudest "wow" uttered in the TV truck tonight as the Cards battled the Marlins in Miami. There were 4 great great great great defensive plays in this game. The player who hit the massive bomb made an unbelievable catch in right field. The Marlins shortstop put on a clinic tonight. The Marlins second baseman made some "hall of fame" type plays. I don't remember how many times I exclaimed "wow" tonight, but I became more and more pumped as the game played on. A most memorable game/telecast! "WOW"
Sunday, August 10, 2014
I have a new favorite road TV crew. The Baltimore TV crew for the visitors is a great great bunch of professionals. Not only are they very talented in their coverage, they are exceptionally nice and extremely fun to work with. The camera shots are always "there", the audio is tight, the TD is solid, the tape room "gets it", the graphics are always ready and the venue is wonderful. There are absolutely no worries when televising from Baltimore. Just a great great experience!
Saturday, August 9, 2014
It only to 2:58 for the Orioles to beat up on the Cardinals by the score of 10 - 3 today at Camden Yards in Baltimore. That's back to back drubbing of a real good Cardinals club. The Orioles are a great hitting ballclub. It seemed like every ball was hit on the nose. The Orioles hit six homeruns yesterday and three today and the Cards connected for two in the two games so I had the pleasure of cutting a bunch of homers the past two games. Hey, look at the bright side right?
Friday, August 8, 2014
The Orioles dealt the Cardinals a good old fashioned butt whooping tonight at Camden Yards in Baltimore. 6 homeruns and 2:57 later and the game ended by the score of 12 - 2. This game was essentially over after 3 innings. The game was essentially over but not the telecast. Trust me, it is hard to stay focused during a blowout. And in this game the Orioles were relentless. They won the game by 10 runs AND they had two opportunities with the bases loaded and nobody out and THEY DIDN'T SCORE. They should have scored 20 runs tonight. It felt like they did.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
I will not write about the circumstances of tonight's Red Sox/Cardinals game at Busch Stadium. The 3-game series between these two clubs was the best series of the 2014 season as far as the brand of baseball goes. 3 great games! 3 great telecasts! Drama and "edge of the seat" excitement best describes this series. It's funny, the Cardinals are on their way to post season once again and last years' World Series Champion Red Sox are going nowhere this season. Yet, these two teams provided some of the best baseball of the season. Great fun! Great, great fun!!
It was the Red Sox, their fans and their TV team to feel the excitement tonight as the Red Sox scored a run in the top of the ninth to beat the Birds 2 - 1. Another good game with great pitching from both teams. The game took 3:01 to play but it sure seemed faster than that. These past few games have been a blast to cut. Hopefully tomorrow will be our turn to feel the excitement of a late victory.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
This game had the right recipe for a good telecast. It was a tightly fought affair with Cardinals beating the Red Sox 3 - 2 with a run in the bottom of the 8th inning. The excitement and drama of the game kept growing and growing as the game went along. In the top of the 8th inning, a Cards reliever struck out the 1 - 2 - 3 batters all swinging. Then, in the bottom of the inning, the Redbirds scored the winning run after nobody was on with 2 outs. Busch Stadium was electric in the top of the ninth inning as the Red Sox threatened but didn't score. This was one of the best games and the best telecasts of the season!!
Sunday, August 3, 2014
The Cardinals defeated the Brewers 3 - 2 in 2:50 today at Busch Stadium. Two different Cardinals clubs showed up today. The first Redbirds team to show up had one hit through six innings of play and trailed 2 - 0 going into the 7th inning. That's when the Milwaukee starting pitcher left the game due to injury. The Cards scored 3 runs in the bottom of the seventh to gain the victory. For the first six innings Busch Stadium was quiet. For the last three innings Busch Stadium was electric. It is great fun cutting a game when the ballpark is buzzing. I believe this "energy" rubs off on the TV crew as everyone seems to be a little sharper. Cutting the last three innings was a blast. Off day tomorrow and then the Red Sox cone to town. I'm sure Busch Stadium will be rocking again.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
This game/telecast was the exact opposite of yesterday's game/telecast. There was a little bit of everything in today's show. Homeruns, triples, double plays, timely hits, good defense and a wonderful pace throughout the evening. The game was full of action. This game kept our TV team on the edge of our seats all night long. Unlike yesterday where I even felt a bit lethargic after we were off the air, I still have the adrenaline flowing and the game has been over for 1 hour. Oh yea, the Cards beat the Brewers 9 - 7 in 2:58.
Friday, August 1, 2014
The Brewers beat the Cards at Busch Stadium tonight 7 - 4 in 3:14. This game between two clubs battling it out for first place in the NL Central Division, this game did not live up to it's billing. The Brewers dominated the Cards and defeated one of the best hurlers in the National League. I was excited about this matchup and was really looking forward to the game. Unfortunately, there was nothing memorable about it. Drama? No. Excitement? No. Run of the mill? Yes.
I really can't recall much about today's Cardinals/Padres game. I know the Redbirds won but the most vivid memory I have about today was their clubhouse before the game. I have never seen or heard a clubhouse so somber. 2 of the most popular Cards were traded before the game. You could have heard a pin drop in that room. Everyone was sitting at their locker with their heads down - everyone. What I viewed before the game stuck with me throughout the game/telecast. The silence was deafening.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Which situation is the hardest for a TV baseball director to stay in focus? Slow paced games because of lousy pitching is up there. Meaningless games at the end of a season is certainly on the list. Early blowouts certainly can't be discarded. Well, an example of a difficult situation for a TV baseball director to stay focused occurred in tonight's Cardinals/Padres game. The Padres scored 8 runs in an inning to make the score 12 - 1. Before the 8-run inning the Padres were already dominating the game. The lifeless Redbirds were already defeated or so it seemed. This was one of the few games in my career that I could not wait to be over. My focus was tested tonight.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
After a nice off day in San Diego, the Padres defeated the Cards 3 - 1 in 3:20 tonight at Petco Park. What is not to like about San Diego? The weather is perfect, the local TV techs are great to work with and are loads of fun, the hotel is right across the street from the Park and the area is full of great restaurants. Unfortunately, the game doesn't care where it is being played. 3 hours and 20 minutes for a 3 - 1 game - ridiculous! Oh well, we could be doing the game at Wrigley Field between the Cubs and the Rockies. It is 1:22 AM and they are entering the bottom of the 16th inning tied at 3.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
I am currently flying at 41,000 feet as we make our way to San Diego. The Cards beat the Cubs today at Wrigley 1 - 0 in 2:41. This is a road trip of favorites. Chicago and San Diego are my two favorite cities in the National League, Wrigley Field is my favorite ballpark, and the Omni Hotel in San Diego is my favorite hotel. The road seems to get harder and harder every year. These two cities make the road more bearable. My wife, daughter and grandson were with me in Chicago and that made this road trip fairly special. I look forward to San Diego. Off day tomorrow and then 3 against the Padres.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
I was walking through the concourse today at Wrigley Field before the Cards/Cubs game and I heard who I assumed to be a grandfather talking to his grandson. He told his grandson "Wrigley Field is a special place." The grandson, who I guessed to be around 10 years old, just nodded his head in agreement. The fact that the kid was adorned from head to toe in Cubs gear may have played a part in his agreement, but never the less, Wrigley Field is, indeed, a special place. Unlike any other National League ballpark, you can "feel" Wrigley Field.
Friday, July 25, 2014
The Cubs defeated the Cards today by the score of 7 - 6. I only have one thing to say about today's game. In the bottom of the second inning, nine outs had been recorded. These nine outs had been recorded and 100 pitches had been thrown. 9 outs - 100 pitches. Enough said.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The score was 3 - 0. The time of game was 3:12. I asked the Miami TV team how they could possibly get through these game/telecasts with the horrible pace. "Alcohol" was the reply. Trust me, producing and directing baseball on television requires a very disciplined focus. The most difficult "cause" of disrupting that focus is a game with a very slow pace. The Tampa Bay Rays have the slowest paced games in all of baseball. Thinking of my colleagues I think I'll have a drink.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
I was chatting with the Tampa Bay Rays director before the game tonight and told me to get ready for a long game. "We average 3:19/ game" he told me. I expressed tha maybe with the pitching matchup we might have a fairly quick one. He was right and I was wrong. The Rays defeated the Cards 7 - 2 in 3:23. There really wasn't many delays and the game seemed to move at an ok pace but when all was said and done 3 hours and 23 minutes had passed. My colleague was right tonight. I hope he is wrong tomorrow.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Yesterday, the Cards beat the Dodgers 3 - 2 in 3:02. Today the Cards beat the Dodgers 4 - 2 in 3:02. In today's game/telecast out TV production team got a little lucky. We aired our "keys to the game" drop-in after the first Redbirds batter of the game. The drop-in said "Get to the Dodgers' starting pitcher early". The first 4 batters of the game for the Cardinals scored and it was 4 - 0 before they made an out in the first inning. The pace of the game had some hiccups but for the most part there was a nice flow to the show. Two days off before the Tampa Bay Rays series begins on Tuesday. Maybe I'll visit a casino. I'm feeling a little lucky.
Friday, July 18, 2014
The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 3 - 2 in 3:02. I didn't realize how fried I was after the first half of the season ended last Sunday. It took two days before my brain lost it's mush and returned to normal. (If that's possible) I felt energized tonight. I was remembering how fried I was during the last few innings of Sunday's contest as tonight's game was entering the last few innings. My focus was there all game long and I had a great time cutting the final outs of the game. Mentally I feel great. Ok, enough about me. Bring on tomorrow's game. After that, we have two days off. I hope I'm not too amped for Tuesday's game/telecast against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
The first half of the season ended in Milwaukee with an 11 - 2 loss to the Brewers. It is 8:30 pm and I am sitting in my office yawning. This break could not have come soon enough. Don't get me wrong, I love directing St. Louis Cardinals baseball on television. But, our next telecast is a home game Friday against the Dodgers and as of right now the last place I want to be is in a TV truck. I know I will be recharged then but right now - NOT.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
We worked a National Game today on Fox Sports 1. These games are totally different from our Fox Regional games on Fox Sports Midwest. There aren't nearly the amount of drop-ins, the open is live, the local crew is a full complement and the announcers are different. These changes from our usual set up are very refreshing. The format allows for a better flow to the show and the "live" open is a nice change. The Milwaukee crew is excellent and fun to work with and I really enjoyed the announce team. It's too bad the game was lousy as the Cards beat the Brewers 10 - 2 but today's game/telecast was enjoyable none the less.
Friday, July 11, 2014
The first segment of our game open dealt with the fact that the Redbirds' starting pitcher was pitching his first game because of an injury the occurred on April 16. We wondered how effective he would be after such a long layoff. Our second segment dealt with the fact that the Brewers were playing awful baseball and, in fact, were 1 - 9 in their last 10 games. The Cards were down 6 - 0 after two innings as their starting pitcher was not effective at all. However, just as we scripted, the Brewers shut down their offense and the Cardinals won the game 7 - 6. It doesn't happen often, but it sure is nice when the players follow the script of the TV guys. Maybe tomorrow we'll talk about a Cardinals no-hitter in our open.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
I have been part of the St. Louis Cardinals telecasts since 1988. This means I am in my 27th year of covering Cards baseball on television. To be able to do what I do for as long as I have done it, one must first love the game and second, one must love the team one is covering. Negative dumb asses who think it is a conflict of interest to love the team you are covering and still be objective in the coverage are wrong when the person loves the game more than the team - which I do. I first and foremost cover the game to the best of my ability. While covering this wonderful game, I hope for the best for the Cardinals. That is why today's game/telecast was so hard to direct. The Cards got their ass kicked. I still cut the "game" with respect, but it was a difficult chore.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
It took 3:24 for the Cardinals to beat the Pirates tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 5 - 2. The first seven innings of the game took an eternity but the last three innings had a real nice pace. The terrible early pace of the game was such that the nicest replay we aired showed a tight shot of a ball being fouled off a batter's foot. The nice pace at the end of the game was rewarded with a great replay sequence after a Cardinals' homerun. Maybe this game/telecast was a bit of a letdown because of the walk off homeruns hit in the two previous games. I don't think I was spoiled by the previous two game/telecasts but it sure felt like it.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Once again, the Redbirds defeated the Bucs with a walk off homerun in the bottom of the ninth inning. Back to back nights of walk off homeruns is very rare. I wish those moments weren't so rare as capturing the walk off moment is the most fun a TV baseball director can have during a telecast. You only see 1 or 2 or maybe 3 walk off homeruns in a season, so being able to cut them on back to back nights is pretty special. How about three in a row tomorrow night?
The Cards beat the Pirates 2 - 0 tonight with a 2-run walk off homerun in the bottom of the ninth inning. Cutting a walk off homerun is great great fun. The crowd is going crazy and the players are going crazy. Capturing that moment was greatly heightened by the use of our RF camera. The camera operator was situated about halfway down the third base line and I took the shot as the homerun hitting hero was nearing third base. Following the hitter into the mob of teammates waiting for him at home plate was a super shot the captured the excitement of the moment. Great, great fun!
Sunday, July 6, 2014
The St. Louis Cardinals telecast today of the game with the Miami Marlins was a complete abortion. Quite easily the ugliest show of the 2014 season. There was no flow and there were countless mistakes. After a particularly bad sequence, I said over headsets "Boy this is a well oiled machine." And everyone on the Cardinals' TV team contributed to this piece of crap. Truly, a total team effort.
Saturday, July 5, 2014
Last night, the Cards turned a double play in the top of the ninth inning to end the game. The bases were loaded and the Marlins were behind by 1 run when the Redbirds turned the game-ending double play. Today, the Marlins scored 2 runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat the Cards by the score of 6 - 5. It is great fun for a TV baseball director to cut the game when the game is on the line. Building suspense with a camera cut is very enjoyable. I loved cutting cameras these last two games. The Cardinals won the first game and the Marlins won the second. Same excitement, different outcome.
Friday, July 4, 2014
The Cards beat the Marlins tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 3 - 2 in 3:01. The game ended in exciting fashion as the Redbirds turned a double play in the top of the ninth with the bases loaded and one out. This was one of our "theme" telecasts because it was the 4th of July. I enjoy these "theme" shows because of the extra elements that are used throughout the telecast. When a TV baseball production team televises over 150 games as we do, "theme" shows are somewhat refreshing. On a side note, our TD (technical director) was new to our home show production and he was outstanding! A very refreshing day!
Thursday, July 3, 2014
We finished the longest road trip of the season and I am currently flying at 32,000 feet as we make our way home. There were many things I liked about today and today's game/telecast. First, the Cardinals defeated the Giants. Second, the San Francisco TV crew for our visiting side was stellar as usual. Third, this is the last 3-city road trip of the season. Our travel from here on out is going to be a breeze. Throughout a baseball season, we will sometimes televise 20 games in a row. We will be part of 3 to 4 hour games. We will have rain delays. These scenarios are not tiresome. It is the travel that wears you out. I am looking forward to the rest of this season. I am invigorated by the thought of it.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
We are on the back end of our fourth 3-city road trip of the first half. The last five games of this trip have been very enjoyable to me. Why? Because they have all included wonderful pitching. This stretch of starting pitching is the best stretch of this sort that I can remember. It's too bad the Cardinals have been on the wrong end of these games more time than not, but I'll take good pitching over a slugfest anytime. The Redbirds won tonight in a marvelously pitched game by their starter and their ace. Great pitching- I love it!
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
I enjoyed my off day in San Francisco yesterday and I enjoyed our game/telecast tonight. The Giants won the game 5 - 0 in 2:28. I enjoy watching great pitching and tonight's starter for San Fran was brilliant. I enjoy baseball games with a nice brisk pace and tonight's game fit that description perfectly. There were a couple of moments during the telecast that certain "distractions" were trying to take away the enjoyment I was experiencing. I was not going to let that happen and I didn't let that happen. Indeed, 2 very enjoyable days in San Francisco.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
It was one of those days. There really wasn't one great memorable moment in the game. There really wasn't one really special moment in the telecast. Everything we did on the telecast was just ok or pretty good but never great. Everything seemed to be just out if sync enough to just miss that special or great moment. At times my cut of the game worked ok but it seemed that I was always just a beat behind. This was one of those game/telecasts where the flow of the show was never better than the flow of the game. This was not a horrible telecast by any means. It was just one of those shows that couldn't or wouldn't ever be great. Just one of those days.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Before tonight's Cardinals/Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium, I returned to the TV truck about 15 minutes early and boy was I given a nice surprise. Our centerfield camera (camera 4)operator was practicing his shag during batting practice. Most TV baseball production teams have their camera 4 (located in centerfield) push to the pitcher after ball is put in play. We have camera 4 shag the ball after it is put in play. This operator was more use to pushing to the pitcher than shagging. Therefore , he was practicing his shag. Very, very impressive! Believe me, there are some TV sports crew members that are just there to pick up a paycheck. The good ones, however, want to perform their duties at a high level. Let me amend that statement. The BEST ones want to perform at a high level and thus practice and work hard at their craft. Our camera 4 operator impressed today. During batting practice AND the game! Well done!!
Thursday, June 26, 2014
The Dodgers beat the Redbirds tonight in LA by the score of 1 - 0 in 2:32. This was one of the greatest regular season baseball games I have ever witnessed. Both starting pitchers were terrific. We opened our telecast talking about the outstanding pitching for both teams in this series and we were proven correct. The Cardinals had a runner thrown out at the plate on a great throw by the Dodgers left fielder. The crowd of over 55,000 was electric all night. In the top of the ninth a pinch runner for the Cards stole second and was called out when he slid off the bag. Everyone in the ballpark knew he was running and the dejection followed by the elation from the crowd was priceless. This terrific game/telecast was punctuated by one of the final shots of the coverage. The look of devastation on the Cardinals manager's face after the final out may have been the most memorable moment of the night. Just a great great game!
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
I am writing this at 32,000 feet as we jet our way from Denver to Los Angeles. First of all before I continue, I love Denver. Secondly, I totally enjoyed today's game/telecast between the Cards and the Rockies. Both starting pitchers were making their Major League debuts and both pitchers fared pretty well. I don't know why but I love it when I see a kid playing in his first Big League game. Today was especially rewarding because BOTH starting pitchers were in that situation. A fun day indeed. Great, great fun actually!
It doesn't matter what the score was. It doesn't matter that there was one of the best defensive plays of the year performed in tonight's game between the Cards and the Rockies. It doesn't matter that there were a couple of huge clutch homeruns by each team in tonight's contest. What matters to me, a huge baseball fan, is the fact that this game was played in quicksand. This game never moved. This was "Groundhog Day" baseball. Every inning was the same. I now understand why marijuana was legalized in Colorado. The voters obviously watched Rockies baseball.
Monday, June 23, 2014
The Cards beat the Rockies 8 - 0 in Denver tonight in 2:41. Denver is one of the best stops in the National League. The Denver TV crew is one of the best in all of baseball. The Redbirds starting pitcher threw 8 innings of shutout baseball with no walks! The Cardinals first baseman hit two homeruns and collected six rbi's. The game started at 6:40 and it is before 10:00 and I am in my room drinking a delicious glass of wine. All I can say about today, June 23, is "You gotta love it"!!
Sunday, June 22, 2014
The Cards defeated the Phillies today by the score of 5 - 3 in 2:48 at Busch Stadium. I am on the Redbird's charter at 42,000 feet as we make our way to Denver for the first leg of our final 3-city road trip of the 2014 season. This is our fourth 3-city trip of the first half of this season and our final 3-city trip of the season. The second half has NO 3-city trips and this is a good thing. The second half travel will be gravy!! I don't believe many fans understand the rigors of traveling. Trust me, it's tiring. I don't care if you are a professional athlete or you are a 59 year old TV director - traveling sucks.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
The Cardinals defeated the Phillies 4 - 1 in 2:48 today at Busch Stadium. There couldn't have been a better script for the St. Louis TV production team. The game was superbly pitched by both of the starting pitchers. There was a great pace to the game and the telecast. The Cards scored 3 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to put the game away and relieve the pressure of a tight ninth inning. Great pitching, great pace, great excitement of scoring late and a Cards victory equals a great script.
Friday, June 20, 2014
The Phillies beat the Cards tonight at Busch Stadium in a very nondescript game. Until the end that is. The top of the ninth inning ended when the ball hit off the first baseman's left knee and bounced to the pitcher who was running to cover first base. The pitcher never had control of the ball and in fact made contact with the ball three times in an effort to grab it. His momentum redirected the ball back to the first baseman who was on the bag. All this while the base runner was hurdling the pitcher. A rare 3 - 1 - 3 putout. Quite hilarious actually! I don't remember much about the game but I can't forget that play.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
How can I describe tonight's game/telecast? It was one of those nights where the camera operators (our crew) and the director (me) were not on the same page all night long. I was frustrated the whole game. Shots weren't mixed up. It seemed like every shot was a waist shot. People weren't listening and it seemed like I was moving camera shots around all night long. I am not placing the sole blame on the camera operators as we are a team and I am as responsible for what seemed like confusion the whole game as the operators. I became frustrated early in the game/telecast and actually cursed. I apologized but I knew after cursing that any attempt to "right the ship" would be met with some disdain from the crew - and rightly so. How can I describe tonight's game/telecast? Just one of those nights.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Today, my 59th birthday, started out with a Cardinals loss to the Mets by the score of 3 - 2. I have nothing to write about today's game/telecast even though it was a nice clean show. Tonight ended nicely, however, as I watched Clayton Kershaw throw a no-hitter against the Rockies. That's right, I watched the end of a baseball game on my birthday. What can I say? I love the game!
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
I don't remember what the score of the Mets/Cards game was tonight. I know the Redbirds won. All I can remember from tonight's game/telecast was a member of the Mets showing up a teammate. To make matters worse it was a backup player showing up an established veteran who is an exceptional player! After a play, the backup player raised his arms and looked at the veteran as if to say "Are you kidding me?" I would not be surprised if the veteran took care of the backup and his embarrassing display behind closed doors after the game. A "WOW" moment indeed.
Monday, June 16, 2014
Yesterday, I missed my first Cardinals game/telecast in 27 years because of illness. Today, a Cardinals player played in his first Big League game and recorded his first Big League win. Another Redbirds hurler earned his first Major League save in tonight's contest. Playing in your first Major League game, earning your first Major League win and collecting your first Big League save are certainly exciting achievements. Missing your first game/telecast because of illness is not.
Friday, June 13, 2014
The Cardinals beat the Nationals tonight in the best pitched game of the 2014 season for both teams if not for all of baseball. The Cardinals starting pitcher threw 8 innings of shutout ball to gain the victory. I'm sure he felt great about the victory and his performance. Eight innings of shutout baseball throwing 111 pitches. Imagine how the Nationals starting pitcher must feel. He threw 8 innings allowing 1 earned run on 3 hits. He did this throwing 76 pitches!! If we are told that a pitcher is going to allow 1 run through 8 innings throwing only 76 pitches, it would be hard to imagine that pitcher not winning the game.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
It is 2:48 in the morning and I have just arrived home from a road trip that took us from Kansas City to Toronto to Tampa Bay. The Cards lost the final game of the trip by the score of 6 - 3 in 3 hours and 10 minutes. I know that the numbers really do not back up what I am going to say but it sure SEEMS like games in American League ballparks take a lot longer to play than games in National League ballparks. In fact, games in AL parks only take a few minutes longer than those in NL parks. During games this past road trip at times it felt like the games were going in slow motion. I spoke with the Tampa Bay Rays TV director and he told me there is a "huge" difference in the pace of AL games compared to NL games. He would know as he was a NL director for many years. Just another reason I consider myself blessed - I am a National League TV director!
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
The Cardinals defeated the Rays tonight in Tampa by the score of 1 - 0. Usually during a baseball game/telecast, the TV crew can expect at least a few memorable moments to occur throughout the contest. Tonight's 2:52 game proved to be an exception to the rule. There was only one memorable moment tonight and that was a Cardinals homerun. This was the third straight shutout by the Cardinals and this was the third consecutive time the Rays have not scored a run. In fact, the Rays have not scored a run in 29 straight innings. Hopefully for Cards fans this streak will continue and hopefully there will be more than one memorable moment during tomorrow's game/telecast. Just saying.
Monday, June 9, 2014
Off days on the road are the worst. They suck. Well, today was an off day in Tampa. What a great day. Lunch with a good friend, dinner with my TV production team and beers with my great, great friend - our Producer - Mike. Today could NOT have been any better!! I am so blessed. I spent the day with people I work with day in and day out and I loved it!! Trust me, off days on the road are the worst. Not today! Today was a great day!! I am finishing this great day talking to the most wonderful person in my life - Jane my wife. I am going to sleep after this wonderful day. I will sleep well. How could I not sleep well? I just spoke with an angel.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
I spent approximately 60 hours in Toronto this weekend. The hotel is one of the best in baseball. The service at the hotel is second to none and, most importantly, I had a great shower. The people around the ballpark were beyond nice. Everyone was very, very helpful and super polite. The TV crew is absolutely fantastic. They had a great sense of humor and worked their asses off. I made it a point to thank the home TV director for the great crew we as visitors were given during the series and the "thank you" was well deserved. I am now in Tampa Florida with an off day tomorrow and I am still smiling. Oh Canada - thank you, thank you, thank you.
Saturday, June 7, 2014
As everyone knows who follows this blog, I don't mention by name any member of our TV crew - good or bad. However, today's game/telecast has come as close as any to breaking this rule. Don't get me wrong, I love our home technical director (TD) and my road TD's are usually very, very good. However, my TD here in Toronto is absolutely the best TD I have ever been privileged to sit next to. Awesome!! Just awesome!! This guy almost makes me wish the Cardinals were in the American League. Just awesome!!
Friday, June 6, 2014
The Toronto Blue a Jays beat the Cardinals tonight in Toronto by the score of 3 - 1. The game took 3:12 to play. There were 4 "fun moments" in this game/ telecast. A player was thrown out at the plate in the first inning. Plays at the plate are exciting to all fans and all TV baseball crews. There were 2 homeruns hit in the ballgame. Homeruns are the most fun for a TV baseball director to cut during a game. There was a triple play in this game. The triple play is possibly the rarest play in baseball. Cutting a triple play is fun but witnessing a triple play is great fun! It is always more enjoyable for the Cardinals' TV crew when they win. Sometimes other moments in a game are fun despite the score. Tonight was one of those games.
Let me see.......Hmmm, what should I write about? Should I write about the absolutely great game/telecast between the Cardinals and the Royals? I could write about the wonderful pace of the 2:26 game in which the Royals won 3 - 2. After all, this was one of the better played games of the 2014 season. Or, should I write about the fact that it is 4:09 in the morning and I am arriving in my hotel room in Toronto. Well, actually both circumstances are worthy of writing about. I love Toronto - you could eat off the streets! I live the Canadian people. In fact, the best man in my wedding is Canadian. I love Toronto Canada - one of my favorite cities in the world. A Cards victory would have made this a great, great night. Let me see......I'll take just a great night. Yes it was!
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
It took 3:46 and 11 innings for the Cardinals to beat the Royals tonight by the score of 5 - 2. Talk about highs and lows for baseball fans tonight. Both the Cards fans and the Royals fans experienced the extreme emotions of high and low. For the fans of the Redbirds the high occurred during the first eight innings as ace Adam Wainwright was masterful while working on a 1-hitter. That high crashed to the ground when the Royals tied the score in the bottom of the ninth using 4 outs! (A Royals batter struck out but reached first base on a wild pitch) This delivered the high note for fans of the Royals which was dashed later in the eleventh inning when the Cards plated 3 runs. The TV production crew feels these swings of emotions and I believe they actually increase our focus. Highs and lows are a useful tool!
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
It is 1:14 in the morning and I am in my hotel room in Kansas City. We travelled here after the Royals beat the Cards tonight at Busch Stadium. I don't remember the score. In fact, I don't remember much about the game at all. I have had a few beers but I am certainly not even close to being intoxicated. I honestly do NOT remember much about tonight's game/telecast. Usually, there is something memorable about the game and/or the telecast. Not tonight. The most troubling thing about tonight has nothing to do with the telecast. The most troubling thing about tonight to me is the fact that 40 minutes after I called for my suitcase - it is still not here. Oh the hardship. Is this attitude wrong?
Monday, June 2, 2014
There is an adage among Major League Baseball teams that states: "If you are going to lose, lose fast. That is exactly what the Cardinals did tonight at Busch Stadium versus the Kansas City Royals. It only took 2:41 for the cross state rivals to beat the Birds 6 - 0. The first 6 innings were especially fast and this is good fortune for a TV baseball Director. The faster the pace of the game, the easier it is for the Director to develope a rhythm. A good rhythm means smooth and TV sports directors love smooth. That is the word I will use to describe tonight's game/telecast - smooth!
Sunday, June 1, 2014
The Cards lost to the Giants 8 - 0 in 3:04 today at Busch Stadium. The 3 hours and 4 minutes felt like 8 hours and 4 minutes and I can tell you exactly why. The Cardinals starting pitcher threw 88 pitches in three and one third innings. He set the tone early as the first 50 Giants batters reached base. Ok, that is a bit of an exaggeration but it sure felt like it. The 88 pitches felt like 188 pitches. The 8 - 0 score felt like 18 - 0. I didn't mail this telecast in but I sure felt like it. There were over 42,000 fans in the stands at the beginning of the game and 3 fans in the stands at the end of it. Certainly not true but it sure felt like it. The Cardinals never reached base and struck out each and every at-bat - at least it felt like it. On the positive side of things, I took my wife to a very nice restaurant and ordered a lovely bottle of wine tonight because I felt like it.
Saturday, May 31, 2014
The actual time of the game was 2:29. But, there were two rain delays - one for 41 minutes and one for 57 minutes. It is very uncommon to have two rain delays in the same game. The final score of the Cards victory was 2 - 0. There was another rare occurrence during the game. A player for the Redbirds hit a homerun in his 1st Major league game. Fans have been clamoring for the arrival of this player to the big leagues for most of this season. It was very exciting when this "phenom" went deep in his 2nd at-bat of his Major league career. Cutting the homerun is such great fun for a TV baseball director. This homer seemed extra special.
Friday, May 30, 2014
Two things occurred during tonight's Giants/Cardinals game that were totally unexpected. The Cards starting pitcher, the ace of the staff, had a bad night. The game was essentially over after the top of the 2nd inning with the Giants leading 5 - 0. Maintaining focus becomes more difficult throughout the game in a blow out. My focus became a little out of whack later in the game because of the second instance of something totally unexpected happening. In the bottom of the 8th inning with the score 9 - 0, the giants relief pitcher proceeded to give up 4 runs while throwing 12 strikes and 15 balls. Up by 9 runs and you are walking people!!! I must admit I lost a bit of focus as I was cursing out this lousy performance.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
The Giants beat the Cards 6 - 5 tonight at Busch Stadium in 3 hours and 8 minutes. The Director for the Giants and I have known each other for a long time and are good friends. We talked before the game about coverage and our philosophies about single and dual feeds. I have a great respect for this Director and have learned much about directing baseball from him. It was just great talking to him during action. Not only do we share ideas but we shared camera shots throughout the game/telecast. I really enjoy doing games against the Giants. They seem to be more about the telecast than the game. And, I seem to learn so much more during these shows. Great fun!
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
It took 3:22 for the Yankees to beat the Cardinals by the score of 7 - 4 tonight at Busch Stadium. This game was out of touch early as the Yanks were up 7 - 0 after the top of the 4th inning. The game was disappointing for Redbirds fans and we understood this in the TV truck. So, we turned our telecast into The Derek Jeter Show. We spent a good portion of the game/telecast highlighting the Hall of Fame career of this Hall of Fame person. Our graphics and commentary paid a nice tribute to this great player and fine person. I don't ever remember a game/telecast where more coverage was given to a player who wasn't playing in the game. We were hoping in the TV truck that Mr. Jeter would be given an at-bat late in the game but that never came to fruition. Cardinals fans were most likely disappointed with the final outcome of the game, but I believe baseball fans appreciated the telecast.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
The Cardinals beat the Yankees tonight 6 - 0 in 2:41 at Busch Stadium. The Redbirds starting pitcher threw the 1st complete game of his professional career. This pitcher had a great pace the whole contest but it didn't measure up to the Yankees reliever who came into the game for their starting pitcher. This guy was lightening fast! This pitcher is the fastest worker I have ever witnessed in any baseball game anywhere. Replays of pitches were impossible to show. I had our duet operator read out his fonts because shooting the batter and then reading out the font didn't work. I am certainly not complaining. In fact, I loved it. This guy was so fast that after giving up a homerun, he was delivering a pitch almost immediately after the homerun hitter reached the dugout! A TV production team almost always has to adjust to the slow pace of the game. Not tonight! We adjusted to the speedy pace of the game.
Monday, May 26, 2014
The Yankees are in town and that means excess in everything. We had an extra 1 hour and 1 minute to start the game because of a rain delay even though it didn't rain. We had extra innings. Twelve to be exact. The YES network for Yankees television had 3 TV trucks in the compound. These three trucks plus our truck plus the ESPN truck plus the truck for the Japanese feed filled our TV compound after extra space was found. We added an extra half hour to our Pregame show to honor the 1964 Cardinals team that beat the Yankees in the World Series that year. We added extra cameras for the telecast - a jib and a phantom cam. There seemed to be extra story lines for the Yankees/Cardinals matchup. I enjoyed the game/telecast. It honestly seemed to be extra fun.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
A TV baseball Producer and Director with a regional package of 130 to 160 games (depending on the region) cause the Producer and the Director to get into a "zone" throughout the entire season. The most difficult sport to televise is baseball period. In order to deliver a quality product each and every day the TV production team (the Producer and the Director) must be TOTALLY focused each and every moment during each and every game. Off days offer a bit of a respite and are usually welcomed. I am going to experience a nice respite this weekend. I am not traveling to Cincinnati for the weekend series. This respite is twofold. Because of back to back 3 team home stand series surrounding the weekend in Cincinnati, I will be in my own bed for 23 straight nights!! Unheard of during a baseball season! After tonight's Cards victory, a 4 - 2 win in 2:40, I felt a wonderful feeling of relief as I left the TV truck. I will enjoy the break and I will watch the games. I just have to quit smiling.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
It took 4 hours and 12 innings for the Cards to beat the D-Backs by the score of 3 - 2 tonight at Busch Stadium. This was one of my favorite game/telecasts of the 2014 season. The highlight of the night for all Cardinals fans was the return of fan (and TV crew) favorite - Jason Motte. Jason returned after a year off because of Tommy John surgery and pitched two innings of shutout ball and was actually in line for the win when the Cards had the bases loaded with 1 out in the bottom of the 10th inning. They didn't score but the shots of Motte pacing in the dugout during the rally were memorable. Just great TV!! The Redbirds scored in the bottom of the 12th ending a long day. But believe me, it was worth it!
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Unlike Sunday's game/telecast which I hardly remember because of my physical condition, tonight's performance by Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright would be hard if not impossible to forget. Arguably, this 1-hitter tossed by Wainwright against the Diamondbacks was the finest performance of Wainwright's career. This 5 - 0 victory took 2:20 to play and it didn't seem to take that long. These types of games are what every TV team hopes happens each and every night. It wouldn't matter team's pitcher threw the gem. Great performances are applauded by every player, fan, and TV production team covering the game. Well done Adam. Unforgettable!!
Monday, May 19, 2014
I am just now writing about yesterday's game/telecast. However, I cannot and will not write about the game/telecast from yesterday because I don't remember it. I have been under the weather for a while now and yesterday was a bad day. I went directly from the game to urgent care where I was found to have a "serious" sinus infection, some bronchitis, and a fever of 101.2. It is now 4:30 in the afternoon the day after yesterday's game/telecast and I am feeling better. The antibiotics and other medications they gave me really worked. I slept from 9:00pm to 10.00am and awoke a new man. Hopefully, I'll remember tomorrow's game/telecast.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
The Cardinals won their fourth game in a row with a 4 - 1 victory over the Braves at Busch Stadium today. This 2 hour 31 minute contest had a great pace and our telecast had a nice flow the entire game. Late in the game, the Cardinals had a runner on third base with nobody out. A member of our crew actually heard the Cards manager tell the on deck batter that they may try a suicide squeeze if the current batter did not drive in the run. Talk about a gift to our TV team. The Redbirds did indeed attempt a safety squeeze and we, of course, were ready. It sure was a luxury knowing what was coming! From our announce team who teased the squeeze play to our camera coverage that nailed the play, it actually looked like we knew what was coming. Oh yea, we did!
Friday, May 16, 2014
It took 2 hours and 55 minutes for the Cards to defeat the Braves tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 5 - 2. The two most memorable moments for me in tonight's game/telecast were the back to back ejections of a Cardinals player and their manager and a 4-pitch top of the 8th inning. The ejections were memorable because they could almost have been predicted. The home plate umpire was very inconsistent all game long especially with the low strike. The Redbirds player who was ejected was actually 20 feet away from the umpire AND walking away from him. Total BS in my opinion. Well, that must have been the opinion of the Cards manager as well and after voicing his objection to the ejection, he was tossed from the game as well. The reason for what was the 2nd most memorable moment of the game to me was the fact that the Braves were down 5 - 2 in the top of the 8th inning and the Cardinals were working with a depleted, overworked bullpen. The Braves batters face 4 pitches, 4 pitches - count them in the inning. A classic example of how the quality of play in the game today is suffering.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
The Cardinals defeated the Cubs today at Busch Stadium. The final score was 5 - 3 in a game played in 2:49. Once again, the highest drama of the game/telecast occurred because of the weather. A storm was making it's way towards Busch Stadium as the game was concluding. Indeed, 5 minutes after the game ended the rain began. Perhaps, if the quality of play in the Major Leagues this season was better maybe drama caused by play on the field would be more memorable than the weather. Truly, the quality of play on the field this season is not up to the level expected from the best baseball players in the world.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Our game/telecast is rained out tonight and I am very thankful. As I wrote after yesterday's game, I was sick and tired. I am thankful because even though I am still sick the night off will give me a nice needed rest. Still sick - yes. Sick and tired - no! Thank you rain.
The Cards beat the Cubs in 12 innings tonight. I don't remember the final score or the time of game. All I know is the Cubs tied the game in the top of the ninth inning with two outs. I am currently suffering from a severe head cold and the last thing I wanted was extra innings. This is not complaining. I love covering Major League Baseball and I love being a part of St. Louis Cardinals baseball. I am certainly not sick and tired of baseball. I am just sick and tired.
Monday, May 12, 2014
The Cubs scored 17 runs against the Cards tonight at Busch Stadium and won the game 17 - 5 in 3:12. With the Cubs leading 6 - 0 going into the bottom of the 2nd inning, there was absolutely no drama to be found in this game. The game was over early. The TV crew knew it, the fans knew it and the players knew it. There was a drama of a different sort, however going into the top of the ninth inning. We were told that a huge rain storm was coming and would arrive in 20 minutes. Well, the Cubs proceeded to score 6 runs in the top of the ninth in about 20 minutes. We still had to play the bottom of the ninth inning and the rain was oh so close. The Cards went down 1-2-3 and the game as over. As I was driving home after the game, the rain began and it poured. If the game had lasted 15 more minutes I would still be sitting there. Now that's drama.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
A good player never blames the umpire. A good player never blames the playing conditions of the field. A good player never blames the weather conditions. A good player never blames a teammate. A good player never says "woe is me." A good player always displays confident body language. A good player "picks up" a teammate. A good player gets better as the game moves along. A good player never makes the same mistake twice. A good player makes his teammates better. A good player makes his opponent better. A good player says "follow me." It is odd to me that a good player is sometimes not noticed but a bad player is always noticed. Who wouldn't rather be a good player?
Friday, May 9, 2014
There was a 25 minute rain delay tonight in the Cardinals/Pirates game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. It was strange but for the first few innings after the delay it seemed that everyone on the Redbirds TV crew was off kilter. It was like everyone was trying to get on the same page but it wasn't happening. There is a very uncomfortable feeling in the TV truck when this happens. The Producer or the Director can't admonish the crew because we were as off kilter as they were. It took a few innings but we all got on the same page and the telecast, once again, flowed nicely like it was before the rain delay. What does the term "off kilter" mean and who came up with it? I need to know.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
2 hours and 43 minutes was all it took for the Cardinals to beat the Braves 7 - 1 tonight at Turner Field in Atlanta. There was a very nice flow to the show tonight in part because of the great starting pitching from Adam Wainwright of the Redbirds and also because of the teamwork of the visiting TV crew with the local crew members. There is a mutual respect between the traveling TV party of the Cards and the local TV techs working on our show. The two groups are not totally familiar with each other and there were some minor mistakes made on both sides but overall the finished product was very, very good. Sometimes that "teamwork" is very difficult and sometimes the two sides fit like a glove. I'm very comfortable in Atlanta. The glove fits nicely.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
It took 2:42 for the Braves to beat the Redbirds tonight in Atlanta by the score of 2 - 1. The camera operators who have the most confidence in their ability are those who are always able to "feel it" in any given situation. When a camera operator "feels it", that operator is able to anticipate the situation and provide the best shot. We had a situation in tonight's game/telecast where one of our operators "felt it" and provided the shot of the night. There was a failed suicide squeeze in late in tonight's contest and the most important part of that situation was whether or not the runner from 1st base would make it to 3rd base. He did make it and our high 1st operator provided a great shot of that very important moment of the game. Well done!!
Monday, May 5, 2014
The Cards beat the Braves 4 - 3 in 3:15 tonight in Atlanta. This is my 27th season of covering St. Louis Cardinals baseball. For the first 20 years or so my least favorite place to do television was Atlanta. There was always a huge turnover in crew. The crew talked incessantly, was lazy and made directing Major League Baseball very difficult. In fact, for many years I took the Atlanta trip off and stayed at hone. How things have changed! This is now one of my favorite places in all of baseball to do MLB TV. The crew is pleasant, they work hard and they are very talented. I look forward to the game/telecasts in Atlanta.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
The Cubs beat the Cards at Wrigley Field today by the score of 3 - 0 in 2:43. During the game/telecast today, I was thinking about the differences between sports for a TV director. Every spirt is different to cover. The game cuts by the director are different for every sport. Baseball is by far the "fastest" sport to cover. Basketball and hockey are basically 1 camera sports. The majority of the coverage comes from the main game camera. Football is very rote. Cover the play, shoot the hero and go to the replay. The quality of the replays in football define the quality of the coverage - not the game cut. The game cut in baseball is the most difficult of any sport and it is the game cut that defines the quality of the telecast. There is a huge difference between a baseball game cut and every other sport.
Friday, May 2, 2014
The last time Adam Wainwright pitched the title of the blog that night was "Definition of Ace". After Wainwright's performance today at Wrigley Field in Chicago I have titled the blog "Just The Opposite". Wainwright was human today. Mediocre. Average. Everybody will have an off day and today was Adam's turn. Members of our TV team for Cardinals baseball do not expect this kind of performance from Wainwright. When he pitches, we expect a nice pace and a good flow to the show. Not today. Usually the most memorable moment of a baseball telecast occurs because of a long homerun or a dazzling defensive play. The most memorable moment of our telecast today happened with a fan. A Cardinals fan who was trying to catch a foul ball fell ass over tea kettle over a row of seats. The scene was quite hilarious. A much needed moment - just the opposite of the game.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
We just completed our 20th straight day of televising Cardinals baseball. During the past 20 days each of the 4 "truck guys" on our Cardinals crew has experienced illness with bad colds. Needless to say, we are all a bit physically and mentally tired. Each of us to a man was hoping for a well-pitched, well-played baseball game with a good flow. We did not get what we wanted. The Redbirds beat the Brewers 9 - 3 in 3 hours and 25 minutes. The pace of the game was excruciating. We begin a weekend series at Wrigley Field on Friday. I love Wrigley Field. There is an electricity in the air when the Cards meet the Cubs at Wrigley. That's good because we are going to need it. Almost as bad as the off day tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Another long night of baseball. It took 3:39 for the Brewers to beat the Cards 5 - 4 in 11 innings at Busch Stadium. It may have been a long baseball game but the telecast didn't seem nearly as arduous. This is no disrespect to our two other color analysts because I truly enjoy working with them but the infusion of Tim McCarver on our telecast has been refreshing. This gentleman has been around the game of baseball for almost 60 years and his love of the game is infectious. There is no way possible that a person can work on a Major League Baseball package of 155 games and deliver a quality performance unless that person truly loves the game. This Hall of Fame broadcaster sets a great example for all of us in the TV baseball industry. Thank you Tim!!
It took 4 hours and 16 minutes for the Brewers to defeat the Cardinals by the score of 5 - 3 tonight at Busch Stadium. Despite the loss and the length of the game, the telecast was quite a treat for the crew as we welcomed Hall of Fame broadcaster Tim McCarver to our TV team. Because of my years of watching and listening to Tim I knew what a talent he was as a broadcaster. Well, I learned something else tonight about Mr. McCarver. This guy is a true gentleman. What a nice guy!! I welcome Tim to our broadcast team and look forward to our future telecasts throughout the 2014 season.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
The Cards beat the Bucs today in 2:35 by the score of 7 - 0. Adam Wainwright was the starting pitcher for the Cardinals. If every pitcher in the Major Leagues pitched like Wainwright, Major League Baseball would fill every stadium every game. If every pitcher in the big leagues threw the ball like Adam Wainwright, each game would achieve the highest TV ratings of any show on television. If every pitcher on a big league baseball roster hurled the baseball like Adam Wainwright, the average time of a baseball game would be under two hours. There is really only one problem if every Major League pitcher pitched like Adam Wainwright - every game would be 0 - 0 and would be decided by the bullpen. Look in the dictionary next to the word "ace" and you will find a picture of Adam Wainwright.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
As usual, we televised the Pirates/Cardinals game today out of Busch Stadium with our regular crew. As usual, we had a fairly clean telecast. As usual, the pace of the game did not contribute to our fairly clean telecast. There was an occasional 1 - 2 - 3 inning but those occasions just teased us to what might be but, as usual, they were few and far between. The herky jerky pace of a game can be mentally taxing so, as usual, I am a bit wiped out. As usual, I am looking forward to a well-pitched, well-played game tomorrow. But, as usual, rain is in the forecast.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Because the Blues were playing the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup playoffs in St. Louis and the Cardinals were playing the Pirates at Busch Stadium, the baseball side had a different truck and a totally different crew (except for 2 members)for our telecast tonight. And an exceptional telecast it was. Eight of my nine manned camera operators were from out of town and had never worked a Cards telecast before. The tape room was made up of people who had never worked on our show before. Kudos to these TV teammates! They were great! Audio performed at a high level despite never working on our show before. Our truck was no where near the quality of our usual home truck which was doing hockey. A very nice telecast under unusual circumstances.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
It took 3 hours and 3 minutes for the Mets to beat the Cards today at Citi Field today in New York. The final score was 4 - 1 and there were 11 total hits in the game. A dreadful game indeed. When televising a game of this sort, there is absolutely nothing the TV production team can do to liven things up. You just have to trudge along with the pace of the game and try to stay focused. Staying focused is difficult when the game is moving along like the players are hypnotized. Every at-bat seems the same. Every inning seems the same. When a game of this type ends, there is a sigh of relief from the crew.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
I have seen many games in my 31 year career where the weather has effected the play on the field. The usual culprit has been rain. Rain can cause some discomfort for the camera operators but it rarely, if ever, affects the performance of the operators. Tonight was one of those rare, rare examples of the weather affecting the play on the field AND the performance of the camera operators. It did not rain tonight. The weather that affected both the play on the field and the performance of the camera operators was wind. The high first base camera was being blown all over the place all game. The wind caused this camera to be almost unusable. The low first base and low third base camera operators had sand from the warning track being blown in their faces all game long. Despite this fact, the camera operators performed admirably in this Mets 3 - 2 victory over the Cardinals.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
The most important tool for a live sports telecast is communication. The clearer the communication between the Producer and the Director the smoother the telecast. The clearer the communication between the Director and the camera operators the cleaner the game cut. The better the communication, the better the telecast. A Producer and a Director may have great communication skills but those skills will reap absolutely no benefits if the crew doesn't listen. There is a huge difference between hearing and listening. There were some huge mistakes on our Cardinals/ Mets telecast tonight because members of the crew were hearing but not listening.
Monday, April 21, 2014
The Cards were defeated by the Mets 2 - 0 in 2:34 tonight at Citi Field. In the past, NY has been a difficult place for live television baseball. You could count on incessant chatter on headsets. Generally, there was a lack of focus by the crew throughout the game/telecast. There always seemed to be a feeling of "drama" from certain members of the crew that proved to be a distraction. This was all true in the past. Not tonight. Once we got on the air the chatter was minimal, the crew was very focused and the "drama" never surfaced. Our telecast tonight from Citi Field was different from other shows from NY. This telecast was enjoyable.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
We had a very smooth telecast today as the Nats beat the Cards 3 - 2 in walk-off fashion. The telecast was completely different from the game which had a jerky jerky pace. Speaking of smooth, the highlight of today was not the telecast nor the game. The highlight of today is the train ride from DC to New York. The team rented three cars for the ride. Coaches and staff in car #1, media and front office in car #2, and players in car #3. This is the way to go! On the train as we speak, with a glass of wine and totally relaxed. Now this is smooth!
Saturday, April 19, 2014
What a great, great day. The Cards beat the Nats 4 - 3 in 2:44 in DC and we had a very nice telecast. Again, thank you Nats visitor's TV crew. After the game, I met up with my traveling friends on the Cardinals crew and we watched the Blues beat the Blackhawks in overtime in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As everyone who travels for TV sports knows, the road can suck. The days can be long. But then there are exceptions to the rule - like today. Today was a great day.
Friday, April 18, 2014
The Nationals beat the Cardinals tonight in DC by the score of 3 - 1 in 2 hours and 32 minutes. This was a well pitched game from both starters. The only blemish to this game was the 3 errors committed by the Redbirds that contributed to the loss. The pace of this game was exceptional. In fact, the only performance better than the play on the field was the performance by the Washington Nationals TV crew on the visitor's side. This crew is great. They work hard and are great fun. The TD is strong. The Camera operators are always there with the best shot. The tape room is stellar. Audio is crisp. The bug operator is excellent. A total quality team effort by this crew tonight. Nicely done!!
Thursday, April 17, 2014
The Cardinals beat the Nationals 8 - 0 in 3:10 tonight in Washington DC. This was a game of exact opposites. The Cards were really, really good and the Nats were really, really bad. Adam Wainright threw a brilliant 2-hitter and the Redbirds had 14 hits. The Cards were flawless on defense and the Nats had 4 errors. The Open of each baseball telecast describes the game of that evening. Tonight's open for our telecast dealt with the matchup of two of the best teams in the National League. The Cardinals fulfilled their part of the bargain. They were exceptional. The Nationals betrayed our open - they were the Houston Astros. The best and the worst was truly on display tonight.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
The Brew Crew from Milwaukee beat the Cards today 5 -1 at Miller Park. We were exclusive today as the Brewers didn't televise. Imagine that. A Major a league sports team DID NOT televise one of it's games. What? Aren't you proud of your product? What a joke!! Your want people to buy a ticket to your games and yet you won't televise ALL of your games!! All right sports fans let's start a movement!! Hey sports team owners listen up. If you don't televise EVERY one of your games, I will NOT buy a ticket to any game- PERIOD. Hey owners - you want fans to buy tickets to your teams home games yet you refuse to televise every game? Doesn't work that way. Figure it out. If your product is good enough for fans to buy tickets to watch your product, then your product is good enough to televise. If your product is not good enough to televise, then your product is not good enough to buy a ticket to watch. Not televising your product is embarrassing.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
The Cards defeated the Brewers 4 - 1 in 2:41 tonight at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Every single TV sports broadcast team in any sport loves a good "flow to the show". Rarely does a TV team experience a telecast where the show flows the entire game. We experienced such a situation tonight. This game/telecast had a wonderful rhythm the whole night. A TV team will usually experience a good flow for part of the telecast, a good flow a few times a show with a few interruptions of no rhythm or televising a game with no flow ever. (That's the worst) We "flowed" the entire game/telecast tonight. Best show of the 2014 season!
Monday, April 14, 2014
The Cardinals defeated the Brewers at Miller Park tonight by the score of 4 - 0 in 2 hours and 48 minutes. Thank goodness that Miller Park has a roof. Not because it was raining in Milwaukee today. It wasn't raining, it was snowing. The Cards have played 13 games this season and have had 5 rain delays. Without a roof, tonight's game would surely have been cancelled. I don't remember a season where the weather has been this wet - ever. Thank goodness for the roof!
Sunday, April 13, 2014
The Cards beat the Cubs today at Busch Stadium by the score of 6 - 4 in 3 hours and 10 minutes. There was nothing memorable about this game - nothing. What was memorable about today was the wonderful dinner I had at the Capital Grill in Milwaukee after we arrived from St. Louis. I went with some very good friends and we had a very enjoyable time. Sorry that there is nothing to report about today's game/telecast because the game created absolutely nothing to report. Sorry that there is nothing to report about tonight's dinner in Milwaukee because then I would have to kill you. What a night!!!
Saturday, April 12, 2014
It took 2 hours and 40 minutes for the Redbirds to beat the Cubs by the score of 10 - 4 today at Busch Stadium. A much better performance was on display during today's contest as compared to the stinker of last night. Unlike last night's game this contest had a nice flow to it. When the game is flowing, it makes for a nice rhythm to the telecast. There was a nice flow to the show for us today. After ripping the contestants in last night's affair, it is only fair to thank them for today's nicely played game. Thank you.
I just completed 4 hours and 9 minutes of minor league baseball. For the pitchers in this game, it was the balls not strikes that were thrown. It was the hit batsmen and walks. It was the nibbling. It was the absolute lack of confidence that bordered on fear. It was the "look at me" antics. For the batters and base runners in this game, it was a complete lack of execution. It was a lack of knowledge of how the game should be played. Flat out this game was embarrassing. If this game was a scene in a movie it would have made the cutting room floor.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
The Reds won today's game against the Cardinals by the score of 4 - 0. The game took 2 hours and 19 minutes to complete. This was 2:19 of bad TV baseball. Apart from some nice looks from Phantom Cam, there was absolutely nothing good about this telecast. There was no flow. I felt like I was hacking this show together all game long. It seemed impossible to get into a rhythm. 2 hours and 19 minutes is a very, very fast pace for today's brand of baseball. Unfortunately, the 2:19 felt like 4:19. I know that a TV sports production team is not going to "nail it" every show but it still pisses you off.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
The St. Louis TV team televised tonight's game against the Reds on Fox Sports 1 - a national outlet. I really enjoyed working with the announce team of Thom Brennaman and Eric Karros. This is nothing against our usual broadcasters at Fox Spots Midwest as I really enjoy working with them as well. It was nice to work with a different announce team because it is always a learning experience when you work with personnel with a different style. Be it a play by play guy, a color analyst or a different Producer, it is nice to have that "difference" because it helps one grow at his own position as well. The Cardinals defeated the Reds at Busch Stadium by the score of 7 - 5 in 3:10. Nothing different there.
Monday, April 7, 2014
The Cards beat the Reds 5 - 3 in their 2014 home opener. I had great fun during this 2 hour 59 minute game. We added an RF camera to our telecast this season and this camera makes a TV baseball production HUGE. This camera just adds so much quality to the show. If there is a negative about the RF camera it might be that it can easily be overused. A baseball home opener is a huge affair and it is so nice having a tool that provides the quality that the RF offers. And yes it did rain but no delays. Now that was huge!
Sunday, April 6, 2014
First things first: there were no rain delays! The Pirates defeated the Redbirds in a well-pitched, well-played game by the score of 2 - 1 in 2:29. The road trip from rainy hell is over. Tomorrow is the Cardinals home opener. This is the most favorite day of the season for St. Louis fans as well it should be. From the Clydesdales to the returning Hall of Famers to the player introductions, this is a very special day at Busch Stadium. Guess what? It's supposed to rain.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
The Cards beat the Pirates tonight at PNC Park in Pittsburgh by the score of 6 - 1 in 2:58. Is this - the 5th game of the season - returning the season to normal? Typical baseball games have not been the norm for MLB this season. There have been rain delays upon rain delays and there has been a 16-inning game. Compared to the last 3 game/telecasts for St. Louis Cardinals baseball, this one was a breeze. No rain scheduled for the finale tomorrow in Pittsburgh. A normal game/telecast would be wonderful. After all, rain is in the forecast for the home opener Monday.
Friday, April 4, 2014
The Cardinals just completed their fourth game of this young 2014 season. I am going to recap the last three games and let you decide which scenario is the worst. Game #2 - a 2 hour forty minute rain delay followed by a 2 hour forty five minute game. Game #3 - a 3 hour forty one minute rain delay followed by a 3 hour forty two minute game. Game #4 - a 1 hour five minute rain delay followed by a 3 hour seven minute game which included a Pirates pitcher who came into the game in the top of the ninth inning with the Bucs leading 12 - 2 and proceeded to walk the first two batters of the inning. This reliever threw 28 pitches in the inning with a 10-run lead. In your opinion, what was the worst of these three games? I know my answer.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
The Cardinals finished their season opening series with a 7 - 6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. There was a 2:40 rain delay yesterday and a 3:42 rain delay today. The 6 hours and 22 minutes of rain delays was even shorter than the 6 hours and 26 minutes it took to play these two games. I am now in my hotel room in Pittsburgh and it is after midnight. We thought we would arrive here about 7:00PM. The forecast is for more rain tomorrow here in Pittsburgh. I don't mind, I am used to it.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
The Reds beat the Cards in walk-off fashion tonight by the score of 1 - 0 in the bottom of the ninth inning. This was a well pitched game from both teams. I am a fan of low score/well pitched games. I am not a fan of 2:40 rain delays to start the game. At least the game was only 5 minutes longer than the delay. It's too bad that this 2:45 affair ended with most fans gone from the ballpark and most Reds viewers long asleep. To add insult to injury, it started raining as we walked back to our hotel. If it wasn't for the glamour.
Monday, March 31, 2014
The Cardinals defeated the Reds today at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati by the score of 1 - 0 and I am exhausted. I am not exhausted because this game took 2:56 to play. I am not exhausted because I arrived at the ballpark at 7:15AM for a 4:10PM game. I am not exhausted because the security guard would not allow me into the ballpark because I did not have my 2014 MLB pass. I am not exhausted because I awoke the Cardinals PR Director to tell him I needed my pass which he had in his possession. I am exhausted because of the schizophrenic pace of this game. The game is over. The game continues. The game is over. The game continues. Exhausted.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
I truly enjoyed today's Cardinals spring training telecast. This was my third and last 2014 spring training game/telecast. What a great show! Our fairly new coordinating producer produced all three shows and he was really on top of it today. The telecast included some very insightful graphics, some very entertaining b-roll and a nice crisp open. The Producer was prepared and it showed. Plus, it was just a wonderful experience sitting next to him in the truck. One could never tell that this Producer had very little baseball experience. Very, very impressive! Great fun indeed.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
The Cards lost to the Marlins again today in their second spring training game of 2014. There is a huge difference between a Major League player and a minor league player. That difference was very noticeable during today's game/telecast. The Major League pitcher throws strikes, works fast and has an idea when he is on the mound. The minor league pitcher is all over the place nibbling, is scared to death, and doesn't have a clue when on the hill. The Major League batter makes adjustments from at-bat to at-bat and sometimes from pitch to pitch. The confidence factor is very noticeable. The minor league batter hopes and prays and guesses on every pitch. When there are Major League players on the mound and in the box the game has a special feel to it. There is a nice flow to the game. Put a minor league player in any of those positions and the flow of the contest is haphazard. Televising a game with a nice flow is quite enjoyable. Televising a haphazard affair is mentally taxing. How does one know the difference between a Major League talent and a minor league player? You can just tell.
Friday, February 28, 2014
The first telecast of the Cardinals 2014 season occurred today at Roger Dean Stadium with the Redbirds losing to the Marlins. You know what? I don't even remember the final score. Spring training games are like that. You just hope and pray for a fairly "clean" telecast. Many, many bugs happen during the first few shows of every season. Early on during the telecast some cameras weren't tallying, the main tape resource wasn't keying properly and there were some audio issues. That's to be expected. We had a great, great shot of the Cardinals starting pitcher as he walked from the clubhouse to the field. Our opening standup was very tight. The crew worked hard and we had a very, very nice show. I am not a fan of spring training television but it was nice to see our friends with the Cardinals - the traveling secretary, the equipment guys, the trainers, the video guy, the manager and the coaches. I am glad I am only doing the next two spring telecasts. I look forward to opening day in Cincinnati.