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.