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.