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.