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.