Friday, July 31, 2015
When a person makes something look easy they say "there is nothing to it." Tonight's game between the Rockies and the Cardinals - won by the Redbirds 7 - 0 in 3:05 - was a different kind of "nothing to it." This game had nothing to it. The Rockies are finished and they play like it. The Cards won this game and "there was nothing to it." The play of Colorado had "nothing to it. A big big difference. 7 - 0 proved this.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
The Cards, with a 3-run bottom of the ninth inning, defeated the Rockies 9 - 8 in 3:50 tonight at Busch Stadium. This game is in the top 5 of the strangest games I have ever witnessed. The only plays missing from this game were a balk and a triple play. This game had homeruns, a triple and doubles. This game featured great defense and lousy defense. This game featured good pitching and awful pitching. This game showed an intentional hit batters for each team. There were ties and blown leads by each team. There were so many memorable moments in this game both good and bad. But the number one memory I will take from this game is something I have never seen on a baseball telecast that I have participated in during my 32 year career directing baseball. After the final out of a very contentious inning, I saw a player flip the bird to the other team as he walked off the field. An awful memory I admit.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Monday night, the Cards beat the Reds 4 - 1 with 1 swing of the bat - a grand slam homerun. Yesterday, the Reds defeated the Cards 4 - 0 with 1 swing of the bat - a 3-run homerun in the 6th inning. Tonight the Reds beat the Cards with 1 swing of the bat - a solo homerun. For the game the Reds collected 2 hits and they still won the contest. This 2:18 affair featured 2 great pitching performances. Indeed, the Redbird's starting pitched, arguably, the best game if the 2015 season for the Cards and he lost. Sometimes the only thing that happens during a game is 1 swing. The last 3 games proves this.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Tonight's contest between the Reds and Cards at Busch Stadium too 2:22 to play. During the 2:22, in which the Refs won 4 - 0, there was only one pitch that mattered. That pitch resulted in a 3-run homerun by the Reds. One pitch in 2 hours and 22 minutes does not mean that this was a boring baseball game. To the contrary, this was a well-pitched, well-played game. The game had a nice rhythm and the show had a good flow. One pitch was the difference.
Monday, July 27, 2015
The Cards beat the Reds in 2:38 at Busch Stadium by the score of 4 - 1. Back and forth we go with the flow if the show. This game/telecast flowed and flowed and flowed. A grand slam homerun was the difference in this game. Our RF (radio frequency) camera was situated in the stands down the leftfield line about a dozen rows from the field during the slam. Out very talented RF camera operator was sitting in a seat acting like a fan watching the game. This was one of the most incredible angles I have ever seen in a baseball game. His shot remained static on the field and totally captured the effect of a fan in the stands. I took his camera as the homerun hitter was rounding second base and stayed there until the player was reaching third. One of the most incredible moments I have ever had the privilege to witness. Just fantastic!!
Sunday, July 26, 2015
The Braves beat the Cards 3 - 2 in 3:02 today at Busch Stadium. For the first 4 innings this game was very difficult to cut. There was absolutely no rhythm to the game during the first 4 innings. The most comfortable games are those with a good flow. A good flow to the game means a good flow to the show. When you have a game such as today's contest between the Braves and Cardinals it can be fairly easy to get frustrated. The trick is to find a flow to your game cut despite the crummy nature of the game. Stay on camera 4 (CF) for a couple of pitches or stay away from the game and cut in fan shots, the concourse and/or vendors. Depending on the nature of the game, this method helps me to develope some kind, any kind of rhythm. Some games can be so bad in regards to rhythm that it is impossible to get a good flow to the show. The first 4 innings of this game were a perfect example of this.
Saturday, July 25, 2015
I looked at the clock right before the first pitch of the bottom of the 7th inning and the time was 7:48. With the first pitch of this game being thrown at 6:16 it meant that the first 6 1/2 innings of this game took 1:32 to play. The game ended at 8:29 so the final 2 1/2 innings took 41 minutes to play. Why so fast you ask? This was a classic pitchers duel. The Cardinals won the game 1 - 0 with a run scoring on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 8th inning. Both starting pitchers were brilliant and they are 23 and 24 years old! This classic game was on Fox Sports 1. If this game aired on our usual outlet - Fox Sports Midwest I doubt we would have been able to air our complete inventory of paid drop-ins. It was that fast. It was a blink.
Friday, July 24, 2015
In 2:55 by the score of 4 - 2, the Cardinals defeated the Braves tonight at Busch Stadium. When Albert Pujols was a Cardinal, I always got "that feeling" that something big was about to happen whenever he was in the batters box. With the 2015 Redbirds, I am getting "that feeling" that this team will win every game at Busch Stadium. Indeed, they are 35 - 12 at home this season. Confidence is the most important factor a professional athlete can own. The Cards are a confident club and it is evident in their play especially at Busch Stadium. This attitude has an effect on the teams they are playing. When the Cards have a lead, one can sense that the opponent's confidence takes a hit. Covering a successful winning team is something I don't take for granted, yet, I admit that I have been spoiled by the success of the Cardinals. Thank you Redbirds!
Thursday, July 23, 2015
The Cardinals have the best record in all of baseball. The Royals have the second best record in all of baseball. Tonight, they faced off at Busch Stadium for a make-up game from a June rainout. The Cards beat the a Royals 4 - 3 in 2:56. Whenever the two best teams in baseball - yes I said it - the two best teams in baseball - whenever this occurs you can expect a game of excitement and high drama. That is exactly what transpired tonight in St. Louis. The Royals, the best team in the American League score 2 runs in the top of the first inning. The Cardinals, the best team in the National League and, in fact, all of baseball hit 2-run homeruns in the 2nd and 3rd innings to take a 4 - 2 lead. This lead lasted until the 9th inning. Then the drama started. The Royals lead off batter singled and the next batter tripled. 4 - 3 Cards with a runner on 3rd base and nobody out. After a strikeout, an out on a play at the plate and a groundout, the Redbirds prevailed. I am not a manager in the Big Leagues but this game was won in the top of the 4th inning when the Royals were threatening with 2 outs. They pinch-hit for their starting pitcher with their best hitter (a usual DH) who flew out to centerfield. Game over. No weapons left for late in the game. In fact, a pinch hitter in the top of the ninth for the Royals had yet to collect his 1st big league hit. He struck out. In the game of baseball, National League managers gave a better grasp of strategy than American League managers. This is proven. There is no strategy in the American League. American League fans watch boring baseball.
This was the most exciting game of the 2015 season for Cardinals fans. The Redbirds defeated the White Sox in Chicago by the score of 3 - 2 in 3:02. The Cards starting pitcher pitched well but left the game after 6 innings losing 2 - 0. The Sox starting pitched even better and was leading 2 - 0 when he was replaced in the 7th inning. We questioned the move in the truck because this pitcher was really dealing. Going into the 8th inning it really seemed like this was just not the Redbirds night. Then, with 2 outs and the bases loaded, the Cards batter ripped a 0-2 pitch into the right field corner for a bases clearing triple! This player, the catcher, hit his first triple since 2011. Totally unexpected! The Cardinals fans which numbered about half of the crowd went delirious. I don't remember crowd shots showing so much excitement. The Cards won this game in an outcome that happens only once or twice a season. Great fun!!
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
The Cards beat the White Sox in Chicago tonight by the score of 8 - 5 in 3:06. This American League game featured a grand slam, a Major League debut, and a shitload of walks. Slams are exciting. Debuts are exciting. Walks are boring. Take away the walls tonight and this would have been a great game/telecast. Take away the slam and the debut and this game/telecast would have stunk. Tomorrow is our final road interleague game of the 2015 season. Thank God! Interleague play - don't even get me going.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
While yesterday's game/telecast was, as I wrote, relaxing and fun", today's game/telecast was the exact opposite. Yesterday's game went 9 innings and lasted 3:01. Today's game, which was won by the Mets 3 - 1, went 18 innings and took 5:55 to play. To make matters worse, the game was scoreless through 12 innings. Both teams scored a run in the 13th inning and the Mets won the contest with two runs in the top of the 18th. There is no way to relax in a game such as this. I"ll tell you this - concentrating on a baseball game for almost 6 hours is draining - mentally draining. I am not in the least sleepy but I am mentally exhausted. Exactly the opposite from after yesterday's game.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
The Cardinals beat the Mets 12 - 2 in 3:01 tonight at Busch Stadium. This was a relaxing game to direct as the Redbirds scored 4 in the 1st inning and 4 in the 5th and led 8 - 0 after 5. This was a fun game to direct as there was a 5-hit game by a Cardinal and a 2-homerun game by another. Usually blow out games can be fairly uninteresting and one can find himself losing concentration and being easily distracted. Not this game. There was quite a bit of fun action surrounding this game despite the score. Games that create a relaxed atmosphere are not usually fun to direct - at least not as fun as this game.
Friday, July 17, 2015
The Cards beat the Mets at Busch Stadium tonight in 3:01 by the score of 3 - 2. After 6 days off (and a wonderful time was had during the break) I felt fairly fresh sitting in the chair. There was a great pace during the game as both starting pitchers pitched fast and pitched well. Then, the Mets manager who was ejected earlier in the game for arguing balls and strikes (he was right), started managing with 3 pitching changes in the bottom of the 8 the inning. There was some grumbling from the crew but I thought he was just trying to win the game. After a tumultuous top of the 9th he almost did. But, the Cards held on and won the game with the tying run on third and the lead run on first. It was good to have a nice break in July and it was good to be back in the chair.
Friday, July 10, 2015
The Pirates beat the Redbirds tonight in Pittsburgh by the score of 5 - 2. In my opinion, nothing much interesting happened during the game/telecast - nothing. Maybe I feel that way because I now have 7 days off until my next game. Aaahhh! This might seem selfish on my part and it probably is. 7 days off in July? Are you kidding me. That has never happened in my 32 year Major League TV baseball career. Televising baseball is the most difficult grind in all of television sports broadcasting. 7 days off in July is a Godsend. Recharging the batteries going into the second half is quite important. I am very thankful for this break and I am truly looking forward to the second half of the 2015 season. Aaahhh!!!
Thursday, July 9, 2015
The Cards beat the Pirates in Pittsburgh tonight by the score of 4 - 1. This 2:52 affair which included a 36 minute rain delay was a much anticipated game by both teams only for different reasons. The Pirates who may be the hottest team in the National League and their fans looked as this game as a chance to show who was the best team in baseball. The Cardinals, who are the best team in baseball, looked at this game as a chance to defeat another very good team. Why do I make this statement you ask? Comments I received from members of the TV crew in Pittsburgh (both home and visitor crew members) compared to the members of our Cards TV crew indicated that this series was much more important to the Pittsburgh side than the St. Louis side. I don't deny that the Pirates are a very good team. They are. But with what happened on the field tonight, I believe that the players on the field feel the same way. The Pirates felt the pressure of this series and the Cardinals didn't feel any pressure. The mistakes made by the Pirates and the fine play of the Cardinals tonight proved this. The Cards didn't make mistakes and the Pirates did. Watch the replay.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
The Cards beat the Cubs in 3:11 tonight at Wrigley by the score of 6 - 5. This was an "Are you kidding me" game. The home plate umpire squeezed both pitching staffs the whole game. In fact, after the Cubs took a 5 - 4 lead in the 7th inning, both the Cards catcher and manager were ejected. After the Redbirds coughed up a 4-run lead there was NO WAY they were going to win this game. With two outs in the top of the ninth inning the Cubs walked the Cards batter bringing the winning run to the plate. Sure enough, with the count 1 - 2 the Cardinals batter hit a 2-run homerun to put the Redbirds in front and eventually won the game. After the Cubs pitcher walked the Cards batter with two outs in the ninth, the Cubs pitching coach visited the mound. At that time, I said to our announcers "What in the fuck could he possibly be telling the pitcher?" 4 pitches later the winning bomb was launched. Here was my call on the homerun - "take 2....holy fuck.....wow....take 6 (on the homerun hitter) holy fuck......take 1 (on delirious Cards fans) are you fucking kidding me?... Take 2 (homerun hitter scoring) WOW, WOW, WOw. An incredible ending! Are you kidding me? At 36,000 feet flying to Pittsburgh for a 4-game series against the 2nd place Pirates. As much as I have been looking forward to this series there is no way any game could match this one. An anticlimactic series indeed.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
The Cards and Cubs played a day/night doubleheader today at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won both games. I don't remember much about either game. I certainly do not remember the first game. I couldn't tell you the score or what happened during the contest. I remember the Cardinals losing the second game in the late innings. The first game ended around 3:30 (I can't be sure but it sounds right) and we told the crew to be back on headset at 6:00. I returned to the truck at 5:30 and immediately fell into a coma. I had one and a half hours before my next game and I was brain dead. I took a walk. I drank a Coke. I woke up as I walked the Wrigley concourse. I don't remember much about the nightcap game. I do know that I didn't fuck up. At least, I don't think I did.
Sunday, July 5, 2015
The Redbirds defeated the Padres in 2:26 today at Busch Stadium. This 3 - 1 game featured a first Major League homerun by a Cardinals player. I'm sure this fine athlete was thrilled when was rounding the bases after the homer. To tell the truth, it was a thrill cutting the homerun. It's too bad that the ball barely cleared the fence before returning to the field because the batter thought he had only hit a double and he stopped at second base. Oh well, I'm also sure this player will connect on more homeruns in his career. I really enjoy a Major League debut, a first basehit, a first homerun, a first pitch in the Major Leagues, and a first strikeout. I'm almost as thrilled as the player.
Saturday, July 4, 2015
The Cards broke a 4-game losing streak with a 2 - 1 victory over the Padres today at Busch Stadium. Word has it that this 2:37 victory has caused less people to head to the nearest bridge. This was an example of my favorite type of baseball game. Well pitched with the winning run scoring in the bottom of the 8th inning. Today's winning run scored on a sacrifice fly with a bang bang play at home plate. When that run scored Busch Stadium erupted. It is easy to over cut when the energy level in the ballpark is off the charts but, good lord, is it fun. I believe that energy transfers to the TV crew. I know it pumped me up.
Friday, July 3, 2015
Oh my God! The Cardinals lost their 4th game in a row tonight falling to the Padres in 2:35 by the score of 2 - 1. Oh my God! The Cardinals lead in the Central Division is now down to 6 games over the Pirates. Oh my God! The Cardinals now have a record of 51 - 28 - time to panic. Oh my God! The Redbirds have lost all 3 home games in July after losing just 2 home games during the month of June. It's over! Hey, they put up a good run. I'd like to thank the Cardinals for some great entertainment during April, May and June. One just knew it wouldn't last. Being the Cardinals fan that I am, I will still be there during the second half of the 2015 season cheering them on. I am not a fair weather fan. Now that the season is over, I just hope the Cards look at this first half of the 2015 season, learn from it, and take that knowledge into the 2016 season. Oh my God! People actually think this way. OMG
Thursday, July 2, 2015
There was one huge difference between tonight's game telecast between the Padres and the Cardinals and the last two games with the White Sox - NO RAIN!! That is the only difference. This game went 11 innings and lasted 3:55 - similar to the White Sox series. This 5 - 3 loss to the Padres was only the second time the Redbirds have lost 3 in a row all season. Just the 2nd time. Oh my God the grumbling!! Are you kidding me? The Cardinals have the best record in baseball by far. They have the best pitching ERA in baseball by far. They have the best home record in baseball by far. Give me a break. Yes, I agree, the pace they were making would be near impossible to continue for a complete season. But to start looking for the nearest bridge is damn near comical. Cardinals fans, of which I consider myself, have been spoiled for a long long team. This great organization has been very very successful and competes year in and year out. I am reminded of the great line by Donald Sutherland in the great movie "Kelly's Heroes" - "Cool it with the negative waves Moriarity!"
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
In yesterday's blog I wrote that after my 4 days off I received the game I had hoped for. I ended that blog hoping that tonight's game/telecast would not be delayed by rain. Sometimes your hopes are answered and sometimes they are dashed. My hopes for tonight's show were dashed and dashed in a cruel way. There was a 1 hour and 49 minute rain delay to start the game and there were 2 more rain delays during the game. The game took 3:16 to play and the 3 rain delays totaled 2:19. To make matters worse, the White Sox scored 5 runs in the top of the ninth inning with more rain on the way. In fact, just when we were HOPING for outs in the worst way, 2 of the Redbirds pitchers in the top of the ninth inning didn't even record an out. The game finally ended and as I reached my car afterwards the rain began. I left my house at 2:15 yesterday afternoon and I arrived home at 1:45 this morning. Maybe tomorrow's game telecast will go much smoother. I can only hope.