Sunday, October 2, 2016
This was a forgettable telecast that doesn't deserve mention. This was the final game of the 2016 season and, therefore, the final blog of 2016. Thanks to all who follow this and thanks to all who occasionally read this. I find writing this blog to be relaxing and I hope to continue writing it in 2017. Well wishes to all this winter.
Friday, September 30, 2016
The greatest moment EVER in my 29 year St. Louis Cardinals career occurred tonight in tonight's game at Busch Stadium against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Before the game, the Cards announced that they were not picking up the option on Matt Holliday - one of the leaders of the team and certainly one of the greatest Cardinals of them all. The team also activated Matt from the DL hoping to give him a final at-bat in front of the home crowd. He got that at-bat, although with 2 games remaining in the regular season I don't believe it will be his final at-bat because he homered!! Our iso's worked out perfectly and the live shots were memorable. There were tears in Holliday's eyes and a lump in my throat. Just an incredible moment. My greatest moment EVER!!
Thursday, September 29, 2016
The Cardinals "won" the game tonight in 3:16 by the score of 4 - 3. In the bottom of the ninth inning with the score tied and a runner at first base the Redbirds batter hit a hard drive to deep left field scoring the runner from first. After the completion of the play, as our announcers were laying out for the crowd, I said to our play by play - "It's a ground rule double". The ball clearly bounced over the wall and hit some signage and bounced back onto the field. I covered the Cards' celebration mixing in shots of the Reds players who were in disbelief as the umpires were leaving the field. I took a shot of the Reds manager following the umpires off the field and showed replays of the ball clearly being a ground rule double which would put runners at second and third with two outs. After about a minute, the Busch Stadium PA announcer told the crowd that the game was over. While the Reds remained in the dugout or on the field the Cardinals left the field and went to the clubhouse. Major League Baseball announced that at the end of the game a team must request a replay review within 10 seconds or the game was over. The Reds didn't and the Cards won the game. Or did they? Bizarre.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
After the Cardinals 15 - 2 loss two days ago I made the statement "15 - 2 or 2 - 1, they are all bad losses this time of year." I was wrong. The Cardinals lost to the Reds tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 2 - 1. They had runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out and didn't score in the bottom of the 8 th inning. This after the Reds had a runner on 3rd with no outs in the top of the 8th inning and didn't score. Then, the Redbirds' lead off batter in the bottom of the 9th inning hit a triple. Man on 3rd - nobody out in a game that was as "must win" as you could get. They didn't score. This was a horrible loss - much much worse than the 15 - 2 embarrassment. I was wrong.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
The Cincinnati Reds fans found out tonight what the St. Louis Cardinals fans felt like last night. The Cards defeated the Reds 12 - 5 in 3:17 tonight at Busch Stadium in a laugher turned the other way around. For the Redbirds faithful, they were entertained by 5 homeruns including a grand slam. First a laugher for the Reds and then a laugher for the Cardinals. I'm tired of the laughter!! How about a 2 - 1 game tomorrow? We'll see.
Monday, September 26, 2016
I asked the Producer tonight "Is this really happening?" The final score in this 2:48 game at Busch Stadium was Reds 15, Cardinals 2. The Redbirds starting pitcher was gone after 1 inning. The Reds had a 7-run inning and and 4-run inning back to back. The Reds' 22 hits were a season high. Our color analyst stated later in the game "This game is surreal." This Cards team has been really really good or really bad. This game was the worst of the really really bad. Perhaps tomorrow they will be really really good.
Friday, September 23, 2016
This 5 - 0 Cubs victory over the Cardinals today at Wrigley Field took 2:53 to play but the game was over well before that. The Cubbies scored 4 runs in the top of the first inning and the game was essentially over. That bottom of the first inning may have been the most embarrassing inning of baseball I have ever witnessed at any level. I should have seen it coming when the lead off batter walked. From the wild pitches to the passed balls to the outfielder slipping and face planting this was one awful inning. The face plant was so brutal that we decided not to air the super slo-mo angle as this angle may have embarrassed the player - it was that bad. After that first inning it was like the Redbirds just wanted the game to be over and it showed. An embarrassing inning and an embarrassing performance by the team. Brutal.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Yes the Rockies slammed the Cardinals 11 - 1 today in Denver and yes the game only took 2:43 to play. Yes I don't like the Redbirds losing but there are just some places that getting your ass kicked (for the TV team anyway) just isn't as painful. Denver is the classic example where it is so comfortable doing a game that the outcome of the game just doesn't seem important. The home TV team is a group of fun, talented and friendly individuals that are very like able. The locals working for the visitors, us, work hard while having a good time. I look forward to televising in Denver every season. Thank you Denver TV people!! You guys make it fun!!
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
A typical Coors Field game. 15 runs - 10 by the Cardinals. 26 hits - 14 by the Cardinals. 5 homeruns - 2 by the Cardinals. The Redbirds' starting pitcher collected 4 RBI's in the 3:21 game. The best part of this game/telecast was that I sat next to my great great friend who is recovering from 2 strokes. He produce 4 innings and it was a delight sitting next to him once again. This was a familiar game at this field and it was nice sitting next to a familiar face. A very enjoyable evening indeed.
Monday, September 19, 2016
Another game with the feel of the playoffs. The Cardinals defeated the Rockies 5 - 3 in 3:01 tonight at Coors Field in Denver. The game ended with the National League leader in homeruns and RBI's at the plate with 2 runners on base. He hit a mistile to the left fielder and the game was over. I talk alot about the game/telecast in this blog. Cardinals television always tries to deliver a quality product. It doesn't matter is the game is well played and exciting or the game is a klunker, we always strive for quality in our telecast. We missed the mark tonight. This was a very exciting game and the telecast didn't match it. This was a fairly sloppy telecast. We will do better tomorrow.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
In 2:49 the Cards defeated the Giants by the score of 3 - 0 today in San Francisco. Another playoff atmosphere with the Redbirds answering the bell and the Giants showing little life. The Cardinals rookie starting pitcher and a picture of their future pitched superbly and, thus raising the hopes of Cardinal Nation in this years playoff chase. The Cards are 1 game behind the Giants for the 2nd Wild Card spot. We are now in Denver taking on the Rockies and the Giants are in LA taking on their hated Dodgers. No predictions here because of this weird, strange and odd season for the Cards. Optimism prevails but who knows?
Saturday, September 17, 2016
The Cardinals with a 2-run top of the ninth beat the Giants 3 - 2 tonight at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Games with a playoff "feel" are a blast to cut and this game was no exception. So many exciting moments happen in these games and, yes, the game cut is fun but what really is fun is setting up game iso's because when they work, and they usually do work in games like this, the rewards are most satisfying. I believe that the number one thing fans talk about when they talk about games such as these are not the first or second angle of replays of exciting moments but the third and fourth angles which show what happened away from the ball. Manager reactions, players reactions and fan reactions enhance a telecast more than replays of the game on the field. We televised some wonderful reactions throughout this game/telecast and these replays enhanced the quality of this show. Great great fun!
Friday, September 16, 2016
The Giants soundly defeated the Cards by the score of 8 - 2 in 2:57 tonight at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Unlike last night's exciting affair, this game was a clunker. Usually when a game includes 12 pitchers that game can be labeled a clunker. What other aspects define a clunker game? Poor pitching, bad at-bats and lousy fielding are certainly on that list and this game included all of this. It all starts with pitching and there was some awful almost comical pitching in this one. For example: walking the lead off batter after your team scores 6 runs in an inning. I could go on and on but I would rather not get pissed off before I hit the hay.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
The Giants, Mets and Cardinals are the only 3 teams left in the National League with legitimate chances to be one of the two wildcard teams. The Mets were idle tonight and the Cards played the Giants in San Francisco. This arguably was the most important game of the season for both teams as the Giants held a 1/2 game lead on the Redbirds going into the game. The Giants prevailed 6 - 2 in 2:33. Despite the score, this was a fun game to televise. There was a definite playoff atmosphere in AT&T Park and you could feel it in the TV truck. This "electric feeling" really enhances the telecast for the TV crew as well as the fans. You "get into it" and the adrenalin flows. Coming down from a game like this takes time. I can't wait for tomorrow's tilt.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Currently flying at 32,000 feet on our way to San Francisco after a 7 - 0 loss that took 2:37 to play. 2 hours and 37 minutes is a very nice pace for a game nowadays. But, for whatever reason, this contest seemed to last much longer than that. Maybe it was the lack of action on the Cardinals side or maybe it was the lopsided score. Whatever it was this game seemed to drag. I hope this telecast didn't mirror the game. I thought there was a nice pace to the telecast despite the game. I felt the game tugging at the telecast a few times but this telecast won out. This show didn't drag at all.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The Cards beat the Cubs tonight at Busch Stadium. The 4 - 2 score took 2:51 to play. I wish every game/telecast matched the intensity of a Cubs Cardinals game. It doesn't matter if the game is at Wrigley Field or Busch Stadium. Heck, it wouldn't matter if it was played on a little league field in Boise, Idaho. I was talking with the Cubs Producer before the game and we both agreed that these games were "way too much fun". He said to me, "All of a sudden the game is over and it's like WOW that flew by". Cubs/Cardinals - well-pitched, well-played, well paced, great fun.
Monday, September 12, 2016
The Cubs, yes the hated Cubs, came into Busch Stadium tonight and beat the Cardinals 4 - 1 in 2:17. The Cubs starting pitcher, who leads the National League in ERA, pitched brilliantly and carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning. We started preparing for the no-hitter after the 6th inning. We started airing our promos and drop-ins so the when the 9th inning arrived we would expend all efforts covering a possible historic effort by the Cubs starter. The lead off batter in the 9th inning for the Redbirds ended all suspense with a homerun. The rare no-hitter didn't happen. Well, something just as rare happened. The Cubs manager was ejected from the game but was allowed to go to the mound and make a pitching change. A rare game but great great fun.
The Brewers defeated the Cardinals today at Busch Stadium by the score of 2 - 1. After the Brew Crew scored in the top of the first, both starting pitchers were spectacular and the game remained 1 - 0 until the bottom of the 8th inning when the Cards tied the score. At that point the feeling in the TV truck was that the Redbirds although a bit lifeless up to that point would win the game. Then, in the top of the 9th inning, the Brewers retook the lead with a homerun. Now I don't know if the length of the homerun (it was a bomb) had anything to do with the feeling in our TV truck, but our optimism disappeared. This game was over. And it was.
Saturday, September 10, 2016
With a 5-run bottom of the 8th, the Cards beat the Brewers 5 - 1 in 2:39 tonight at Busch Stadium. This game motored!! Both starting pitchers were outstanding. The only mistake the Redbirds starter made went for a solo homerun and the hone team was behind going into the bottom of that 8th inning. The only mistake the Brew Crew made all night was taking out their starting pitcher as their bullpen coughed it up in that 8th inning. Talk about a game that motored, this game would have been well under 2 hours if not for the bottom of the eighth. Great pitching, great defense and clutch hitting describes the Cardinals tonight. It was a fun game for the Cards' fans and I know it was a fun game for the St. Louis TV team.
Friday, September 9, 2016
The Redbirds defeated the Brewers 4 - 3 tonight at Busch Stadium. This 2:34 affair had a nice pace to it for most of the game. Speaking of pace, I found it interesting the the 3 Brewers pitchers all had a different pace on the mound and each pitcher affected the rhythm of the game cut. My rhythm changed with each pitcher and I thought after the game that this game would have been a nice training tool for a director just beginning his or her career. The starting pitcher had an average pace with and average speed to his pitches. The first reliever had a super fast pace (as fast as you will see) yet his pitch speeds were slow, slower, slowest. The final Milwaukee pitcher worked at a slow pace yet threw gas. 3 different paced pitchers in a nicely paced game. This profession is great because one learns each and every game/telecast. I learned so much tonight.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Tonight's game at Busch Stadium between the Cards and the Brewers was the start of the second to last homestand of the 2016 season. And what a start it was. It took 3:15 for the Brew Crew to demolish the Redbirds 12 - 5. The 6-run 6th inning was the final dagger for the Cardinals. There is a saying in sports - "Don't get too high and don't get too low". I'm sure both teams have forgotten about this one and are preparing for tomorrow's game. Same with the TV teams of the Brewers and the Cardinals. The only difference is the Brewers TV team will look back at this game with many highlights and the Cards TV team will look ahead and predict highlights.
The Pirates defeated the Cardinals 4 - 3 in 3:01 tonight in Pittsburgh. A homer in the bottom of the eighth inning proved to be the winner for the Bucs. This was a nice solid telecast - something we have come to expect in the Burgh. This was also the last game of a 10 day 3 city trip. 3 city trips are tiring especially in September. The fact that every trip for the Cardinals in the second half has been a 3 city affair is especially tiring. Oh well, the regular season is almost over and we only have one roadtrip left. Yup, a 3 city trip.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
The Cardinals beat the Pirates tonight in Pittsburgh by the score of 9 - 7 in 3:36. This game included the worst inning and the best inning of the 2016 season. After the Redbirds jumped out to a 5 - 0 lead, the Bucs took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning - the worst inning of this season. This inning included 2 errors and a relief pitcher who coughed up the lead in only 1/3 of an inning. To make this inning the worst inning of the season was that you saw it coming. The best inning of this season was the top of the ninth. The situation was 2-outs, nobody on base and an 0 - 2 count on the batter. Here is what followed: homerun (tie game), double, homerun (took the lead), homerun (built on the lead). The Pirates hit a homer in the bottom of the ninth but this game was over. And so is the Pirates season.
Monday, September 5, 2016
The first two innings of today's Cardinals/Pirates game took one hour and six minutes to play. The final seven innings took two hours and sixteen minutes. Usually slow paced games occur because of poor pitching. The Pirates starting pitcher today filled that bill as he was terrible. He pitched, no threw, two innings. Just awful. Not so with the Redbirds starting pitcher. He pitched well but was continually squeezed by the home plate umpire. There was a very tight strike zone today and thus the length of the game. Call the strike zone the way it is written up in the rule book and the pace of the game will be at the speed Major League Baseball is looking for. The score today was 12 - 6 in favor of the Cardinals. There is no way this game should have taken 3:25 to play. Period.
Sunday, September 4, 2016
The Cards beat the Reds 5 - 2 in Cincinnati today in a game that took 2:56 to play. I can't explain why but this game seemed like it took 6:56 to play not 2:56. Drop the anchor, take the piano off your back, take the 50 pound ankle weights off, do something to speed up the pace of his game. Maybe it was the "different" situation with the TV truck that we encountered this weekend that culminated in my perception of the slow pace of this game. Maybe the game was truly poorly paced. All I know is that I am in my hotel room in Pittsburgh and I am looking forward to the Cards/Bucs three game series. It can't possibly match this weekend in Cincinnati. Thank God.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Things were better in the TV truck today - no live truck dream. Still no dual tallys on 4 & 2 but the camera ops were great again. Today could have been labeled "live game dream" for the Cardinals. The Reds won the game 9 - 1 scoring 2 runs in the 7th and 5 runs in the 8th. And, to make matters worse, the Redbirds scored 1 run and yet were given 8 walks by Reds pitching. Last night was the live truck dream. Today was the live game dream. What will tomorrow's game/telecast bring? Hopefully sweet dreams.
Friday, September 2, 2016
Most everybody who works in the TV sports business has had the dreaded truck dream and has had it more than once. The truck dream is where nothing goes right. No matter what you try to do in the truck dream it doesn't work. Well, the St. Louis Cardinals TV team had a real live truck dream tonight in Cincinnati. No matter how hard the truck engineers worked, and they worked their asses off, nothing was working. We got on the air, of course, but we held our breath all night. We were in the back end of a dual feed which means we share camera 2 (high home) and camera 4 (CF). However, they never had a dual tally light the whole game which means they never knew when I was using their shot or not. After the first inning when there was some ugly camera moves from 2 & 4 (not the operators fault at all) I went to their truck and asked the Cincinnati director to let 2 & 4 know they didn't have dual tallys. After that there really wasn't much of a problem and when there was it was my fault. I will make it a point tomorrow to thank the camera ops for the nice work they did when they were blind with the dual tallys. The live truck dream finally ended with a walk off win by the Reds and we could all begin breathing again.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
I am lucky. I am so lucky. I get to direct Major League Baseball - the greatest sport in the world. Major League sports directors get one chance to cut the best possible shot in any situation and most likely we succeed in that shot. In every sport, we get one chance to get the best possible shot - one chance. We can't stop play and do it over. We must get it right at the time. Most times we do - sometimes we don't. In fact, Major League Baseball directors make over 3000 commands a game that determine what the viewer at home and in the bars will see. Most times that decision is right and sometimes the decision could have been better. Guess what? Only the director knows what shot could have been better for the viewer. It's the same with everyone on the TV team. Let's take graphics for example. The graphics operator on Cardinals baseball TV is one of the best, if not the best, operator in the business. Our philosophy on Cardinals baseball is to deliver what the game gives us. The game will tell us what to do. Therefore, our decisions are split second decisions in all areas of the production. Too many productions try to force the game to adhere to the telecast. The telecast MUST adhere to the game. Now here is the reason for this blog which I have written on an off day. Our graphics operator was ridiculed on social media for a mis-spelling in our telecast from Milwaukee on yesterday's telecast. This very very good operator is chastised for ONE misspelling on a 3-hour baseball telecast - wow. This operator adjusts to the game with his influential graphics as the game dictates. Typing in split second moments. The websites that criticize live TV sports television " mistakes" only do so because you don't know good TV sports coverage. Let me clue you in: my cut of Yadi Molina's homerun yesterday - it could have been a much better cut. I knew it at the time - you didn't. In fact, you don't know good TV sports coverage and don't have a clue on good TV sports television - period. So shut the fuck up. You know NOTHING!!
It took 2:33 for the Brewers to defeat the Cardinals 3 - 1 tonight in Milwaukee. It is now 3:00AM and I am in my room in Cincinnati with an off day tomorrow. In today's baseball, 2 hours and 33 minutes is a gift. In fact, any game under 3 hours is a gift. Another well pitched, well paced game. Another telecast with rhythm. What does on say when one receives a gift? "Thank you". What does one say when it's 3:00 in the morning and one has just arrived in his hotel room? "Goodnight".
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Tonight's Cardinals/Brewers game/telecast in Milwaukee should be known as a recipe for rhythm. Both starting pitchers were working fast and throwing strikes. The game started at 7:10 and the final out of the third inning came at 7:47. That's right, the first 3 innings took 37 minutes to play. A director's dream. I decided to time the length of innings 4-5-6 and 7-8-9. The fourth, fifth and sixth innings took 58 minutes and the seventh, eighth and ninth innings took 55 minutes to play. Well, after nine innings the game was tied 1 - 1. The Redbirds won the game in 10 innings 2 - 1 and the tenth inning took 38 minutes to play. One minute slower than the first three innings! The first nine innings were a blast to cut because the pace was a rhythm recipe. The tenth inning was also great to cut because of the strategies employed by each manager. Great fun tonight!!
Monday, August 29, 2016
The Cards defeated the Brewers 6 - 5 in 3:24 tonight at Miller Park in a game that was really two games. The first game was well played and well pitched and the second game was so poorly played it was almost impossible to watch. I enjoyed the Major League Baseball that was played during the first 6 innings of this contest. I cringe as I look back to the minor league baseball that took place the last 3 innings of this affair. Both sides of this game tonight elicited "Wow"s from my lips. A "wow" for great baseball action and a "wow" for the brutal play that took place. This game earned equal "Wow"s!
Sunday, August 28, 2016
The A's beat the Cards 7 - 4 in 2:43 today at Busch Stadium. I am now sitting in my hotel room in Mikwaukee trying to decide how to deliver this posting. This was a hot day for fans in the stands and a cold day for the Redbirds on the field. There was absolutely no way to gauge the "temperature" in the truck throughout the game/telecast. How can that possibly be? you may ask. Well, absolutely nothing happened during the game/telecast to warrant a response. (Or temperature if you will) Usually during a game/telecast something will happen to heighten the "temperature" in the truck. In other words, something usually happens to fire up the adrenaline. Not today. Not our fault. Blame the game.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
It took 2:52 for the A's to come from behind to defeat the Cards 3 - 2 tonight at Busch Stadium. While this was one of the ugliest losses of the season for the Redbirds, a line from one of our guests in the booth was one of the best lines ever delivered during a Cardinals telecast - and I mean EVER!! So, this was an ugly game and a memorable telecast. One more thing. As I drove my 38 miles home after the game/telecast, I witnessed one of the most beautiful lightening displays I have ever witnessed - and I mean EVER!! Ugly game. Memorable moment. Beautiful drive home.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Somewhere back in the fog of my memory I seem to remember games like tonight's Oakland A's/ St. Louis Cardinals game. I can't remember the last time we had a game as well played and as well paced as this one tonight. The Redbirds beat the A's 3 - 1 in 2:26 and because of this pace there was a wonderful rhythm to our telecast. Rhythm is something every TV sports team desires from each game/telecast. As you know, the TV team can't control the pace of the game but the TV team must control the pace of the telecast. The pace of the game contributes mightily to the pace of the telecast and when the game cooperates like tonight's contest there is an unmatched quality to the telecast. Watch a replay of tonight's tilt between the A's and the Cards and you will surely agree. These telecasts are few and far between.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
The Mets came out on top tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 10 - 6 in a game which took 3:28 to play. Perhaps the best part of tonight's game/telecast was that it started at 6:15. Weekday night games at Busch Stadium usually start at 7:15. A 3:28 game that starts at 7:15 really sucks. I guess tonight's affair really wasn't so bad. A long game/telecast followed by a short blog! Things are looking up!!
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
The Cardinals defeated the Mets in a laugher tonight at Busch Stadium. This 8 - 1 game took 2:55 to play and the only suspense was whether or not the Redbirds starting pitcher would hurl a complete game. In fact, the theme of our telecast was the starting pitchers for each club. On paper this should have been a terrific matchup. The Cards starting pitcher delivered and the Mets starter did not. The Mets had 1 run on 4 hits and the Cards had 8 runs on 19 hits. For those who always think the glass is half full: half of of our pregame prediction came true. For those who always think the glass is half empty: half of our pregame prediction was false. Count me in with the half full crowd.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
The tone was set early for this game/telecast. The Mets scored 3 runs in the first inning and the Cards matched that with 3 runs in the bottom of the first. The Mets answered with a pair in the top of the second and the Redbirds trailed 5 - 3 before they batted in the second inning. There was really not much action after that and the Mets completed their 7 - 4 victory in 3:12. Long innings can really affect a TV baseball production team. That is never more important than when a long inning is the first inning. It is easy to attain the "here we go again" attitude which just so happens to take away the aggressiveness of each TV team member. A TV sports team that is not aggressive can't possibly deliver as good a quality of product as it could and should. We were guilty of that tonight.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Here is the scenario: the last game of a 3-city, 9-game with 2 off days roadtrip and there is rain in the forecast. The forecast showed heavy rain for 5:00 pm eastern. The game began at 1:38 pm eastern. It was a little before 4:00 and the eighth inning was starting as was the rain. The Cardinals scored 5 runs and batted around in the order. As the top of the eighth inning ended it began raining harder. kudos to the umpires as they let play continue even though the game was essentially over with the Redbirds leading 9 - 0. The game ended at 4:45 and it began pouring as we left the ball park for the charter flight home. I look back now and laugh as I remember the number of times someone said "we're fucked". A record number of times at that.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
I don't remember much about this 2:56 game in which the Phil's beat the Cards 4 - 2. What I do remember is a screaming foul ball that went over the top of the Cardinals dugout in the bottom of the eighth inning that hit a young girl in the mouth. The fans seated near the young girl were obviously worried and the Phillies player who hit the ball was visibly shaken. The only shots I used after the incident were a wide shot from my right field camera that showed the Phillies players who had taken the field to begin the ninth inning watching the scene in the stands, a tight shot of the visibly shaken Phillies shortstop who hit the ball and a fairly wide shot of the little girl being carried away by her father. There were tighter shots of the little girl that included blood that we as a broadcast team refused to show. This game ended with a similar situation from last night's game which had a thrilling ending. The same batter who hit the game tying homerun in the ninth inning last night was at the plate and the same pitcher who served up the homerun was on the mound and the tying run was on first base. I guess I cut that situation in a quality manner but I really don't remember. I was also shaken up by the foul ball.
Friday, August 19, 2016
The Cardinals defeated the Phillies in 11 innings tonight by the score of 4 - 3. This was a thrilling game for Redbirds fans. The Cards tied the game with 1 out in the top of the ninth inning with a 2-run homerun and won it with two doubles in the top of the eleventh. Perhaps the most thrilling moment for Cards fans was when their recently recalled phenom pitched the eleventh inning to pick up his first Major League save. The 2-run homerun at-bat was one of the most thrilling at-bats I have ever cut. It was funny but you just knew this batter was going to hit the homerun - you just knew it! We felt it in the truck and the announcers felt it in the booth! A thrilling moment in a thrilling game!!
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
I love directing Major League Baseball. I have done it for 34 years and I enjoy going to "work". I highlighted "work" because this profession is anything but "work". Today was also very enjoyable because I sat in the Producer's chair and watched a future TV baseball director sit in the chair. In the 3rd inning of the Cards/Astros game in Houston I switched chairs with the Producer and for the rest of the game I enjoyed watching him directing baseball. It made me remember when I first started directing and it brought back memories both good and bad. The bad was when I realized that I didn't have a clue and the good was when I realized that I was starting to "get a clue". I watched this director diligently and let him "have it" only a couple of times when I saw he was leaving the "zone". A TV sports director MUST be in the "zone" in order to deliver a quality product. Once a TV sports director learns to be in the "zone" this "work" is very very rewarding. I truly enjoyed watching the future TV baseball director "in the chair". He was very very good.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
It took 3:06 for the Cardinals to beat the Astros 8 - 5 tonight in Houston. The use of camera 2 (high home) was absolutely the best I have ever seen. EVERY time I needed a defensive shot that shot was there. EVERY time. The shot of the defense is one of the most important shots of a baseball telecast. When a TV baseball team is in the back end of a dual feed it doesn't control camera 2. Asking for a defense shot from the high home camera from the home TV team is certainly appropriate, in fact, I tell the visiting TV director at Busch Stadium that he/she can ask me 50 times an inning for a defense shot and I won't mind. In Houston that request isn't needed - that shot is always there. I learned something tonight - at Busch Stadium that shot will always be there as well. Well done Houston.
Saturday, August 13, 2016
At Wrigley Field today, the Cardinals beat the Cubs 8 - 4 in 2:50. Now this was a fun game to cover. The 2 top pitching prospects for the Redbirds both threw in this game. One was making his Major League debut and the other was appearing in only his 2nd big league ballgame. Both pitched considerably well and that may be an understatement as they were facing the Cubs at Wrigley. The Cubs just so happen to be one of the better teams in baseball (which happens every 100 years or so) and pitching in Wrigley is tough no matter the quality of the Cubs team. If one is not a fan of the game of baseball then one should not be a part of the broadcast team covering the game. I am a fan of this great game and I truly enjoyed today's Cards/Cubs contest because it was so thrilling watching those two young pitchers competing. There is not a fan of baseball that didn't enjoy this game. Not one.
Friday, August 12, 2016
The Cards got their butts kicked today by the Cubs at Wrigley. This 13 - 2 game only took 2:59 to play. A TV production team MUST stay focused the whole game/telecast no matter what the score. Games like these test that axiom. When the game is over in the 2nd inning, there is a bit of difficulty for the TV team to continue in it's coverage in an interesting, entertaining fashion. Trust me, today's game was very difficult to "keep the audience". Sometimes it is very difficult to "keep an audience" when the TV team covering the game find it difficult to entertain. Entertaining the audience without insulting the audience can be a fine line to walk. Today's Cards/Cubs gam/telecast is a perfect example of this. Formula: game over in the 2nd inning - maintain the audience the rest of the way. Hard to do. Maybe impossible.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
The Cubs beat the Cards in 11 innings tonight at Wrigley Field. There were many exciting moments in this 3:55 game. This was a typical Cards/ Cubs Wrigley Field game. The place was electric, the players had that extra "something" going throughout the contest. There were homeruns, a pickoff at first base by the catcher, a player thrown out at home plate, a pitch up and in that may have broken a players hand. Managerial moves from both teams as each manager tried desperately to win the game. Great great fun!! This game did not deserve it's ending - a 2-out bases loaded walk. Bizarre how baseball sometimes works.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
At Busch Stadium tonight the Cards beat the Reds 3 - 2 in 2:42. A nicely paced, nicely pitched (they go hand in hand) game where the highlight for the telecast was off the field and into the stands. A Cardinals player launched his 200Th Major League homerun - a nice achievement - and the fan in the stands who retrieved the ball (he didn't catch it) became the focus of our telecast. The speculation began by our announce team as to what this fan may negotiate for in return for the ball. We returned from the commercial break after the inning with a split screen of the homerun hitter and the fan and the fun continued. Cardinals' brass became involved in the negotiations and this storyline grew. Finally, our sideline announcer interviewed the fan and wrapped up this entertaining section of the telecast. A good game and a fun telecast. Few and far between.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
The Reds defeated the Cardinals tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 7 - 4. There was no miraculous comeback in the cards, excuse the pun, tonight in this 2:57 game. That is about all can say about this game. However, the story of the game was the appearance of the phenom pitcher for the Redbirds that was called up from the minor leagues. This pitcher threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning and struck out his first batter with a 101 mph fastball. Two week groundouts ended the inning. This player was poised and in control. This should provide a boost for Cardinal Nation as this season hasn't provided many sparkling moments. Tonight being an exception.
Monday, August 8, 2016
What the heck just happened? The Cardinals have been playing less than inspiring baseball for the past week or so and the first eight innings of tonight's game at Busch Stadium versus the Reds was no different. In fact, going into the bottom of the ninth inning the Redbirds trailed 4 - 0 and were, quite frankly, a tad bit listless. The Cards proceeded to send 10 men to the plate and scored 5 runs for the victory. This was a classic example of a team losing a ballgame more than a team winning it. Why do I say that you ask? Well, the tying run came on a bases loaded walk and the winning run scored when the very next batter was hit by the pitch. Now I ask the baseball Gods once again; what the heck just happened?
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Unlike last night's Braves/Cardinal game which ended with a THUD!! for Cardinals' fans, today's Braves/Cardinals game began with a Thud!!. Going into the bottom of the 2nd inning, the Braves led 6 - 0 and they were facing the Redbird's ace. At that point in the game it seemed like the starting pitcher for St. Louis had thrown 1000 pitches. After the first 2 innings the game moved at a nice pace and the Cards threatened in almost every inning. They just couldn't bounce back. Understandable. It would be hard for any team to bounce back after back to back THUDs!!
Saturday, August 6, 2016
The Atlanta Braves defeated the Cardinals tonight by the score of 13 - 5 in 3:21. Until the ninth inning this was a fairly entertaining game. Until the ninth inning I really enjoyed cutting this game. There were 5 homeruns which are always fun to cut. Going into the ninth inning the Braves led 7 - 5 and it felt like one of those games where the Redbirds were going to win. They score 2 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and it looked like they had the momentum. Then the game went THUD!! You could almost hear the THUD!! The Braves scored 6 runs in the inning and the rather entertaining and fun game/telecast was squashed by the THUD!!
Friday, August 5, 2016
A nice day. This was a nice day. I spent some time with a minor league teammate of mine from 1977 & 1978. We both played in the Atlanta Braves organization. Now, it just so happens that he is the Braves' manager. The visit was the first nice event of the day. The second nice event was the Cadinals' 1 - 0 victory in a game that was played in 2:28. This leads to the final nice event of the day - I made it home early enough to spend time with my 8-year old grandson. He even liked the Redbirds giveaway at the game tonight - a red Cardinals fedora.
Thursday, August 4, 2016
The Reds defeated the Cards in Cincinnati today by the score of 7 - 0. This beat down only took 2:33 to play which was nice because I was home fairly early after a 3-city roadtrip. Yes, this time of game was really nice but a 7 - 0 game seems much longer for the losing team than the winning team. This 3-city trip also seemed longer than it was because I had Saturday, Monday and Tuesday off. Trust me, off days on the road suck. The days drag on and on. A long trip seemed longer and a fast game seemed slower. Does that even make any sense?
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
The Cards beat the Reds tonight in Cincinnati 5 - 4 in 2:59. This was our first game/telecast since Sunday. 2 days off on the road are brutal so it was nice to sit in the chair again and do baseball. This game started off in a terrible manner. The score after 1 inning was 4 - 2 and the Reds pitcher threw 36 pitches in the top of the first and the Cards pitcher threw 32 pitches in the bottom of the first. Not a good start. But, the pace of the game picked up and the telecast proved to be uneventful. I have always believed that umpire calls should be corrected by the use of replay. However, tonight's game telecast had 3 "reviews" in one inning. 2 of the reviews should have taken no time to overturn but they took a good while. Major League Baseball must refine it's review process to let the game continue at a good pace. Tonight's Cards/Reds game could be an example to use to expedite the process.
Sunday, July 31, 2016
The Marlins walked off with a 5 - 4 victory over the Cardinals today in Miami. This 2:42 game ended in an unusual way. It was a "I got it, you take it" ball hit between the leftfielder and the centerfielder of the Redbirds. The play was scored a triple even though I believe the ball should have been caught. For the past year our Producer has been learning directing and today he did 4 innings. He is catching on and is now really directing instead of selecting. Our Viz operator sat in the Producer's chair to get a feel for the Producer's responsibilities for a couple innings and learned quite a lot from the experience. "I didn't realize how fast stuff occurs during the game for the Producer" was his takeaway from the experience. And he is right. Television sports moves and moves quickly. That may be the first thing a person learns when he or she sits in the Producer or Director's chair - things move quickly.
Friday, July 29, 2016
This was a strange yet entertaining game. The Cards prevailed over the Marlins 11 - 6 in 3:03 tonight in Miami. There was the pregame hype of a Marlin player trying for his 3000 hit - he didn't get it. There was a Cardinal player who was a homerun away from the cycle after his first 3 at-bats - he didn't get it. At one point, the Redbirds were up 9 - 1 after a 6-run 5th inning and the game seemed over. The Marlins scored 5 runs in the bottom of the fifth and there was a ballgame again. There were homeruns and a diving catch into the stands. There was a Cardinal thrown out at the plate on a fly ball to the Marlin who was looking for hit #3000. Strange - yes. Entertaining - yes. Draining - certainly.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
The Cardinals defeated the Marlins in Florida tonight in 2:28 by the score of 5 - 4. This game was well pitched and, thus, well paced. Each starting pitcher made 2 mistakes. It's just that the Florida's pitchers' mistakes were more costly. As you know, I love well paced games. Well paced means a good rhythm to the telecast and it also means that the TV crew gets on board and helps maintain that pace. Tonight's TV team in South Florida picked up on this wonderful pace and actually captured the rhythm of the game as good as it could be captured. This was one of the most enjoyable game/telecasts of the 2016. The shots were there, the replays were tight, the sound was on point and the graphics added even more quality to this entertaining telecast. Well done!!
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
The Redbirds defeated the Mets tonight at Citi Field in NY tonight by the score of 5 - 4 in 3:07. What a game! What a telecast! With the Cards leading 3 - 1 in the bottom of the 7th inning, the Mets scored 3 runs and took the lead. There was an at-bat during this inning that provided the viewers of our telecast one of the most intense moments of the 2016 season. It ended with a 2-run homerun by the Mets to take the lead and all seemed lost for the Cardinals. However, the Cards scored 2 runs in the top of the ninth off arguably the hottest closer in baseball. This was an exciting victory for the Cards and I believe we covered this memorable win as good as could be covered. Not blowing our horn - just stating a fact.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
The best TV baseball production teams are the ones that stay strong mentally each and every game, indeed, each and every inning of every game. Tough to do, in fact, almost impossible. The hardest situation for every TV team to remain strong mentally or another way to put it - remain focused is the doubleheader which is what our TV team - truck and New York crew experienced today. I believe that day/night doubleheader are the most difficult to televise compared to what we televised today - a 4:00/7:00 doubleheader. The Cards won the first game 3 - 2 in 3:18 and lost the second game 3 - 1 in 3:28. Our TV team performed remarkably well the whole day. Kudos to the NY crew!!
Monday, July 25, 2016
Where do I start abut today's game/telecast? Yesterday is where I will start. The Cards played on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball and lost against the Dodgers in just under 4 hours. After the game, we were informed that the charter flight to New York would be delayed because of a mechanical problem with the plane. This mechanical problem coupled with bad weather meant that we did not take off for NY until 3:42 in the morning. We landed in any at 7:22 AM and because of morning rush hour arrived at our hotel just passes 8:30AM. I slept from just after 9:00 until 12:20, had breakfast and arrived at the truck just after 2:00. At 4:00, we were alerted that the start of the game may be delayed because of inclement weather. They were right. At 5:45 it started rainy and it rained hard. And rained and rained. At 7:10 the game as postponed and rescheduled for a 4:00 - 7:00 doubleheader tomorrow. It's just after 10:00 and I am ready for bed. Thank you for no day/night doubleheader tomorrow. Thank you. Much needed sleep tonight. Good night.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
7 - 2 was the score as the Dodgers beat the Cardinals tonight at Busch Stadium. I have been talking with other Producers and Directors around baseball and we all agree that, this season, any Major League game that takes less than 3 hours to play is a gift. We are not complaining that baseball is slow and boring because it definitely is not. From a TV perspective baseball is the fastest game to cover - period. It's just that games with a good pace - under 3 hours - create a nice rhythm for the broadcast team and, thus, a better finished product for the viewers. Driving home after tonight's game/telecast I was pleasantly surprised by the rhythm of the telecast tonight and I guessed the time of the game to be between 2:30 and 2:45. I was surprised when I learned the game was actually played in 2:56. Thank you baseball for tonight's gift - a game under 3 hours. Thank you.
Friday, July 22, 2016
I usually start this blog with the score, the time of game and the location. Tonight will be a little different. It is 1:39 Saturday morning as I opine about this game/telecast. The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 4 - 3. A game that ends in a 4 - 3 outcome usually lasts (in today's baseball format) about 3 hours. In tonight's game, the score was 2 - 2 entering the ninth inning. A dodger hit a homerun to put the visitors up 3 - 2. In the bottom of the ninth inning with 2 outs and nobody on a Cardinal hit a homerun to tie the score. Now, anyone who has ever been a part of a TV baseball crew knows that this is a bad omen. This game is going to take awhile. To steal a line from Steinfeld " Not that there's anything wrong with that". My wonderful wife sent me a text after the HR which said "Feel bad for you. Looks like it could be a long night". She was right. The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 4 - 3, with a walk-off homerun in the 16th inning. This game only took 5:10. Not the there's anything wrong with that.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
It was a 6 - 5 victory in 3:18 for the Cards over the Padres tonight at Busch Stadium. This was a game that was extremely rewarding for Redbird fans at Busch Stadium and it was equally if not more entertaining for the television viewers. Both groups of fans were entertained by the 4-run bottom of the eighth inning that tied the game for the Cardinals and both sets of fans enjoyed the bottom of the ninth inning walk off victory by the home team. The one moment in the game/telecast that the viewer at home saw that the fans in the stands didn't see occurred in the bottom of the 6th inning. One of the Cardinals most respected veterans was hit in the face by a pitched ball. Our super slo-mo look which only the TV viewer witnessed showed the ball hitting this player in the nose. Shots after this event showed the bloody face of this popular player. The highlight of the evening for the fans in the stands was the come from behind walk off victory. Yes, the viewers also enjoyed this victory but they had a plus - great video of a scary moment.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
The Cardinals swept a day/night doubleheader against the Padres today/tonight at Busch Stadium. The score of the first game was 4 - 2 and it was played in 2:32. The score of the second game was 3 - 2 and it was played in 3:03. Televising 2 games in 1 day can fry the brain a bit. Not that there's much to fry anyway. I truly don't remember any particulars about game 1 and when I wake up tomorrow I know I will not remember any particulars about game 2. This seems strange because when the game/telecast is happening you are so focused that you see and hear everything. During the show I am aware of all my 9 manned cameras all the time. In fact, if I watch a replay of the game/telecast, I can remember where each camera was in every situation. However, when we go off the air my brain decompressed and I don't remember much about the actual game. Weird - I know.
Monday, July 18, 2016
The Cards beat the Padres tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 10 - 2 in 2:55. Having a smooth telecast in a game such as this is almost a luxury. There was a lot of action in this game and almost every inning was involved. This game was almost as much fun to cover as the wonderful game telecast 2 nights ago - almost. Still, compared to last night's abortion, this was a very enjoyable game/telecast. So in summarizing the last three game/telecasts, they went in order: fun, brutal, enjoyable. Not very consistent but that's the way live TV sports goes I guess. Gee, I wonder what tomorrow's will bring?
Sunday, July 17, 2016
The Marlins beat the Cards at Busch Stadium 6 - 3 in 3:03. This was a St. Louis Cardinals telecast that equally matched the St. Louis Cardinals play on the field - out of sync. It seemed like every member of our crew was just a step ahead or a step behind and I led the way. I was out of sync all day which means I was horseshit all day. I admit it - I was brutal. I tried slowing down. I tries speeding up. I never got there. Unlike yesterday where I left the truck feeling really good about the game/telecast, today I felt just the opposite. I was out of sync all day and when that happens shit happens. And it did today.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Just great fun - seriously!! I can't remember when I have had more fun directing a baseball telecast. Here are some of the reasons why this game telecast was so much fun: The game: the Cardinals beat the Marlins 5 - 0 in 2:39 and the Redbirds starter threw a complete game. The drama at the end of complete game shutouts is ridiculously fun to capture. This weekend in St. Louis the Cardinals are celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their 2006 World Championship. The General Manager and the Manager from that team and many players from that squad were in attendance and were the pre game ceremony which was also fun to cut. Tonight's starting pitcher for the Redbirds was the closer on the 2006 team and tonight's catcher was his battery mate in 2006. With 2 outs in the top of the night, the crowd was going crazy, the 2006 teammates, the former General Manager and former manager were all on their feet giving this pitcher a standing ovation. One of the greatest moments of my 34 year career. To make this moment even more poignant the former manager is now in charge of baseball operations for another club and the former GM is now the GM of another big league team. We started the telecast with a split screen of the pitcher and catcher and we started the top of the ninth inning with the same shot. Interviews in the booth and shots of the 2006 team in their suite all worked and worked well. This was great great fun - seriously!
Friday, July 15, 2016
In the first game back after the all-star break, the Marlins defeated the Cardinals 6 - 5 in 3:24 at Busch Stadium. After enjoying a wonderful break, I witnessed a Major League Baseball game that included some enjoyable moments - 4 Cards homeruns and some sloppy, sloppy play by the Redbirds. This sloppy play led to the loss. This was also an enjoyable telecast because we visited with members of the 2006 World Champion team during the game. Maybe there is hope for the 2016 Cardinals as the 2006 World Champion team won only 83 games during the regular season. However, one knows one is in trouble when thoughts such as that come to the surface.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
5 - 1 was the score as the Cards beat the Brew Crew in exactly three hours today at Miller Park. The starting pitcher for the Redbirds was outstanding. The pace of the game and the flow of the show coincided with other and it was a very enjoyable experience in the TV truck. There were only 3 walks in this game but the time of the game was affected by the 23 strikeouts. There was a memorable moment in the stands as well as a fan caught a foul ball in the first row behind the Brewers dugout and toppled to the concrete seemingly unhurt. Good defense in the stands and good defense on the field along with timely hitting and great pitching made for a good day for Cardinals fans and, indeed, baseball fans.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
The Cardinals defeated the Brewers in Milwaukee today by the score of 8 - 1. This game took 3:26 to play which doesn't seem so bad in an 8 - 1 contest but this game was 2 - 1 going into the 8th inning. This slow slow slow game made realize something. I detest the strikeout as much as the walk. This game was slow slow slow because there were 13 walks and 23 strikeouts. If those 13 walks were all on 4 pitches and the 23 strikeouts were all on 3 pitches that adds up to 121 pitches. I guess the "pitch to contact" philosophy was thrown out the window on this one. Throughout the game I was reminded of the great Jack Buck and his call describing a slow slow slow paced game. "This game is moving at an escargot pace."
Friday, July 8, 2016
The Brewers walked off with a 4 - 3 win in 3:05 tonight in Milwaukee. Walk offs are a blast to cut. It doesn't matter if it's the Cardinals or their opponent - walk offs are great fun. This walk off was a bit unusual however. The play at the plate was under a replay challenge and the whole Brewers ball club was on the field awaiting the final decision. This may not seem unusual, however, it is unusual that the home Brewers TV team had their RF camera on the field with the players. As soon as the umpires ruled the runner safe and thus the game was over, I cut to the RF camera and captured the Brew Crew celebration from a unique yet fantastic perspective. Great job by the Brewers TV crew!!
Well the game started late again because of rain. It was only 31 minutes and the wait was worth it as the Cards beat the Bucs 5 - 1 in 2:42. Just a brilliant pitching performance by the Cardinals starter. A well-pitched game means a well-paced game means a quality telecast. We had that today. A great rhythm and a great telecast. Not maddening at all.
The Pirates beat the Cards 7 - 5 in 3:21 tonight at Busch Stadium. This was a fairly calm telecast covering a fairly maddening game from a St. Louis perspective. Sometimes it is quite difficult to cover your team without getting emotionally involved. I believe that being emotionally involved during a victory can actually help the quality of the show. On the flip side, however, being emotional could possibly damage the show. Tonight was one of those games where the Cardinals TV team did become emotionally involved. The play of the Redbirds was indeed maddening. But, we maintained positive in our coverage even as we expressed a few colorful words.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
The Pirates 5 - 2 victory in 3:07 tonight at Busch Stadium was one of those run of the mill game/telecasts. There was no bad play on the field and there was no great play on the field. There wasn't any mistakes during the telecast and there wasn't anything memorable about the telecast. In fact, the best replay of the night was of a young female fan catching a foul ball. At least there was no rain. This blog is remarkably similar to the game/telecast - ho hum.
Monday, July 4, 2016
The Pirates defeated the Cardinals 4 - 2 today at Busch Stadium. This was a totally different game/telecast than the previous three games against the Brewers. The only similarity was the 1:26 rain delay to start the game. After yesterday's game from hell, this rain delay really soured my attitude and, thus, affected my game cut. I wasn't as aggressive as I usually am and I didn't change my cut until the bottom of the ninth inning when it looked like the Cards might tie the game. I wasn't being lazy. After these past 4 game/telecasts, I am a bit fried.
Sunday, July 3, 2016
Three hours and forty eight minutes was the time of the game. There was a rain delay of an hour and twenty minutes before the start of the game. There was a fourteen minute delay to fix up the field after a deluge hit while play was going on. There was a second rain delay of fifty five minutes. There were seventeen runs and twenty seven hits to go along with twelve walks. And that's not even the worst of it! The Cardinals entered the ninth inning with a 9 - 4 lead. The first two batters for the Brewers had hard hit singles. The third batter of the inning was hit by the pitch. Bases loaded - nobody out. A pitching change was made as the Cards brought in their closer. This pitcher rarely issues any walks. He walked in a run. Score: 9 - 5. Bases loaded and still nobody out. The next Brewer batter hit a ball that missed being a homerun by a foot. This resulted with two RBI's and runners on second and third. Score: 9 - 7 and still nobody out. The next batter struck out. The following batter hit a slow grounder to shortstop for the second out as a run scored. Score: 9 - 8, 2-outs, runner on second base. Now came the worst part of this awful day. It started raining again. As the rain fell, the next batter struck out - game over. Check that - the day game from hell was over.
Saturday, July 2, 2016
Today's game between the Brewers and the Cardinals at Busch Stadium began after a 1:32 rain delay. With rain threatening all day, the Redbirds beat the Brew Crew 3 - 0 in 2:40. This was a well-pitched, well-played game. The only real suspense was whether or not the rain would stay away. The Cards organization really wanted to get this game in because tomorrow's forecast calls for rain, rain and more rain. Milwaukee returns to Busch Stadium for a 4-game series in September. "A 6-game series in September is the last thing we want" is a quote from a member of the Cardinals front office. There was a very exciting moment in this game for Cards fans as one of the most popular players collected his 1,500 career hit. Other than that great moment, the most compelling shots of the day were of the head groundskeeper talking to the umpire crew chief. Now that's great baseball TV.
Friday, July 1, 2016
At Busch Stadium tonight the Cards beat the Brewers 7 - 1 in 2:47. This was the first game/telecast at home for the Redbirds in a long time where a Cardinals victory was determined early. The team had lost 7 in a row. In fact, the last home victory came on June 5. Every sports TV crew loves televising home games. The comfort level is high and most teams are more successful at home. In fact, the Cardinals are the only team in baseball with a record over .500 and a home game record under .500. This was a nice change of pace. It is never a good feeling to leave the TV truck after a loss. Leaving the TV truck after a home loss is even worse.
Thursday, June 30, 2016
The Royals defeated the Cardinals tonight 4 - 2 in 2:50 at Busch Stadium. This was a rare game/telecast. More often than not the telecast is uglier than the game. There are thousands of split second decisions made by the TV team during a baseball telecast and mistakes will be made and are made in every show. It is therefore true that there are more mistakes made on the telecast than are made on the game. Almost always. Not tonight. This was one ugly baseball game tonight in St. Louis. The play of the game had more mistakes than the mistakes on the telecast. This was the ugliest game I have ever witnessed and I have been in the chair for 33 years. In my career, 99% of the telecasts I have been involved with have been uglier than the game. Not tonight. The other 1% showed it's face tonight.
12 innings. 4 hours and 28 minutes. A 3 - 2 victory for the Royals. The first game back after a 3-city roadtrip. All of this adds up to an exhausting evening. The only saving grace Is that we were home. I don't recall a drive home after a game at Busch Stadium where I was more wiped out. Unlike after most games, I didn't have to "wind down" after the game. In fact, my adrenaline disappeared before the game was over. I was done before the game was done.
The final game of a 3-city, 8-game roadtrip ended with a victory for the Cards over the Royals tonight in KC. This Kansas City crew really really wants to deliver a quality product. The camera ops anticipate and seem to always deliver the best shot. Tape is fast and video packages are poignant. The audio mix is solid and the video operator rides the levels. Indeed, the pictures were some of the best we have seen this season. Don't take this wrong but it is really nice when a director doesn't have to direct.
Monday, June 27, 2016
The Royals beat the Cards in 2:32 tonight in Kansas City. There were 2 games in one in this one. All the runs in this 6 - 2 contest were scored in the first two innings. The first 2 innings took 1 hour to play and the last seven took 1:32. Yes, there were two games in one but there was only one TV crew - and a good one at that. Working in Kansas City is almost like working in St. Louis. I know the crew and they know me. Another comfortable situation as was Seattle. This has been a very comfortable roadtrip. One more game to go then total comfort - home with my family.
Sunday, June 26, 2016
The Cards beat the M's 11 - 6 in 3:25 today in Seattle. The Redbirds had 17 hits of which 13 were for extra bases. Hey, I got to cut 6 Cardinals' homeruns - great fun. Yes, 3:25 is fairly long for 9 innings but I got to cut Major League Baseball with the Seattle crew - great fun. I am now at 33,000 feet flying to Kansas City on the Cardinals' charter - great fun. The next 4 games are against the Kansas City Royals - great fun. The first 2 games are in KC - great fun and the last 2 are at Busch Stadium - great fun. The Royals 2-game series at Busch Stadium begins a 3-team homestand - great fun. My immediate future includes my wife and my 2 grandsons - great fun. I am so blessed!!
Saturday, June 25, 2016
The Mariners defeated the Cards tonight in Seattle by the score of 5 - 4 in 2:53. Comfort level is very important and goes a long way towards the quality of a telecast. That is why home shows are much better than road shows. The way to rate the quality of a road TV crew can be measured by how quickly a comfort level can be reached between the members of the visiting TV crew and the TV teammates who live in the city where the game is being televised. Comfort levels differ in every baseball town. Count Seattle as one of those towns where the comfort level is extremely high and was reached in an extremely quick fashion. The past two telecasts were among our best road shows of the 2016 season. Thank you Seattle TV teammates!!
Friday, June 24, 2016
The Mariners walked off with a 4 - 3 victory tonight in 2:52 at SafCo Field in Seattle. This Seattle crew is good. This Seattle crew is fun. This Seattle crew is friendly. This Seattle crew is conscientious. Seattle sea food restaurants are fabulous. Seattle coffee is delicious. Pikes Market in Seattle is a wonderful experience. I think I'm going to talk to the Commissioner of baseball. It's about time that Seattle moved to the National League.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
The Cards completed a sweep of the Cubs in 3:02 today at Wrigley Field. one can feel the intensity between these two teams before the game even started. The electricity in Wrigley is palpable as well. This makes for great anticipation for the TV crews involved. Indeed, a member of the Cubs TV team told me before the game/telecast that there is no comparison of the energy between thecCubs/Cardinals and any other team that visits Wrigley. He told me that the Cubs TV crew loves a Cards/Cubs telecast. I agree. There is nothing like it. Even though this game was over after the Redbirds jumped out to a 7 - 0 lead (the game ended 7 - 2), there was energy all the way until the final out. Great great fun!!
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Identical score, identical game. A 4 - 3 Cardinals victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field tonight in 2:55. October baseball once again in June. Love it!! For members of TV baseball crews baseball is a grind. There are two ways the grind stops being a grind. Great baseball games and off days. The past 2 games - Cardinals/Cubs at Wrigley have been great baseball games. Tomorrow afternoon the Cards/Cubs rivalry continues at Wrigley. After the game we fly to Seattle for an off day. A great game tomorrow and an off day Thursday - the grind stops. Looking forward to it.
Monday, June 20, 2016
Cardinals @ Cubs. A packed Wrigley Field. A 3 - 2 game that went right down to the wire. It doesn't get any better than this. Everyone in Wrigley was standing and cheering when the final out was made. Everyone in the TV truck was on the edge of their seats when the final out was made. It doesn't matter that the Cubs are on a historic start to a season. It doesn't matter that the historically strong Cardinals are scuffling. This was October baseball. This was October intensity. From the top of the first inning to the bottom of the ninth - this was great fun!!!
Sunday, June 19, 2016
A 5 - 4 late loss hit the Cardinals again today at Busch Stadium. What is the magic elixir to make one forget about a brutal 0 - 5 homestand ? Easy answer - Chicago!! In my room at the Ritz-Carlton after a nice dinner with tasty wine and I will not think about the previous Busch Stadium home games. Tomorrow is the Cubs and Wrigley Field. Love it!!! The perfect remedy for angst - pasta, wine and Wrigley Field!! Feeling better already!!
Saturday, June 18, 2016
With 2 runs in the 8th and 2 runs in the 9th, the Texas Rangers beat the Cardinals at Busch Stadium today in 3:05. This game was on National TV as it aired on Fox1. National games are different for me than Regional games on Fox Sports Midwest. On the Regional side, I feel a responsibility to highlight the Cardinals with my game cut. The only way to be successful in this endeavor is to make the GAME the priority. Respect the game. On the National side both teams deserve equal coverage all the while respecting the game. Physically, I felt that I accomplished that with today's telecast. On the emotional side, I didn't quite do as good of a job. I was a bit irked at the outcome of the game because I love the Cardinals. But, you know what? That will never change.
Friday, June 17, 2016
A Producer can't control the speed of the game but he/she can and should control the speed of the telecast. A Director can't control the speed of the game but he/she has to cut the telecast with the speed of the game. The first 4 innings of tonight's Rangers/Cardinals game was as fast of a game as I have ever had to cut. A couple of times tonight I felt like my cut was starting to fall behind the game's speed. This is not very enjoyable to experience as one sits in the Director's chair. Indeed, it is a very helpless feeling. I kept grinding away and finally was able to keep up with this incredibly fast contest but I must admit I was a bit fried at game's end. The Rangers ended up defeating the Cards 1 - 0 in 2:23 here at Busch Stadium. This game did not have the feel of a 2:23 game - maybe 1:23. A bit wiped but looking forward to tomorrow's Fox1 game.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
It is Thursday morning as I write this. Last night the St. Louis TV team completed it's "This One's For You" telecast which honors our troops and families both here and overseas. This is truly a very rewarding show for all of us involved. The emotions emitted because of this telecast range from utter happiness and laughter to a giant lump in the throat to watery eyes. Last night's production was no exception. After we went off the air I received news that blew those emotions out of the water. My great great friend and TV teammate Mike Helling had suffered a stroke. Not much more to say and I couldn't say it if I tried.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
The Astros beat the Cards in 2:18 by the score of 5 - 2 tonight at Busch Stadium. There were many things to like about this game telecast. There was a wonderful pace throughout the game as good pitching dominated the contest. There were three homeruns swatted in the game and homers are a blast to cut. When the Astros were in the National League the Astros/Cards rivalry made for some good baseball and good TV. It was nice to see the Astros TV director again as we used to have enjoyable conversations and we did again tonight. After three days off, I was energized and felt comfortable all night. Tomorrow is our "This One's For You" telecast which celebrates our troops overseas. This is my favorite show of the year. I look forward to that telecast.
Friday, June 10, 2016
The Cards beat the Bucs in Pittsburgh by the score of 9 - 3 in 12 innings in a game that took 4:16 to complete. This game moved through the first 7 innings. The Redbirds starter pitched his best game since April. The Pirates starter was hurt in the third inning and the bullpen replacements pitched very good as well. There wasn't much excitement through the first seven innings but that changed in the eighth. The Cards took the lead 3 - 2 with a three run homer and it looked like an exciting win for the Redbirds. That mood turned in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Bucs tied the score after a leadoff triple. Then, the Pirates loaded the bases with 1 out and it looked like a terrible loss for the Cardinals. The Bucs didn't score however and one of the most exciting plays EVER for Cardinals happened in the top of the 12th inning. With two outs the Pirates intentionally walked a position player to put runners on first and second. They did this because the Cards were out of position players and a starting pitcher was pinch-hitting. Now, this player happens to be, arguably, the most popular player on the team with both fans and teammates alike. He laced a 2-run double into the gap in left centerfield!! The reaction shots were priceless!! 4 more runs were scored and the game ended but the game was really over after that double. 12 innings and 4 hours and sixteen minutes - truly one of the most memorable and enjoyable games EVER in Cardinals baseball.
The Cards beat the Reds 3 - 2 tonight in Cincinnati in just under 3 hours. After the game we flew to Pittsburgh and I am sitting in my room. It is just before 3:00 in the morning and I just received my suitcase almost an hour after I called for it. Trust me, I am not complaining. We have a game/telecast tonight with the pregame show starting at 6:30 with the game coverage beginning at 7:00. On Saturday the Cards/ Bucs game is on Big Fox and on Sunday the game is on ESPN with Monday being a scheduled off day. Just like last weekend. Two weekends in a row in June where I have 3 days off in a row!!! Are you kidding me??!! I have no reason to complain. In fact, I am celebrating!! Thank you schedule makers, thank you!!
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Three hours and twenty one minutes was the time of game tonight in the Cardinals' 12 - 7 victory over the Reds in Cincinnati. Two hours of that 3:21 was a pretty normal game to cut for a Director. It was the first 1:21 that was difficult. I have never experienced a game quite like this in Cincinnati before. Because of the sun flare, I was unable to use my tight centerfield camera for the first 2 innings. During the 3rd inning, neither the Reds telecast nor the Cards telecast was able to use camera 4, centerfield, because of the sun flare. I used my tight center camera 6 instead. So, for the first 3 innings, because I was in the backend of a dual feed, I was only able to use 2 of my 3 cameras. Handcuffed indeed. During this time, I was only able to use camera 3, high first, for my right-handed batter shots. Too high and thus ugly. I adjusted and was very thankful for the "normal" camera cut after the first 3 innings. You can't beat Mother Nature and I wouldn't ever try. But, Mother Nature was a pain in the ass tonight in Cincinnati
I last wrote on here after last Friday night's against the Giants at Busch Stadium. I had Saturday off because of Big Fox, Sunday off because of ESPN and Monday was just a scheduled off day. Because of the ugly loss of Friday night I wrote that the off days were welcome because they would help me forget that Friday game. I forgot about that Friday game at 11:42 Saturday morning. That is when I learned a good friend and a valuable member of our St. Louis TV team died in his sleep that night. As I left the TV truck after Friday's game I said "see you Tuesday." Little did I know. In tonight's telecast against the Reds in Cincinnati we paid tribute to our friend in the 3rd segment of our open. There was a huge lump in my throat as we put that piece together. A pall hung over or show tonight. RIP Dale.
Friday, June 3, 2016
The SF Giants came into Busch Stadium tonight and defeated the Cardinals 5 - 1 in 3:11. 8 innings of good baseball, the kind of baseball TV crews love to cover and 1/2 inning of bad baseball, the kind of baseball TV crews despise. In a 2 - 1 game at the start of the 9th inning a Cards reliever came in and walked the bases loaded. All 3 runners scored and the game was basically over. Let me amend that previous statement - all 3 runners scored and the great game was basically over. The feeling in the ballpark, the feeling in each dugout, and the feeling in the TV truck all changed directions in 3 batters. From good to bad, from best to worst, from happy to sad and on and on. At least I have 3 full days off to forget about this one. Next game/telecast for the St. Louis TV team - Tuesday. Good!!
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
The Brewers defeated the Cards in Milwaukee in rapid fashion today by the score of 3 - 1. This was one of the faster games played in the big leagues this season as the total time was 2:20. We can thank the starting pitcher for the Brewers who threw 8 shutout innings and seemed to be ahead in the count to every batter. We are training a new Director on our show and we helped out Fox Sports North in their training of a new technical director. They both did a couple of innings and they both did a nice job. Of course, our TD (technical director) on the visitor's side is one of the best in the country and he was very instrumental in this successful training session of the new TD. After the game/telecast, we were sitting on the bus waiting to go to the airport to fly home and we were all thinking we were going to be in our doors by 6:30. Could this day get any faster? As the last passengers were boarding the bus we learned that the equipment truck had broken down and wouldn't start. We left for the airport, boarded the plane and sat for a couple hours waiting for the equipment to arrive. I was in my door at 8:30 which is about usual after a getaway day from Milwaukee. A fast game and a slow day. That's alright. Off day tomorrow, game/telecast Friday and then off Saturday (thanks Big Fox), off Sunday (thanks ESPN) and off Monday when we will fly for a series in Cincinnati. Feeling good!!!
Monday, May 30, 2016
The Cardinals started today with a 26 - 25 record. The Brewers started the day with a record of 23 - 27. The Redbirds won the game 6 - 0 and looked nothing like a team barely above the .500 mark. During this 2:49 game, the Brewers looked more like a team 15 games under .500 than 4 games under. Great starting pitching, timely hitting and excellent fielding were all on display for the Cards today. The Brew Crew looked like a club that was totally disinterested and this was magnified when a Cards baserunner scored from 2nd base on a wild pitch. It doesn't happen often where two clubs look absolutely different but it happened today.
Sunday, May 29, 2016
The Nationals turned a close game into a rout as the beat the Cards 10 - 2 in 3:12 today in DC. Cutting a close game is so different than cutting a blowout. The rhythm of a close game is destroyed when the game becomes a rout. There is an adage in this business for the TV crew that "you can't control the speed of the game, but you can control the speed of the telecast". I was thinking on the plane as we flew to Milwaukee that the TV baseball Director cuts to the speed of the game all the while the Producer is controlling the speed of the telecast. Just as a Director cannot lose control because of the speed of the game, the Producer can't lose control of the speed of the telecast. And they both go hand in hand. If the Director isn't cutting to the speed of the game, this will inhibit the job of the Producer to control the speed of the telecast. And vice versa. Trust me, it is very difficult to cover the speed of the game when the speed of the telecast is out of control. I'm not saying that our TV team didn't control the game and telecast speed today. I am saying that there were two speeds to the game that were controlled today while the telecast was under control all game as well.
Friday, May 27, 2016
The series between the Nats and the Cards typifies how baseball can be a beautiful game. The Redbirds defeated the Nationals 6 - 2 in 2:32 tonight in Washington DC and it was just a wonderful baseball game. Pitching always has been and always will be the name of the game for this wonderful sport. I look forward to matchups where starting pitching is in the forefront. I will go to my grave never understanding the change of Major League Baseball to the DH. The National League brand of baseball is so much more enjoyable than the American League brand of baseball because their actually is strategy used during National League games and there really is little if any strategy used in the American League. Many people just scoffed at the previous sentence. Too bad, scoff some more - American League baseball is boring. No, let me amend that statement: American League baseball is BORING. Off tomorrow - thank you Big Fox. I am looking forward to Sunday's match-up between the Cards and the Nats. Two good National League teams!!
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Great pitching. 3 solo homeruns. A 2 - 1 score. A 2 hour 27 minute game. This is the type of game game a baseball TV director loves to cut. This is the type of game that wipes out a TV baseball Producer. Yes, the Washington Nationals defeated the Cardinals in this contest tonight in DC. Yes, I am a St. Louis Cardinals fan and as a Cardinals fan I was not happy with the outcome. But, I am also a baseball fan and as a baseball fan I loved this game.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Today is May 25. The Cubs are 17 games over .500 and the Cardinals are 1 game over. In 3:38 the Cubs defeated the Cards 9 - 8 at Busch Stadium today. Yes, the Cubs won the game but they were not the better team. Today was a game that exposed the "next World Champion" Chicago Cubs. After the top of the 2nd inning the Cubs led 6 - 1 with the best pitcher on the planet pitching. Game over - NOT. Joe Madden is a great manager and a wonderful people person who is also a very smart baseball guy. I guarantee you this game opened his eyes a bit. I don't believe this game opened the eyes of the young Cubs players who I believe are a high maintenance group that needs to be pampered. When the Cubs don't win the World Series it won't be the players fault. Just ask them.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
It took 3:10 for the Cubs to beat the Cads tonight at Busch Stadium. In reality, this 12 - 3 game was over less than 45 minutes into the game when the Cubs scored 6 runs in the 1st inning and didn't look back. When a game is over early, it is nice to have a fall back plan in the TV truck. We had a guest in our booth in the 4th inning that fit that bill perfectly. Our guest was a member of the 2006 World Championship team and a very popular one at that. In fact, this guest was the MVP of the 2006 World Series. The interaction between our guest and our analyst was very entertaining as both were members of the 2006 team. Our play-by-play guy asked great question of the two and the 4th inning was the most entertaining inning of the evening. Sometimes the booth entertainment is better than the entertainment on the field.
Monday, May 23, 2016
There are many reasons to like a Cubs/Cardinals game/telecast. One of those reasons is it is...well...Cubs/Cardinals. This is one of sports' greatest rivalries. The Cards are on one of the greatest successful runs in baseball history and the Cubs are finally relevant again after years of futility. Indeed, the Cubs are picked by many to win it all in 2016. This is hard to dispute as the Cubs are stacked with many great young players and their veteran starting pitching has been terrific. However, if anyone knows how difficult it is to win the World Series it must be the Cubs as it has been 108 years since their last World Championship. Cubs fans may be setting themselves up for their biggest letdown ever. Tonight's loss to the Redbirds most certainly had to be a letdown to Cubs fans. The 29 - 13 Cubs were leading the 23 - 21 Cardinals 3 - 1 going into the bottom of the 7th inning and their starting pitcher was dealing. A 2-run homer tied the game and the Cards walked off with a 4 - 3 win with a 2 out homerun in the bottom of the ninth inning. Certainly a huge letdown to Cubs fans everywhere as no one detests the Cardinals more than Cubs fans. Most Cubs fans I know are already planning the World Series victory parade in Chicago. Imagine the letdown when that doesn't happen.
Sunday, May 22, 2016
The Diamondbacks took the series 2 - 1 with a 7 - 2 victory over the Cardinals today at Busch Stadium. This 2:44 contest was one of those game/telecasts that were really two shows in one. The game and thus the telecast was completely different because the pitching was completely different for each club. The D'Backs starting pitcher was in command the whole game while the Cards starting pitcher couldn't find his command. In fact, the Redbirds starter didn't even make through the 3rd inning. To make matters worse, the pitching change came with the Arizona pitcher coming up to hit. A good day for the Diamondbacks and a bad day for the Cardinals. A different game/telecast for the TV team. The Cubs for the next 3 at Busch. Should be a blast!!
Saturday, May 21, 2016
The Diamondbacks/Cardinals game was the National FS1 game at Busch Stadium today. The Redbirds prevailed with a 6 - 2 victory in a beautifully pitched game by their starting pitcher. I love well-pitched baseball games. Maybe this is why I was a bit miffed when the D'Backs had the tying run at the plate in the top of the ninth inning despite starting the inning down 6 - 0. I enjoy being a part of the FS1 games. It is a nice break from our local telecasts. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Cardinals television. But, televising 150 games is quite a grind and the FS1 games help recharge the engines a bit. I have another FS1 game coming up in June and I am looking forward to it.
At the end of the 3:46 11 - 7 victory by the D'Backs over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, a clown made an appearance. My patience was a little thin at the time as 12 of the 19 runs were scored in the 8th and 9th innings because of some poor pitching especially by the Diamondbacks who led 11 - 2 going into the bottom of the ninth. The clown was seated in the third row behind home plate and decided to begin his lame act during the bottom of the ninth. First the swinging of the arms to grab the attention from the centerfield camera. I really don't mind this act because many idiots do this when they think they are on camera. But I do mind it when the clown pulls up his shirt to expose his stomach and chest. Hey pal, for your own good, please keep that part of your body covered. A body like yours is why clothing was invented. I took a pitch from camera 2 (high home) as I tried to figure out how to keep from covering the ugly clown and his lame act. I tightened in on camera 4 (centerfield) so that the viewer couldn't see and fans in the stands. The nightmare game ended and the curtain dropped on the ugly clown act.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
There were 20 runs and 21 hits in the 3:16 Rockies/Cardinals affair tonight at Busch Stadium. This 13 - 7 Redbirds victory featured one of the longest innings in a Cards game this season. The Rockies sent 9 batters to the plate in the top of the 4th and the Cards sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning. our home stand continues tomorrow as the Arizona Diamondbacks come to town. The Rockies roadtrip continues with a weekend series in Pittsburgh starting tomorrow. I have no reason to complain and I am not complaining as I am writing this in the comfort of my home. However, my peers with the Rockies will arrive to their hotel in Pittsburgh around 2 or 3 in the morning. Hey, it goes with the territory. I'm just glad it's them and not me.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
It took 2:54 for the 2 - 0 Cardinals victory over the Rockies tonight at Busch Stadium. This was a well- pitched game from both teams and, therefore, a nice game for a Director. There was very little drama in this game. In fact, the most drama of the evening occurred right before we went to air for the pre-game show. The pre-game began at 6:30 and there was absolutely no phone or audio communications between the truck, the studio and the cord in Houston from 6:10 on. Finally, at 6:23 there was communication between the studio and the cord but still nothing with the truck. I was literally on the phone with the pre-game producer putting our plan together to get on and off the air in a clean fashion. The truck engineers were working feverishly trying to fix the problem. Finally at 6:28:50 the problem was resolved and everything went smoothly. I guess that type of drama is a good thing right before "air" instead of after we are on the air but I do know it was not enjoyable.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
The Colorado Rockies beat the Cardinals 3 - 1 in 2:44 tonight in St. Louis. In this contest, both starting pitchers pitched fairly well. The Rockies pitcher just threw a bit better. Both teams had some clutch hits. The Rockies just had a few more. This was that typical baseball game where no team really played bad and no team played exceptionally well. What I enjoyed most about tonight's game/telecast was working in the TV truck with the Rockies' traveling TV team. Not only are they very nice but they have loads of fun. One of the reasons I enjoy doing baseball out of Denver (we go there late in the season) is this Denver TV crew. Denver is a great city and one of the best stops in the National League. One of the main reasons is this fun fun crew.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
It took 2:45 for the Dodgers to defeat the Cardinals tonight in LA. Unlike last night's contest, this 5 - 3 game was full of drama. In the 5th inning, the Redbirds starting pitcher was on the ropes. Our analyst, a former big league player and a good one at that, was talking about the pitch selection during a big big at-bat in the inning. Now, I don't like taking tight face shots until late in the game when the game is on the line. I even tell camera ops "too tight too early" if I don't believe those shots would be effective at that point in the game. However, in the fifth inning tonight with both starting pitchers pitching well, I felt tight faces would be effective. The main shot I took during this at-bat was a split screen of the catcher giving the signs with an extremely tight shot of the pitcher's face. I don't believe I have gone that tight that early. After the end of the inning, I kept a camera on that pitcher in the dugout. He was super emotional. We were speculating whether or not he was returning for the bottom of the 6th inning. At the end of the top of the 6th this pitcher left the dugout and went to the clubhouse. One of our announcers said in talkback - "Well, I guess we know why he was so pissed off." This was one of my favorite telecasts of the 2016 season. Great great fun!!
Friday, May 13, 2016
The Dodgers beat the Cardinals tonight by the score of 8 - 4 in 3:01 and I can't remember a game where I worked so hard. It wasn't that the game was a strange game or there were technical difficulties with the TV truck. That most certainly was not the case. The game was really a fairly easy game to cut because it had a bit of a flow to it. This truck we used in LA is a great mobile unit with a great EIC and terrific engineers. This was a difficult game to cut because I moved cameras for their shots about 80% of the time. My two sons are also in this wonderful TV sports business. When they started and asked me for my advice I told them to never make the same mistake twice, never have to be told the same thing twice and keep your mouth shut. I am proud of my sons as they are quite successful at their positions and I believe they have followed this advice. I didn't feel it tonight.
The 9 inning Cardinals/Angels game in Anaheim tonight took 3 hours and 56 minutes to play. The Cardinals won the game by the score of 12 - 10. Here is the rundown: the first 3 innings took 40 minutes to play. Innings 4-5-6 took 1 hour and 40 minutes to play. The final 3 innings took 1 hour and 36 minutes to play. There never was an inning where a single run scored. The cards scored 2 runs twice, 3 runs once and 5 runs in a single inning. The Halos scored 2 runs twice and 3 runs twice in a single inning. In fact, the Redbirds scored twice in the top of the ninth inning and the Angels scored 3 times in the bottom of the ninth. In fact, the Cards closer who nobody in their right mind thought would participate in this game entered and faced 3 batters and walked them all. The bottom of the ninth inning was just a brutal inning. As brutal as it gets. The Cards led by 5 runs starting the inning and before you knew it, the score was 12 - 10, the bases were loaded and there was just 1 out. A strikeout and pop out against the 3rd Cards reliever of the inning ended this game and ended the angst of Cardinals fans and the Cardinals TV production team. Bad Bad Bad.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
The Cardinals were victorious tonight in Anaheim. The 5 - 2 game took exactly 3 hours to play and there was very little drama. In fact, the highlight of our telecast happened off the field. For an inning and a half we had a guest in our booth. This guest was a former Cardinal and one of the most popular Cardinals of all-time. Our analyst tonight was a former teammate and their interaction was very entertaining. I am not taking anything away from the nice Redbirds victory tonight but the play on the field was not quite as entertaining as our guest in the booth. In fact, I believe our guest tonight would make a pretty darn good TV baseball analyst someday if he had the chance.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
The Redbirds defeated the Angels in 2:57 in Anaheim by the score of 8 - 1. The Cards hit 4 home runs tonight including the leadoff batter of the game. As a TV baseball director I really enjoy cutting the homerun. As a baseball fan and a fan of the Cardinals, that was the only aspect of tonight's game that I enjoyed. I love good baseball. Unfortunately, there is going to be alot of bad baseball during the 2016 season because there are alot of bad baseball teams and the Anaheim Angels are one of them. I'm sorry Angels fans but you are in for a long long season. At least this game took less than 3 hours to play.
Sunday, May 8, 2016
Today's game between the Pirates and Cardinals at Busch Stadium lasted 3:27 and was won by the Bucs 10 - 5. This was 3 hours and 27 minutes of bad baseball. This was 3 hours and 27 minutes of good television. There were many cries of dismay from the TV crew during this game. There were many positive comments from the TV crew as we captured the "Mother's Day" theme of our telecast. The soundbites about "mom" from players and coaches alike worked well and live shots of mothers in the crowd were nice. A bad game but a good telecast. Sometimes it works out that way. Not often, but today it did.
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Take away the 32 minute 1st inning and the 14 minute delay to replace the home plate umpire who left the game after taking a nasty foul ball off the face mask and you would have had a 2:37 game. That fact coupled with a bottom of the ninth walk-off homerun by the Cardinals made for a fairly enjoyable day. The game started off slow with both teams scoring 2 runs in the first inning and both starting pitchers looking fairly average. The game ended with a storm minutes away from Busch Stadium. In fact, I was on the road 14 minutes after the game ended and the storm blew in. With the long first inning and the injured umpire delay, the last thing anyone wanted was a weather delay. That didn't happen. Thank God!!
Friday, May 6, 2016
It took 2:54 for the Pirates to defeat the Cardinals 4 - 2 tonight at Busch Stadium. There was a 2-homer game by a Pirates player in the game and that was about all the excitement this game provided. During the game, I apparently called for a lower third graphic on a batter while a lower third game flow was already on the air. I honestly don't remember calling for the graphic but I know my TD (technical director) would never have done it on his own. A brain dead, bone headed move on my part for sure. Even without that glaring mistake tonight I wasn't very sharp. Sometimes you have it and sometimes you don't. Tonight I didn't.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
It took the Cards 2:39 to beat the Phiilies 4 - 0 today at Busch Stadium. I am glad that every game in Major League Baseball, from a TV standpoint, is not like this game. There wasn't anything really memorable - nothing really stood out. There was no moment where a fan would remember this game. Yes, there was a long long homerun. Yes, there week some good defensive plays. But most games have those. Yes, there was a good pace. Yes, there was some nice plays. But there was little if any drama. I am not complaining. It's just that this game was a game nobody will remember. Now, the Pirates cone to town. Should be 3 memorable games. I will be surprised if this doesn't happen.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
The Cads walked off with a win over the Phillies tonight at Busch Stadium. This 3:03 game ended as the Redbirds scored 2 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. I don't remember the flow of a game being as disturbed by replay reviews as this game. There were 4 reviews in the contest and one of the reviews lasted 5 minutes and 3 seconds. Not only is the rhythm of the game affected but the rhythm of the telecast as well. I understand the reason for the reviews. I know that the umpires have to "get the play right." Tonight's game/telecast revealed that the replay review, while necessary, can be a distraction. It was almost comical when the fourth replay review was signaled by the umpires. A nice 5 - 4 win for the Cardinals. A nice "walk off" win for the telecast. Unfortunately, the distractions seemed larger than the final score.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
The Phillies beat the Cardinals tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 1 - 0 in 2:31. Great flow, great pace and great rhythm throughout the game /telecast tonight - just what a TV baseball director craves. The only thing that could have made this telecast any more pleasurable to this director is if the Redbirds would have been victorious. There was another factor that made this evening pleasurable and that was that we had the Blues playoff telecast on in the TV truck and they were dominating the Dallas Stars. I'm thankful that the Phil's/Cards game was 1 - 0. It would have been difficult to watch the hockey game while cutting a 9 - 6 baseball game.
Monday, May 2, 2016
The Cardinals defeated the Phillies 10 - 3 in 3:01 at Busch Stadium and belted 5 homeruns in the process. The homerun is, as you know, a baseball TV director's best friend. Not only did the Redbirds hit 5 homers but they went back to back twice. I was fortunate to cut 2 homeruns within minutes of each other twice in the same game and the other homerun was struck by the Cards starting pitcher - an upper deck shot! It must have been the homeruns because I felt as if I was busy the whole game/telecast. In a typical baseball game/telecast, there are moments where the director can sit back and take a breath - not tonight. I am a bit wiped out but it was worth it.
Sunday, May 1, 2016
I was really looking forward to today's game between the Nationals and the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Two of the best pitchers in the National League were scheduled to start for each respective team. They did not disappoint. The Nats ended up defeating the Cards 6 - 1 in 2:47 with both starter being exceptional. The Redbirds hurler made 2 mistakes the whole game and it cost him as the Nats starter didn't make a mistake. A well-pitched game and therefore a telecast with a nice flow. Just what a TV baseball director desires. The 3 home runs in this game just added frosting to the director's cake.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
The Washington Nationals scored 4 runs with 2 outs in the top of the 1st inning and the game was basically over. The final score was 6 - 1 and the game took 3:02 to play. The best shot of the game/telecast had nothing to do with the action on the field. The best shot of the day was of a fan who caught a foul ball. She as so excited that she actually started weeping. Now this may not seem so unique or special but the fact that she was so emotional created a sequence of shots as we followed her throughout the rest of the game. Our announcers actually sent an autographed baseball down to her with sone tissues. We captured this as well and it was quite entertaining especially when she teared up again and actually used the tissue. One of the final shots of the telecast showed this fan clapping as the game ended. It was suggested on the air that she could "use the tissue again because the Cardinals lost the game." A different storyline that developed during the game/telecast and it worked.
Friday, April 29, 2016
The Nationals beat the Cardinals tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 5 - 4 in 2:46. TV baseball directors love these well-pitched games. Well-pitched games are a must for well-played games. Well-pitched games are a must for well-paced games. Well-paced games are a must for any director to develop a rhythm during the game/telecast. Sometimes this rhythm is interrupted by factors outside of the game. This happened to me tonight. My camera 5, low first, is responsible for pickoffs and lead runners and is the most important camera to our telecast in capturing the excitement of the game. This camera show up close the Redbirds players who just scored as they enter the dugout. This powerful shot is the shot that sells the most tickets for the organization. Well, camera 5 went down tonight in the 7th inning and I had to adjust which I did. Changing camera responsibilities during a game/telecast changes the rhythm of the director. It altered my rhythm tonight and I didn't like it. Game 2 of the series tomorrow and rain is in the forecast all day. I don't care about that. I just want camera 5 back.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
The D'Backs beat the Cads tonight in Phoenix by the score if 3 - 0 in 2:25. The Cadinals traveling party was very thankful for the quick 2:25 game as the Diamondbacks scheduled a night game on getaway day. We should arrive in St. Louis about 4:00AM and we have a game that night at 7:15 versus the Nationals. It is somewhat strange knowing that the Nationals are in St. Louis and possibly watching the Cards' game as we sit in Phoenix. All getaway games for teams traveling east after the game should be day games. Oh well, tonight featured a nicely paced, well played game. Now, as we soar at 33,000 feet on the way home I am grateful that we shall arrive at a better time than expected.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
The Cards beat the D'Backs 11 - 4 in 3:32 tonight in Phoenix. Yes, this was another "stinker" of a game. And yes, I write this even after a Cardinals victory. If the first month of the 2016 Major League Baseball season is any indication, the team's are either really good or really bad. There is no in between. In the National league alone, you have the Braves, Padres, Brewers, Reds, Rockies and Diamondbacks who could all lose over 95 games with some certainly to lose over 100 games. then you have the Nationals, Mets, Cubs, Pirates, Cardinals and Dodgers who all are almost certain to win over 90 games with some certainly to win over 100 contests. I love well-played and well-pitched baseball games - love them. I look forward to the games between the "good" teams. After this first month of the season, I am not looking forward to games involving the "bad" teams. There is no in between on that.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
It was an 8 - 2 victory in 2:47 for the Cardinals tonight over the Diamondbacks in Phoenix. Our Cards TV crew did the Fox1 national telecast tonight and it really nice and very comfortable to be the only telecast out of Chase Field. Exclusive telecasts are very rare and when they do occur they are almost so relaxing. You don't have to worry about the back end of a duel feed when you are the primary feed and you don't have to worry about the limitations of the back end of a duel when you are in that situation. Live television sports can be stressful. The less reasons for stress the more comfortable the telecast. Tonight was very comfortable indeed.
Monday, April 25, 2016
It only took 3:26 to complete one of the worst Major League Baseball games ever played. The D-Backs beat the Cards 12 - 7 in a game that also included 29 hits, 14 runners left on base and a 9-run inning. Pitchers were behind in the count all night and there were several defensive lapses as well. Trust me, even if the Redbirds were to have been victorious in this affair, I would still have described this game as ugly. And, there was not one player in uniform tonight who would disagree with me. Baseball can be the most beautiful game in the world but sometimes it spits out a clunker such as this game. Maybe I can drink the stink off of me.