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.
Sunday, April 24, 2016
The Redbirds defeated the Padres today in San Diego by the score of 8 - 5 in a game that took 3:35 to play. I am now on my balcony at the Phoenician in Phoenix and I am trying to describe MY average directing on the telecast today. However, I just left my favorite hotel in baseball, The Omni, and I am now enjoying a very nice breeze on my balcony of my 2nd favorite destination in baseball - The Phoenician. I have a cold drink in hand and a soothing, cooling breeze massaging me and for the life of me I can't complain. Now I am going to get corny. I am madly in love with my wife, my grandkids bring me undescrible joy and I have the best job in baseball. I will not and cannot write a negative word tonight. My God, I am lucky and I am blessed.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
3:06 is what it took for the Cards to beat the Padres 12 - 2 tonight in San Diego. For the Redbirds, this was a tale of two halves. Through the first 5 innings they failed to score. They scored their 11 runs in the last 4 frames. For the St. Louis TV team this as also a tale of two halves. The first 5 innings moved at a rapid pace thus making it difficult to not "cram" in our paid promotional items. With all the run scoring in the final 4 innings, there was plenty of time to air these items. I realize that these items "pay" for the TV production, BUT this telecast is reaching a near breaking point. The game is the most important factor for the TV crew and the fans. It is the responsibility of the TV crew to cover the game without making the "paid" items a distraction to the game. This is becoming increasingly more difficult for us in the TV truck. Our production team is very adept at covering the game without distracting from it. This is becoming almost a distraction for us in the truck. Just saying.
Friday, April 22, 2016
San Diego is a really really nice place. The weather is perfect and the people are friendly. The Padres weren't very friendly to the Cardinals tonight as they beat them 4 - 1 in 2:35. Yes, the Pads beat the Cards 4 - 1 but I should have described this game as a 4 - 1 beating. This game wasn't even close. The Redbirds were never really in this game. They seemed a bit out of sync the whole night. When a team is out of sync, the game is out of sync, and therefore, the telecast is out of sync. We were just a bit off the whole game/telecast. Not so much as to present a bad show, but just enough that one can feel it in the TV truck during the telecast. It is not a good feeling but it not like everything we are doing in the truck is bad TV. It's almost comical that no matter what we do we are going to be just a bit off. You never surrender but you know that the TV product is as good as it's going to be and you live with it. Thank God we are in San Diego.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
The Cardinals beat the Cubs at Busch Stadium today by the score of 5 - 3. There were 3 sections of today's game/telecast. Let's go inside the numbers. Going into the bottom of the 7th inning the Redbirds were leading 4 - 1 and the game was 1 hour and 54 minutes old. Then the rain came and segment 2 began. The rain delay lasted 3 hours and 21 minutes. The remainder of the game, segment 3, took 46 minutes to play. 2 hours and 40 minutes to play the game wrapped around a 3 hour 21 minute rain delay. A fairly short game but an extremely long day. My brain is mush and I am wiped. Off day tomorrow and we fly to San Diego. Thank God!!
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Yesterday's Cubs 5 - 0 win took 2:32 to play. Tonight's Cubs 2 - 1 win took 3:20 to play. How can a 2 - 1 game take almost an hour longer to play than a 5 - 0 game? A 5 - 0 game with 14 hits takes almost an hour less to play than a 2 - 1 game with 12 hits. How does that happen? Last night's game vs tonight's game - night and day. My mood from last night to tonight - night and day. Enough said. Good night.
Monday, April 18, 2016
The Cubs defeated the Cards tonight in 2:32 by the score of 5 - 0. This game at Busch Stadium was one of the better games a TV baseball director can enjoy. The first 7 innings of this game flew by and were played in under an hour and a half. Thanks can be given to the 2 starting pitchers who were outstanding. I also loved this game/telecast because of the storylines involved. The Cubs are considered by many to be the best team in the game. The years of futility for this organization make this assertion a very compelling story. The starting pitcher for the Cubs pitched for the Cardinals last season and the starter for the Redbirds replaced him in the rotation. Also, I don't believe that I have ever experienced Busch Stadium as electric as it was tonight. I believe the TV crew and, thus, the audience feed off this energy. Our telecast tonight proved this to be true. I love what I do and I enjoy doing it. Tonight was extra special. I loved it!
Sunday, April 17, 2016
The Cards beat me the Reds in 2:44 today at Busch Stadium by the score of 4 - 3. I have directed all the major sports and, as I have stated before, baseball is by far the fastest game to cut. Each sport has it's primary "game" camera. For baseball, that camera is in the high home position and is called camera 2. Now, when action is going on in any sport the "game" camera is the primary camera to begin the action. The difference between baseball and the other sports is that baseball is a 360 degree sport which means cameras can and do surround the field and any camera can be involved in the cut. Plus there is a longer opportunity to cut cameras during a baseball game than any other sport. For example, more cameras will be cut for a homerun than a goal in hockey, a basket in basketball or a touchdown in football. However, a touchdown cut came cone very close to a homerun cut. This makes for a faster "game" for the TV director. Now the reason I have blabbed on and on about this is that the first 3 innings of this game may have been the "fastest" innings I have ever cut. I remember thinking " Holy shit, I am going to be fried after this one. Thankfully the game settled down and I maintained my sanity. Well, that's another discussion.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
It took 3 hours and 12 minutes for the Reds and the Cards to compile 17 runs (9 by the Reds), 25 hits (15 by the Reds) today at Busch Stadium. This was a strange game. In the innings where no runs were scored, the game moved at a snail's pace. The innings where runs scored moved rapidly. In fact, during the Reds 4-run 6th inning, the Cardinals had given up 2 runs and gotten 2 outs in the first 15 pitches. This was a high scoring game that did not feel like it. 3 hours and 12 minutes seems about right for a 9 - 8 game. It's just that this game didn't seem to take that long to play and it certainly didn't feel like a 9 - 8 contest. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Friday, April 15, 2016
In the 2 hours and 31 minutes it took to play tonight's Reds/Cardinals game at Busch Stadium, the Redbirds scored 14 runs on 13 hits with 6 home runs. That's right - 6 home runs. As anyone who reads this blog knows, the greatest enjoyment a TV baseball director experiences during a game/telecast occurs while cutting the home run. The Reds also hit one so that was 7 roundtrippers that had the pleasure to cut tonight. I like to change my home run cut with each homer hit and tonight was no different. Great fun tonight for the St. Louis Cardinals fans, the TV crew and this director. Maybe not quite as much fun for the Reds fans and the Reds TV crew. Although I'd bet the Reds TV director enjoyed his cut.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
The Cards beat the Brew Crew today at Busch Stadium by the score of 7 - 0. During this 2:29 game, the Brewers collected only one hit. In fact, since 1990 the Redbirds have only had 6 1-hit complete game shutouts. The rapid pace of this type of game is great for the Director and difficult for the Producer. The Director develops a rhythm and the Producer works feverishly to include all the "sold" items needed for the telecast. At the end of a game/telecast such as this one, the Director walks away from the truck with the adrenaline still flowing and the Producer walks away fried. That is the difference. Oh yea, I didn't suck.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
The Brewers defeated the Cardinals at Busch Stadium tonight in 2:49 by the score of 6 - 4 with a 2-run homer in the 9th inning the difference. This should have been one of those games a director loves to cut. Not much action but some great moments. When those moments come - nail it. Really quite simple - when great moments happen - nail them. Well, tonight I was horseshit. Not only did I NOT nail them, my cutting diminished them. Awful just awful. My performance tonight was just embarrassing. Hopefully tomorrow I can elevate my game to mediocre.
Monday, April 11, 2016
The Cardinals defeated the Brewers in their 2016 home opener today by the score of 10 - 1. The Cards outhit the Brew Crew 19 - in this 3 hour affair. Both the pre-game show and the game took exactly 3 hours and I can assure you the pre-game show as a whole lot more fun to cut than that laugher of a game. I am quite sure that the highlight of the day was Cardinals Icon Lou Brock throwing out the 1st pitch. Lou, who lost a leg last fall, is beloved by all Cardinals fans. Certainly, great moments happen during games - memorable moments. Lou Brock throwing out the 1st pitch today was one of the most memorable moments I have experienced in my 29 year St. Louis Cardinals television career.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
19 runs, 18 walks, 3 hit by pitch, 3 hours and 55 minutes. 3:55 of bad baseball is an eternity. As our Producer said, "Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse......" The Cardinals beat the minor league quality Atlanta Braves 12 - 7 today at Turner Field in a tortuous game for the teams, the fans, and the TV crews. Sorry to say but the Atlanta Braves team, fans, and TV crew are in for a long tortuous summer. In the late 70's, I played in the Braves Organization and they have long held a special place for me. I have always followed them and I have always wanted them to do well. The same follows for this season. I cringe to think about it. Tomorrow is the Cards 2016 home opener. I expect a different result. Oh yea, rain is forecast.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Allow me to begin by saying I love the game of baseball. T-ball, little league, high school, college, minor league and Major League - it doesn't matter - I love baseball. Sometimes this game can be so beautiful and sometimes it can be outright ugly. Tonight's Cardinals/Braves game at Turner Field in Atlanta was one of the ugly ones. Maybe the ugliest one ever. The Redbirds prevailed 12 - 2 in 3:30 in a game in which both teams committed 3 errors, there were moments of seriously bad pitching and just when you thought this game could get no uglier - it did. Now, one may think that it can be very easy to "mail it in" on a game like this but the opposite is true. You have to concentrate harder. For example, the Cards scored in 7 of the 9 innings. Don't ever miss a pitch and don't ever miss a run. We didn't tonight but it was hard. Message to my Atlanta Braves TV friends - you are in for a long season, stay focused or start drinking.
Friday, April 8, 2016
The Cards beat the Braves tonight in Atlanta for their first win of the 2016 season. This 7 - 4 contest took 3:00 to play and featured 4 home runs by the Redbirds. 3 of the blasts were of the pinch-hit variety which set a record for Major League Baseball. In the history of the game, there had never been 3 pinch-hit homers by one team in the same game. Those of you who have read my book "Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From The Director's Chair" know that cutting the home run is the most fun a TV baseball director can have during a game/telecast. This win tonight did two things: it caused many Cardinals fans to step away from the ledge and it provided much home run fun for this TV baseball director.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
I am flying at 32,000 feet to Atlanta and I am reflecting on the first 3 game/telecasts of the 2016 season. Despite the fact that the Cardinals are now 0 - 3 and despite the fact that the spoiled Cards fans are looking for the nearest bridge, these were 3 very clean shows. Now, I enjoy Redbird wins as much as anyone, but I also realize that we are ONLY 3 games into the 162-game season. Every season contains it's bad games and bad telecasts - that is expected. If the Cards lose, fans believe it was a bad game. If the Cards win, it is a good game. It just so happens that bad games can still be good telecasts and good games can have there share of bad telecasts. So, in summary, the Cards just had 3 bad games but we had 3 good telecasts. Trust me, you will know when our shows are bad.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
It took 3:27 and 11 innings for the Pirates to beat the Cardinals 6 - 5 tonight in Pittsburgh. We were the only television feed tonight as the Penguins were being televised from Ottawa. Being exclusive on the road is a rare experience in today's TV sports culture where most every game is televised. In fact, I can't think of too many places that don't televise all games. With local TV, Big Fox, Fox Sports One and ESPN every game of every team is televised locally. I believe the Pittsburgh Pirates are building a strong case to have all their games available for their local fan base. After over 20 years of mediocrity, this team is very very good and their fans deserve to see this team EVERY game. Ok I'm done with that soapbox oration. When a visiting team is the only telecast from the home venue of whomever they are playing, the home team TV crew makes up the crew for the show. That was the case tonight in Pittsburgh and I learned something - this crew is good - very good. I really enjoyed myself tonight. It was great being a member of the Pittsburgh TV team tonight. I hope I didn't bring them down.
Sunday, April 3, 2016
The Cardinals took on the Pirates at Pittsburgh today in what was the first game in the league of the 2016 season. It took 3:02 for the Bucs to defeat the Cards 4 - 1 at PNC Park. Thank goodness we had a set day yesterday to help us prepare for the season opener. Without a set day our call time would have been 5:00AM. With the set day, the call time as a "soft" 7:30AM. One of the nice things about televising from Pittsburgh is that we are able to walk to the ballpark from our hotel. Still, with the temperature in the mid 20's, it was a cold, cold walk. When we arrived at the truck someone asked me "when is kickoff?" Signifying football weather. Trying to incorporate our game pre-production and 1-hour lunch with the requirements of the 2-hour pre-game show was a little tricky but I believe the pre-game show worked fine. This was a typical game/telecast. The first 5 innings of the game went by quickly and we had a nice flow to the show. The last 4 innings were a bit haphazard from both the game standpoint and the Telecast. If I could have one complaint about this game it was that there really wasn't any drama involved in the contest. Dramatic situations are great fun to cut. Unfortunately, that didn't happen today. Off day tomorrow and back at it on Tuesday. How about some drama?!!!