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.