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!!!