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.