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.