Friday, September 30, 2016
The greatest moment EVER in my 29 year St. Louis Cardinals career occurred tonight in tonight's game at Busch Stadium against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Before the game, the Cards announced that they were not picking up the option on Matt Holliday - one of the leaders of the team and certainly one of the greatest Cardinals of them all. The team also activated Matt from the DL hoping to give him a final at-bat in front of the home crowd. He got that at-bat, although with 2 games remaining in the regular season I don't believe it will be his final at-bat because he homered!! Our iso's worked out perfectly and the live shots were memorable. There were tears in Holliday's eyes and a lump in my throat. Just an incredible moment. My greatest moment EVER!!
Thursday, September 29, 2016
The Cardinals "won" the game tonight in 3:16 by the score of 4 - 3. In the bottom of the ninth inning with the score tied and a runner at first base the Redbirds batter hit a hard drive to deep left field scoring the runner from first. After the completion of the play, as our announcers were laying out for the crowd, I said to our play by play - "It's a ground rule double". The ball clearly bounced over the wall and hit some signage and bounced back onto the field. I covered the Cards' celebration mixing in shots of the Reds players who were in disbelief as the umpires were leaving the field. I took a shot of the Reds manager following the umpires off the field and showed replays of the ball clearly being a ground rule double which would put runners at second and third with two outs. After about a minute, the Busch Stadium PA announcer told the crowd that the game was over. While the Reds remained in the dugout or on the field the Cardinals left the field and went to the clubhouse. Major League Baseball announced that at the end of the game a team must request a replay review within 10 seconds or the game was over. The Reds didn't and the Cards won the game. Or did they? Bizarre.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
After the Cardinals 15 - 2 loss two days ago I made the statement "15 - 2 or 2 - 1, they are all bad losses this time of year." I was wrong. The Cardinals lost to the Reds tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 2 - 1. They had runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out and didn't score in the bottom of the 8 th inning. This after the Reds had a runner on 3rd with no outs in the top of the 8th inning and didn't score. Then, the Redbirds' lead off batter in the bottom of the 9th inning hit a triple. Man on 3rd - nobody out in a game that was as "must win" as you could get. They didn't score. This was a horrible loss - much much worse than the 15 - 2 embarrassment. I was wrong.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
The Cincinnati Reds fans found out tonight what the St. Louis Cardinals fans felt like last night. The Cards defeated the Reds 12 - 5 in 3:17 tonight at Busch Stadium in a laugher turned the other way around. For the Redbirds faithful, they were entertained by 5 homeruns including a grand slam. First a laugher for the Reds and then a laugher for the Cardinals. I'm tired of the laughter!! How about a 2 - 1 game tomorrow? We'll see.
Monday, September 26, 2016
I asked the Producer tonight "Is this really happening?" The final score in this 2:48 game at Busch Stadium was Reds 15, Cardinals 2. The Redbirds starting pitcher was gone after 1 inning. The Reds had a 7-run inning and and 4-run inning back to back. The Reds' 22 hits were a season high. Our color analyst stated later in the game "This game is surreal." This Cards team has been really really good or really bad. This game was the worst of the really really bad. Perhaps tomorrow they will be really really good.
Friday, September 23, 2016
This 5 - 0 Cubs victory over the Cardinals today at Wrigley Field took 2:53 to play but the game was over well before that. The Cubbies scored 4 runs in the top of the first inning and the game was essentially over. That bottom of the first inning may have been the most embarrassing inning of baseball I have ever witnessed at any level. I should have seen it coming when the lead off batter walked. From the wild pitches to the passed balls to the outfielder slipping and face planting this was one awful inning. The face plant was so brutal that we decided not to air the super slo-mo angle as this angle may have embarrassed the player - it was that bad. After that first inning it was like the Redbirds just wanted the game to be over and it showed. An embarrassing inning and an embarrassing performance by the team. Brutal.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Yes the Rockies slammed the Cardinals 11 - 1 today in Denver and yes the game only took 2:43 to play. Yes I don't like the Redbirds losing but there are just some places that getting your ass kicked (for the TV team anyway) just isn't as painful. Denver is the classic example where it is so comfortable doing a game that the outcome of the game just doesn't seem important. The home TV team is a group of fun, talented and friendly individuals that are very like able. The locals working for the visitors, us, work hard while having a good time. I look forward to televising in Denver every season. Thank you Denver TV people!! You guys make it fun!!
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
A typical Coors Field game. 15 runs - 10 by the Cardinals. 26 hits - 14 by the Cardinals. 5 homeruns - 2 by the Cardinals. The Redbirds' starting pitcher collected 4 RBI's in the 3:21 game. The best part of this game/telecast was that I sat next to my great great friend who is recovering from 2 strokes. He produce 4 innings and it was a delight sitting next to him once again. This was a familiar game at this field and it was nice sitting next to a familiar face. A very enjoyable evening indeed.
Monday, September 19, 2016
Another game with the feel of the playoffs. The Cardinals defeated the Rockies 5 - 3 in 3:01 tonight at Coors Field in Denver. The game ended with the National League leader in homeruns and RBI's at the plate with 2 runners on base. He hit a mistile to the left fielder and the game was over. I talk alot about the game/telecast in this blog. Cardinals television always tries to deliver a quality product. It doesn't matter is the game is well played and exciting or the game is a klunker, we always strive for quality in our telecast. We missed the mark tonight. This was a very exciting game and the telecast didn't match it. This was a fairly sloppy telecast. We will do better tomorrow.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
In 2:49 the Cards defeated the Giants by the score of 3 - 0 today in San Francisco. Another playoff atmosphere with the Redbirds answering the bell and the Giants showing little life. The Cardinals rookie starting pitcher and a picture of their future pitched superbly and, thus raising the hopes of Cardinal Nation in this years playoff chase. The Cards are 1 game behind the Giants for the 2nd Wild Card spot. We are now in Denver taking on the Rockies and the Giants are in LA taking on their hated Dodgers. No predictions here because of this weird, strange and odd season for the Cards. Optimism prevails but who knows?
Saturday, September 17, 2016
The Cardinals with a 2-run top of the ninth beat the Giants 3 - 2 tonight at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Games with a playoff "feel" are a blast to cut and this game was no exception. So many exciting moments happen in these games and, yes, the game cut is fun but what really is fun is setting up game iso's because when they work, and they usually do work in games like this, the rewards are most satisfying. I believe that the number one thing fans talk about when they talk about games such as these are not the first or second angle of replays of exciting moments but the third and fourth angles which show what happened away from the ball. Manager reactions, players reactions and fan reactions enhance a telecast more than replays of the game on the field. We televised some wonderful reactions throughout this game/telecast and these replays enhanced the quality of this show. Great great fun!
Friday, September 16, 2016
The Giants soundly defeated the Cards by the score of 8 - 2 in 2:57 tonight at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Unlike last night's exciting affair, this game was a clunker. Usually when a game includes 12 pitchers that game can be labeled a clunker. What other aspects define a clunker game? Poor pitching, bad at-bats and lousy fielding are certainly on that list and this game included all of this. It all starts with pitching and there was some awful almost comical pitching in this one. For example: walking the lead off batter after your team scores 6 runs in an inning. I could go on and on but I would rather not get pissed off before I hit the hay.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
The Giants, Mets and Cardinals are the only 3 teams left in the National League with legitimate chances to be one of the two wildcard teams. The Mets were idle tonight and the Cards played the Giants in San Francisco. This arguably was the most important game of the season for both teams as the Giants held a 1/2 game lead on the Redbirds going into the game. The Giants prevailed 6 - 2 in 2:33. Despite the score, this was a fun game to televise. There was a definite playoff atmosphere in AT&T Park and you could feel it in the TV truck. This "electric feeling" really enhances the telecast for the TV crew as well as the fans. You "get into it" and the adrenalin flows. Coming down from a game like this takes time. I can't wait for tomorrow's tilt.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Currently flying at 32,000 feet on our way to San Francisco after a 7 - 0 loss that took 2:37 to play. 2 hours and 37 minutes is a very nice pace for a game nowadays. But, for whatever reason, this contest seemed to last much longer than that. Maybe it was the lack of action on the Cardinals side or maybe it was the lopsided score. Whatever it was this game seemed to drag. I hope this telecast didn't mirror the game. I thought there was a nice pace to the telecast despite the game. I felt the game tugging at the telecast a few times but this telecast won out. This show didn't drag at all.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The Cards beat the Cubs tonight at Busch Stadium. The 4 - 2 score took 2:51 to play. I wish every game/telecast matched the intensity of a Cubs Cardinals game. It doesn't matter if the game is at Wrigley Field or Busch Stadium. Heck, it wouldn't matter if it was played on a little league field in Boise, Idaho. I was talking with the Cubs Producer before the game and we both agreed that these games were "way too much fun". He said to me, "All of a sudden the game is over and it's like WOW that flew by". Cubs/Cardinals - well-pitched, well-played, well paced, great fun.
Monday, September 12, 2016
The Cubs, yes the hated Cubs, came into Busch Stadium tonight and beat the Cardinals 4 - 1 in 2:17. The Cubs starting pitcher, who leads the National League in ERA, pitched brilliantly and carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning. We started preparing for the no-hitter after the 6th inning. We started airing our promos and drop-ins so the when the 9th inning arrived we would expend all efforts covering a possible historic effort by the Cubs starter. The lead off batter in the 9th inning for the Redbirds ended all suspense with a homerun. The rare no-hitter didn't happen. Well, something just as rare happened. The Cubs manager was ejected from the game but was allowed to go to the mound and make a pitching change. A rare game but great great fun.
The Brewers defeated the Cardinals today at Busch Stadium by the score of 2 - 1. After the Brew Crew scored in the top of the first, both starting pitchers were spectacular and the game remained 1 - 0 until the bottom of the 8th inning when the Cards tied the score. At that point the feeling in the TV truck was that the Redbirds although a bit lifeless up to that point would win the game. Then, in the top of the 9th inning, the Brewers retook the lead with a homerun. Now I don't know if the length of the homerun (it was a bomb) had anything to do with the feeling in our TV truck, but our optimism disappeared. This game was over. And it was.
Saturday, September 10, 2016
With a 5-run bottom of the 8th, the Cards beat the Brewers 5 - 1 in 2:39 tonight at Busch Stadium. This game motored!! Both starting pitchers were outstanding. The only mistake the Redbirds starter made went for a solo homerun and the hone team was behind going into the bottom of that 8th inning. The only mistake the Brew Crew made all night was taking out their starting pitcher as their bullpen coughed it up in that 8th inning. Talk about a game that motored, this game would have been well under 2 hours if not for the bottom of the eighth. Great pitching, great defense and clutch hitting describes the Cardinals tonight. It was a fun game for the Cards' fans and I know it was a fun game for the St. Louis TV team.
Friday, September 9, 2016
The Redbirds defeated the Brewers 4 - 3 tonight at Busch Stadium. This 2:34 affair had a nice pace to it for most of the game. Speaking of pace, I found it interesting the the 3 Brewers pitchers all had a different pace on the mound and each pitcher affected the rhythm of the game cut. My rhythm changed with each pitcher and I thought after the game that this game would have been a nice training tool for a director just beginning his or her career. The starting pitcher had an average pace with and average speed to his pitches. The first reliever had a super fast pace (as fast as you will see) yet his pitch speeds were slow, slower, slowest. The final Milwaukee pitcher worked at a slow pace yet threw gas. 3 different paced pitchers in a nicely paced game. This profession is great because one learns each and every game/telecast. I learned so much tonight.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Tonight's game at Busch Stadium between the Cards and the Brewers was the start of the second to last homestand of the 2016 season. And what a start it was. It took 3:15 for the Brew Crew to demolish the Redbirds 12 - 5. The 6-run 6th inning was the final dagger for the Cardinals. There is a saying in sports - "Don't get too high and don't get too low". I'm sure both teams have forgotten about this one and are preparing for tomorrow's game. Same with the TV teams of the Brewers and the Cardinals. The only difference is the Brewers TV team will look back at this game with many highlights and the Cards TV team will look ahead and predict highlights.
The Pirates defeated the Cardinals 4 - 3 in 3:01 tonight in Pittsburgh. A homer in the bottom of the eighth inning proved to be the winner for the Bucs. This was a nice solid telecast - something we have come to expect in the Burgh. This was also the last game of a 10 day 3 city trip. 3 city trips are tiring especially in September. The fact that every trip for the Cardinals in the second half has been a 3 city affair is especially tiring. Oh well, the regular season is almost over and we only have one roadtrip left. Yup, a 3 city trip.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
The Cardinals beat the Pirates tonight in Pittsburgh by the score of 9 - 7 in 3:36. This game included the worst inning and the best inning of the 2016 season. After the Redbirds jumped out to a 5 - 0 lead, the Bucs took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning - the worst inning of this season. This inning included 2 errors and a relief pitcher who coughed up the lead in only 1/3 of an inning. To make this inning the worst inning of the season was that you saw it coming. The best inning of this season was the top of the ninth. The situation was 2-outs, nobody on base and an 0 - 2 count on the batter. Here is what followed: homerun (tie game), double, homerun (took the lead), homerun (built on the lead). The Pirates hit a homer in the bottom of the ninth but this game was over. And so is the Pirates season.
Monday, September 5, 2016
The first two innings of today's Cardinals/Pirates game took one hour and six minutes to play. The final seven innings took two hours and sixteen minutes. Usually slow paced games occur because of poor pitching. The Pirates starting pitcher today filled that bill as he was terrible. He pitched, no threw, two innings. Just awful. Not so with the Redbirds starting pitcher. He pitched well but was continually squeezed by the home plate umpire. There was a very tight strike zone today and thus the length of the game. Call the strike zone the way it is written up in the rule book and the pace of the game will be at the speed Major League Baseball is looking for. The score today was 12 - 6 in favor of the Cardinals. There is no way this game should have taken 3:25 to play. Period.
Sunday, September 4, 2016
The Cards beat the Reds 5 - 2 in Cincinnati today in a game that took 2:56 to play. I can't explain why but this game seemed like it took 6:56 to play not 2:56. Drop the anchor, take the piano off your back, take the 50 pound ankle weights off, do something to speed up the pace of his game. Maybe it was the "different" situation with the TV truck that we encountered this weekend that culminated in my perception of the slow pace of this game. Maybe the game was truly poorly paced. All I know is that I am in my hotel room in Pittsburgh and I am looking forward to the Cards/Bucs three game series. It can't possibly match this weekend in Cincinnati. Thank God.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Things were better in the TV truck today - no live truck dream. Still no dual tallys on 4 & 2 but the camera ops were great again. Today could have been labeled "live game dream" for the Cardinals. The Reds won the game 9 - 1 scoring 2 runs in the 7th and 5 runs in the 8th. And, to make matters worse, the Redbirds scored 1 run and yet were given 8 walks by Reds pitching. Last night was the live truck dream. Today was the live game dream. What will tomorrow's game/telecast bring? Hopefully sweet dreams.
Friday, September 2, 2016
Most everybody who works in the TV sports business has had the dreaded truck dream and has had it more than once. The truck dream is where nothing goes right. No matter what you try to do in the truck dream it doesn't work. Well, the St. Louis Cardinals TV team had a real live truck dream tonight in Cincinnati. No matter how hard the truck engineers worked, and they worked their asses off, nothing was working. We got on the air, of course, but we held our breath all night. We were in the back end of a dual feed which means we share camera 2 (high home) and camera 4 (CF). However, they never had a dual tally light the whole game which means they never knew when I was using their shot or not. After the first inning when there was some ugly camera moves from 2 & 4 (not the operators fault at all) I went to their truck and asked the Cincinnati director to let 2 & 4 know they didn't have dual tallys. After that there really wasn't much of a problem and when there was it was my fault. I will make it a point tomorrow to thank the camera ops for the nice work they did when they were blind with the dual tallys. The live truck dream finally ended with a walk off win by the Reds and we could all begin breathing again.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
I am lucky. I am so lucky. I get to direct Major League Baseball - the greatest sport in the world. Major League sports directors get one chance to cut the best possible shot in any situation and most likely we succeed in that shot. In every sport, we get one chance to get the best possible shot - one chance. We can't stop play and do it over. We must get it right at the time. Most times we do - sometimes we don't. In fact, Major League Baseball directors make over 3000 commands a game that determine what the viewer at home and in the bars will see. Most times that decision is right and sometimes the decision could have been better. Guess what? Only the director knows what shot could have been better for the viewer. It's the same with everyone on the TV team. Let's take graphics for example. The graphics operator on Cardinals baseball TV is one of the best, if not the best, operator in the business. Our philosophy on Cardinals baseball is to deliver what the game gives us. The game will tell us what to do. Therefore, our decisions are split second decisions in all areas of the production. Too many productions try to force the game to adhere to the telecast. The telecast MUST adhere to the game. Now here is the reason for this blog which I have written on an off day. Our graphics operator was ridiculed on social media for a mis-spelling in our telecast from Milwaukee on yesterday's telecast. This very very good operator is chastised for ONE misspelling on a 3-hour baseball telecast - wow. This operator adjusts to the game with his influential graphics as the game dictates. Typing in split second moments. The websites that criticize live TV sports television " mistakes" only do so because you don't know good TV sports coverage. Let me clue you in: my cut of Yadi Molina's homerun yesterday - it could have been a much better cut. I knew it at the time - you didn't. In fact, you don't know good TV sports coverage and don't have a clue on good TV sports television - period. So shut the fuck up. You know NOTHING!!
It took 2:33 for the Brewers to defeat the Cardinals 3 - 1 tonight in Milwaukee. It is now 3:00AM and I am in my room in Cincinnati with an off day tomorrow. In today's baseball, 2 hours and 33 minutes is a gift. In fact, any game under 3 hours is a gift. Another well pitched, well paced game. Another telecast with rhythm. What does on say when one receives a gift? "Thank you". What does one say when it's 3:00 in the morning and one has just arrived in his hotel room? "Goodnight".