Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Legend

Today was the final telecast of the 2010 season.
Today was also the final telecast for one of the legends of broadcasting, Jay Randolph.
It was an honor to work on baseball telecasts with Mr. Randolph.
Mr. Randolph is an icon in the St. Louis area. He did the play by play on Cardinals' telecasts for almost 30 years. Mr. Randolph is a true professional, a master at his craft.
I believe that Jay Randolph is one of the greatest golf announcers of all-time.
The National Football League was blessed to have Jay call many of their games.
Jay Randolph taught me so much about television sports.
This is a man who is one of the most respected persons in our industry.
I have just used the following words to describe Mr. Randolph:
But there is one word that I believe best describes Jay Randolph:
It is a blessing that I was able to work with this gentleman.

Thank you for reading my blog.
I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Remember, spring training 2011 is just around the corner.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Two Emotions

I felt two distinctly different emotions as I cut today's Rockies/Cardinals game.
The Cardinals beat the Rockies today 1-0 in eleven innings on a walk-off single by Matt Holliday. Walk-off wins are a blast to cut.
Walk-off wins are a blast to cut even in meaningless games at the end of the season.
Walk-off wins are a blast to cut even in extra innings during meaningless games at the end of the season.
The emotion I felt cutting the walk-off win was one of excitement.
Even though the game was meaningless as far as the pennant race is concerned, I still was pumped and thrilled to be cutting this exciting Cardinals victory.
However, I felt a totally different emotion before the top of the sixth inning.
We knew going into the game/telecast that Stan "The Man" Musial was going to be introduced to the crowd as part of a campaign to get Stan the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This "Stand For Stan" ceremony should play an important part in honoring this Cardinals great.
"The Man" entered onto the warning track from the wagon gate in right field and circled the ballpark.
The adoring crowd all waved foot high cutouts of Stan and cheered loudly.
The Rockies players in their bullpen and dugout all were clapping.
The Cardinals players, manager, coaches, and staff stood in front of the dugout clapping, waving the cutouts and cheering.
This was an emotional moment for me to cut.
This iconic gentleman is beloved by all Cardinals fans.
Cutting this tribute was an honor and I was moved during the ceremony.
There was a huge lump in my throat and I could only whisper as our great TV crew covered this
wonderful moment.
Never get too high and never get too low.
Tough to do sometimes.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Nailing A Rare Play

The suicide squeeze is one of the rarest plays in baseball.
Because this play is so rare, the TV coverage is usually pretty basic. The mid-first base camera is usually utilized because this angle shows the pitcher, batter, and the runner. This replay shows the runner taking off from third base when the pitcher releases the pitch. To be the most effective, this angle must include the pitcher, the runner, and the batter.
There was a squeeze play in our game/telecast tonight and we nailed it's coverage about as well as can be expected.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Cardinals had a runner on third base with one out. A recent call-up, rookie catcher Matt Pagnozzi, was at the plate.
Before the first pitch our announce team speculated that a suicide squeeze may be in the works.
I took a shot from camera 1 (left field corner) shooting Cardinals manager Tony Larussa giving signs to the third base coach. I told camera 3 (mid-first base) to pull out wide and include the pitcher, runner, and batter.
The first pitch of the at-bat was a ball and the squeeze was not attempted.
I took camera 1 again and LaRussa gave some more signs to the third base coach. These signs were much more emphatically given and this was pointed out by our play by play announcer, Rick Horton - a former big league pitcher.
I went back to camera 3 and stayed on the shot as the pitcher delivered to the plate. From this angle, we could see the runner at third base break for home. As Rick announced "Here it comes!", I went to camera 4 (centerfield) as the pitch was delivered.
The suicide squeeze worked and the Cardinals increased their lead to 3-0 which turned out to be the final score.
The hero shots of Pagnozzi, the runner from third base, the fans, and the dugout celebration were very effective and the replays were great.
This very rare baseball play worked for the Redbirds tonight.
This very rare baseball play worked for our telecast tonight.
We nailed it!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Missing Cameras

On the St. Louis Cardinals home show telecasts camera 7 is the robotic camera located on the backstop directly behind homeplate. By a directive from Major League Baseball this camera cannot be lower than 10 feet from the ground. The primary responsibility of this camera is to cover runners which includes scoring all runs.
This camera was inoperable tonight so camera three which is located at mid-first base inherited these responsibilities. Camera three is the primary shag camera on our telecast and I really missed this function during tonight's telecast.
I considered using camera five which is located in the low first base (Cardinals) dugout, but this is our super slo-mo camera and I couldn't waste this camera on shots of runners.
(For a complete summary of camera responsibilities on the St. Louis Cardinals read my book, Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From The Director's Chair (
I really missed camera 7 during tonight's game/telecast.
Tony, who is the camera 7 operator, took a handheld during the show and offered some great shots from around Busch Stadium. We used to utilize the roaming camera in old Busch Stadium during our telecasts and I really miss that camera as well.
Tonight's game was well-pitched and well-played and we had a great show.
But, I truly missed camera 7 and the roaming handheld (camera 8).
Every camera on our show offers a unique perspective to the telecast.
Camera 7 and camera 8 may offer the most unique looks of all the cameras.
I hope camera 7 is working tomorrow and I would like to add camera 8 for next season.
I am crossing my fingers.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Is It Really September 29th?

The Cardinals beat the Pirates today in by the score of 4-1.
This was a well pitched, well played game.
Going into the 4th inning, the game was only :31 in length.
After six innings the time of game was 1:29.
The final time of the contest was 2:15 which is incredible for a late September game between two teams that have been eliminated from contention.
The game included some great plays and clutch hitting including a homerun.
There was a great flow to the show today as the pace of the telecast kept up with the speed of the game.
We were talking in the truck before the game about the Cardinals' lineup that included only one regular - Colby Rasmus. The rest of the batting order looked like the Cardinals AAA club from Memphis.
Because of this, we were expecting a typical game that occurs after the September call-up when the rosters are expanded.
Boy were we wrong!
This was one of our best telecasts of the season and this certainly was one of the best played games of the year!
Is it really September 29th?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The Cincinnati Reds clinched the NL Central Division tonight with a walk-off homerun. What great fun the Cincinnati TV crew must have had!
The Cardinals lost to the Pirates tonight by the score of 7-2 in one of the least enjoyable games of the season. This game/telecast was not very fun at all for our St. Louis TV crew.
The game had a fairly good pace until the seventh inning. Coincidentally, that was almost exactly the time the Reds clinched the Division.
Once the Reds won their game, the place and flavor of the Cardinals contest disappeared.
It was like the baseball Gods stuck it to the Redbirds.
The Cardinals took the field in the seventh inning after the Reds won.
The Cardinals pitcher who relieved to start the inning walked three batters and threw 32 pitches with 16 strikes and 16 balls. The nicely paced game drew to a halt as the half inning took over thirty minutes.
In the television truck, we always try to stay focused and sometimes the baseball Gods test us with an inning such as tonight's seventh.
With the season officially over and the game seemingly over, I must admit that I lost a bit of focus. I even committed a cardinal sin for all TV baseball directors - I missed a pitch.
This jolted me back into the proper mindset, but I relaxed, lost focus, and the telecast suffered.
The Reds clinch and the Cardinals' game becomes a stinker.
You tell me.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Always Working

The Cardinals and the Reds each have six games remaining.
For the Cardinals to win the Central Division, they have to win every game and the Reds have to lose every game.
In other words, it will take a miracle for the Cardinals to prevail.
The most valuable members of the telecast team are those who never stop working. Just because the inning is over does not mean that "it is break time".
As I have written before, sometimes the greatest contribution to a quality telecast is found between innings.
From the 1st pitch of the season until a team is eliminated from contention, it is very easy for the crew to continue searching for the unique shot and memorable replay. Once the season is over for a team, the TV crew naturally will feel like their TV season is over as well.
They mail it in.
Not our crew in St. Louis.
We had a great telecast tonight.
The camera shots were crisp and clean. There were excellent replays especially from the super slo-mo camera.
TV crews joke about "mailing it in" but I believe that "mailing it in" would be hard work. Much harder work than covering the game in a quality fashion.
As I wrote in yesterday's blog, successful sports television crews MUST have the mindset of being in focus each and every telecast.
The quality of the show depends on this.
St. Louis fans should be proud of their local TV crew.
During every telecast, they are always working.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Mindset

Today, I completed my 23rd road season with the St. Louis Cardinals.
This organization travels in first class fashion.
The charters are wonderful. There is plenty of food and drink and the service is excellent.
We stay in four star hotels that can't be beat.
It is a privilege to be a member of the St. Louis Cardinals travelling party.
I enjoy working with the various crews across the country. These crews are filled with very talented and very unique individuals. It is a joy learning from these professionals each and every telecast.
I consider the St. Louis Cardinals travelling staff to be very good friends.
The cooperation from Tony LaRussa, his coaches, and the players is unbelievable. Because of our presentation of the game of baseball the players respect us and trust us. This trust factor may be the most important aspect in delivering a quality television product to the great St. Louis fans.
To be able to deliver quality baseball television for a whole season is very difficult. It is a grind. Every single member of our profession must get into a specific mindset for six months. There can be no wavering from this mindset or the product will suffer. This can be very difficult to do. The reward for a firm and steady concentration on the daily task of presenting television baseball is measured by the quality of the telecast day in and day out.
The most important factor in maintaining this very important mindset is that you "have to care" about your product.
I am proud that our St. Louis Cardinals television team cares and, indeed, loves covering Major League baseball.
There is one week left in our regular season. We have seven home games remaining. These games will be a piece of cake. The quality will be there.
The idea for this blog came to me after we signed off the air today in Chicago.
I felt this intense feeling of relief and satisfaction come over me.
The 2010 road telecast season is complete.
The 2010 road telecast season was successful.
The grind is over!
Thanks to our mindset.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Scare

Today's Cardinals and Cubs game/telecast included one of those scary moments that occur so infrequently that when they do the complete complexion of the show changes.
Cardinal's pitcher Blake Hawksworth was hit in the face by a line drive.
I was just about to take camera 1 live as it was shooting Hawksworth and just before I did Hawksworth rolled over and the very graphic picture of his distorted face appeared in the camera one monitor.
There was no way I could have aired that shot.
The ball had hit him in the mouth and his mouth was distorted in a hideous way.
As I write in my book, Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From The Director's Chair (, this is the only instance in a live sports telecast that the Producer and Director can gather their wits and decide to air the shot or not. Every other decision we make is in a split second with no time to ponder the shot and it's importance to the telecast.
Like every other horrific injury on telecasts that I have been a part of, these ugly moments take the life out of the ballpark and the telecast.
The crew for today's show was a patchwork of TV techs from around the country. This game was a late add-on to our telecast schedule and, because it was on a saturday during the college football season, a crew was hard to find.
This crew was great!
Every member of this telecast contributed to a very good, clean telecast.
It is too bad that we were all involved in covering a very scary moment in the game.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Meaningful Game

The Cardinals are on fumes.
There are 9 games to play and the Cincinnati Reds magic number is 3 to clinch the division.
There were two pluses in today's game/telecast. The game was at Wrigley Field and Adam Wainwright was gunning for his 20th victory of the season.
I so enjoy doing games from Wrigley Field that I devote a chapter to this great venue in my book Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From The Director's Chair. (
Like Busch Stadium in St. Louis, it is an event to go to a game at Wrigley Field.
If every sports team in the country could figure out how to make going to the game an event, then every game would be a sellout or close to it. Pessimists say that you have to win before people will come to the game and thus this would become "an event".
My answer is the Cubs haven't won in 101 years and going to a game at Wrigley is an event.
Like every single game I have ever done at Wrigley Field, today's game was a blast to cut. The wind was blowing out and the place was electric.
Adam Wainwright was brilliant on the mound and picked up his 20th victory of the season. We were all very happy for Adam as he is one of the classiest men in the game.
Congratulations Adam!
Two more game/telecasts at Wrigley tomorrow and sunday.
What a great way to finish the road schedule for the 2010 season!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good Times And Bad Times

Good Time:
Cutting the Cardinals/Pirates game.
Albert Pujols hit his 40th and 41st homeruns and Matt Holliday drove in his 100th run of the season. Rookie Daniel Descalso collected 4 hits in his second Major League start.
This all added up to a 9-2 Cardinals' victory.
Bad Time:
3:08 was the time of this contest as 13 pitchers were used during the game.
Good Time:
The flight from Pittsburgh to Chicago was a very comfortable 1 hour and 7 minutes.
Bad Time:
The bus ride from O'hare to the downtown Ritz Carlton was a very uncomfortable 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Good Time:
Staying at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago.
Bad Time:
Three straight 7:30am wake-up calls.
Good Time:
Cutting three Cardinals/Cubs games out of Wrigley Field.
Fortunately, in this profession the good times always outweigh the bad times.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One Good Thing About September Baseball

September baseball is the time when AAA baseball comes to the big leagues.
There is a huge difference between AAA and the Major Leagues.
I don't believe there has ever been a bigger margin between the quality of the big league player and the AAA player.
Granted, these AAA players are trying to make a good impression on the manager and the team and maybe this puts unnecessary pressure on the called-up player, but there is a huge discrepancy between these two leagues.
Pitchers become throwers and hitters become swingers.
There is one aspect that I do enjoy about September baseball.
Many players collect their 1st major league hit during this time.
Cutting a player's 1st major league hit is a blast. The look on the player's face is priceless and there are always great reaction shots from the teammates.
It is just such a great feeling when this memorable event occurs.
There was a "first major league hit" in tonight's game/telecast.
This was the best moment of the AAA game we televised tonight.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Light Moment

Producing and directing live television sports is a high pressured job. We have one chance to capture a play in the highest quality possible. Thousands of split second decisions are made during every telecast.
Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we could have made a better decision.
Because of this scenario, it is the producer and the director who MUST insure that there is not too much pressure on the crew and even the announcers. It is our job to create the proper atmosphere in the truck therefore allowing the crew to perform at a high quality level.
This is why the screamers in our business NEVER get the most out of the crew. The screamers in our business are those with the biggest egos and the least talent. Period.
The trick is to not go "too far" with the lightheartedness and I admit that I have crossed that line a few times in my career.
There was an example tonight, however, that I made a comment to the announcers in their headsets that lightened up the mood during another frustrating Cardinals loss.
Because communication is so important between the truck and the booth that the audio system (called RTS) allows for the producer and the director to talk to the announcers and the announcers to talk to the truck without the audio going over the air.
Late in the game, Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit (Pronounced doe mit) had just completed an at-bat and I said to Dan (PXP) and Al (Color), "Do you know what Ryan Doumit's brother's name is?" ........."Duncan".
Dan started laughing (off the air) and Al suggested I write about this in the blog.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Truck Dream Telecast

Greetings from Pittsburgh!
At 11:39 this morning, I received a text message from my son who is a bug operator in the Twin Cities. His text read, "Had a truck dream last night".
On June 27th, I wrote about the "dreaded truck dream" in this blog. I remember how proud I was of my son when he had his first truck dream last winter. As far as I am concerned, one is not truly meshed into the live TV sports community until one experiences a truck dream.
During a truck dream, nothing goes right and there is nothing you can do about it.
Little did I know that my son's text message was a precursor to today's game/telecast!
This was a weird game to begin with.
It was a rain out make up against the Florida Marlins at 3:00 eastern.
Crew call was 9:00 and the "live" truck dream began at 10:15 when our duet operator hadn't shown up. A call was made and it was determined that the operator thought it was a night game. Fifteen minutes later it was discovered that our ENG camera operator also thought this was a night game. Unlike the duet operator who was on her way, the ENG guy couldn't possibly be to the stadium until 2:30. We captured some sound for the pregame show through the truck and the ENG guy showed up and shot soundbites for the postgame show.
This was only the beginning of the "live" truck dream.
With the first pitch scheduled for 3:10, we had three opening segments to fill.
The first segment recapped the series in which the rainout occured. The video recap with two lower third graphics was finally completed after four attempts.
The second segment on the starting pitchers was much more successful as the video package for the segment only needed three takes.
Our final segment was titled 5 in :55 in which we highlight five players who we think will have an impact on the game. After three passes the 5 in :55 package was completed.
Now we began recording the segments with the announcers.
We started with the third segment and after our 7th take this opening segment was done.
The second segment was recorded next in only 4 takes!
We were really on fire when we recorded the opening segment of the show.
Three takes and it was in the can!
Recording the batting orders and defenses was next. This process usually takes a good five minutes and never more than ten minutes.
We captured the Cardinals batting order and defense and also the Marlins batting order.
This took 15 minutes and we still had not recorded the Marlins defense.
At this time I implored the TV Gods to "please, please, please let us capture the Marlins defense in one attempt! Please!
We did it!
That may have been the happiest moment of the entire season for our TV crew.
Well not so fast.
After we aired the Marlins batting order in the bottom of the first inning we realized that the Marlins had changed not just the lead-off batter but the number two batter as well.
Things settled down after this but we were trapped in the dreaded truck dream for almost 5 1/2 hours.
Fourteen telecasts remaining for the 2010 baseball regular season.
Again, I beg of you TV Gods, "please, please, please no more "live" truck dreams." "PLEASE".

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Well Pitched Game, Sloppy Telecast

The Cardinals beat the Padres today in 2:22 by the score of 4-1.
Adam Wainwright pitched a gem allowing 5 hits in 8 innings while striking out 7. This feat by Wainwright is even better than it looks when you take into the fact that the home plate umpire had the tiniest of strike zones today.
I have blogged many times that the well-pitched, well-played games offer the pace that is very conducive to a clean telecast.
Not today.
This was a very sloppy telecast today.
There was a whip pan and some bad cuts during action.
As the season winds down, the possibility of a poor telecast increases. Another reason is that football is starting and the local crew is starting to work with other Producers and Directors. The St. Louis home show crew has worked exclusively with me and Mike for the whole summer and now they are working on other sports telecasts with many other Producer/Director teams.
Each team has a different rhythm during a telecast and all crews must adjust to this rhythm as the show goes on in order to insure a quality telecast.
It does not matter that our home TV crew has done fifty straight baseball games with the same Producer and Director. Working with another Producer/Director team will have an effect on the regular team and the quality of the show will reflect this.
This is why, I believe, that basketball and hockey telecasts have a more difficult time televising quality shows than baseball. When you are in a city for baseball, there will be 3 or 4 telecasts back-to-back.
Basketball and hockey televise 2, 3, or 4 games a week in different cities with different crews. Kudos to my basketball and hockey peers for the fine product they put out show after show.
A difficult task indeed.
Baseball is much more of a grind than basketball or hockey. Every single Cardinals game is on television this season. The games that are not on ESPN or big FOX are on local TV. Including spring training, Cardinals fans will enjoy 155 games on local TV this season. The nice thing about this is that there are no off days on the road. It seems that when the Cardinals are on Saturday Big Fox, they are also on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
This is great because off days on the road are awful. If the team is playing, I want to be part of the telecast.
There are many off days on the road for basketball and hockey. When I did the NBA or the NHL, I never liked the off days on the road.
Again, kudos to my peers in those sports for their fine efforts during their respective seasons.
Speaking of the road, I am in Miami for a make-up rain out game to be played tomorrow at 3:00 local.
Hmm....let's Florida Marlins (eliminated)......3:00 Monday afternoon make-up game....and then on to Pittsburgh. Should be a fun blog.
Ah the glamour!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lots Of Action

The Cardinals beat the Padres tonight by the score of 14-4 and the two teams combined for 29 hits.
My favorite game to cut is one that features low scoring and good pitching. These games tend to have a good pace and it is easy to get into a rhythm while cutting the game. Every TV baseball director loves to get into a nice rhythm during the game/telecast.
Tonight's game featured season highs in both runs and hits for the Cardinals. This type of game in not a game that I usually prefer to cut, but I really enjoyed cutting this game.
As I write in my book Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From The Director's Chair (, The homerun cut is the most fun a TV baseball director can have during a game/telecast. Tonight, I cut three homeruns and even though two of the homeruns were hit by the Padres, I enjoyed cutting them.
The Cardinals scored 3 runs in the first inning, 5 in the second, 1 in the fourth, 2 in the sixth, and 3 in the eighth and I enjoyed cutting each and every inning.
Occasionally games with this amount of action can lead to mistakes due to over cutting. When there is lots of action during a baseball game, it can be very easy for the director to be overly aggressive. It is a mistake for a TV baseball director to try and match the pace of the game. A director can lead the announcers but a director can never lead the game. Take what the game gives you and cut accordingly.
The game ALWAYS tells the telecast what to do.
That's why this profession is so enjoyable. Follow the game - the game will tell you what to do. This philosophy does not entertain forcing elements into the telecast.
Following the game = a great flow to the show.
It's all about rhythm.
We followed the game tonight and had a great flow to the show.
Rhythm = success!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Planned Telecast

On July 31st, the Cardinals traded Ryan Ludwick to the San Diego Padres and received Jake Westbrook from the Cleveland Indians.
Tonight, September 16th, was the only visit to Busch Stadium by the Padres this season.
We have had our eye on this game for sometime.
The trade was our central theme for the telecast tonight. We highlighted each player during our opening segment and revisited the theme throughout the show with graphics and video.
We capped off the show with a video package during the postgame show that revisited each at-bat between Ludwick and Westbrook.
This show worked.
There are two very important factors that determine the quality of the telecast.
Preparation and communication.
These factors are both equally important.
The St. Louis Cardinals TV crew was more prepared for this telecast than any other show this season. This preparation enhanced the communication between the truck and crew and between the truck and the booth.
It showed.
This was a great telecast!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Microcosm Of The Season

This game was an exact microcosm of the 2010 season.
The Cardinals started out playing very well and then collapsed in the 7th inning.
The game ended in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded and the score 7-3. The last batter of the game (the tying run) struck out and the game, like the season, ended by teasing all Cardinals fans.
This game/telecast included the best shot of the year.
During the top of the fourth inning there was a routine groundball hit to the Cardinals shortstop.
Our super slo-mo camera operator, John, followed the ball tight. Very tight. The revolution of the ball in the air to the first baseman was perfectly in focus and absolutely beautiful.
The feed from the super slo-mo camera is recorded at three times normal speed and played back at normal speed.
John is a microcosm of our St. Louis television crew. The Cardinals are on life support being eight games out of 1st place with 18 games to play and our crew worked as hard as they ALWAYS do. Not one member of the TV team "mailed it in".
Trust me, covering baseball on television is very difficult. Every member has to be "on" for every pitch. The quality of the telecast depends on this.
Tonight was our 139th telecast of the season. Just because the Cardinals are basically "out of it", this is no excuse to "go through the motions".
I am proud of our St. Louis crew.
Top notch TV from game one through the season.
We owe it to the great game of baseball.
We owe it to the great Cardinals fans.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stood Out

Most telecasts have moments that stand out.
It is so rewarding for the TV crew when a certain play of the game is captured in such a way that the coverage stands out.
For this to occur all components of the telecast must come together.
Sometimes one of those components is luck.
In tonight's game/telecast, with the help of luck, we televised a moment that really stood out.
Hall-of-Famer Lou Brock was a guest in our booth promoting his golf tournament. Lou is always a great guest and tonight his involvement on or show was the highlight of the telecast.
When Lou retired from the game, he was the all-time stolen base leader in MLB history.
Our play-by-play announcer, Dan, initiated a conversation with Lou about stealing bases. The Cardinals' shortstop Brendan Ryan was on first base and Dan asked Lou to explain the art of base stealing using Ryan as an example.
For three pitches Lou talked about getting a jump, reading the pitcher, and leading off.
This is where we got lucky.
Ryan stole second base when Lou was explaining this aspect of the game!
Our first angle of the stolen base was a super slo-mo shot of Ryan's feet as he took off for second base. Lou talked of the cross over step and his analysis was spot on.
After a pitch, we aired a second super slo-mo look of Ryan sliding into second base.
Dan asked Lou why he always slid hard into the base on his steals and Lou stated, "I slid hard because I really didn't know how to slide". Lou then complemented Ryan on his slide and this sequence went down as one of our most memorable of the 2010 season.
This moment stood out.

Monday, September 13, 2010

September Baseball

Televising September baseball can be very difficult.
The rosters are expanded and a great percentage of the teams are out of the running.
The St. Louis Cardinals television crew has been very spoiled. The team has had a great run and has been in contention in September almost every season during the past 15 years.
Tonight's game/telecast featured the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. This is one of sports' biggest rivalries and the games are generally exciting and fun to televise. In fact, the last time the Cardinals and the Cubs both did not make the post-season was 1999.
The Cubs have been eliminated and the Cardinal are on life support. The Redbirds are 7 games out of 1st place with 20 games to play.
During the game tonight, I noticed that some of the Cubs were just "going through the motions". The Cardinals were battling hard but seemed to be missing that intensity necessary to compete at the Major League level.
During the game/telecast, I kept thinking about my peers whose teams are out of contention and have been for a while.
Televising baseball can be great fun when your team is winning.
Televising baseball can be very difficult when your team is losing.
I admire those peers who continually deliver a good product as they televise their games despite covering a losing team.
Baseball is the most difficult game to televise.
If the team being covered is a losing team, the task is all the more difficult.
If the team being covered is a winning team, the task is a blast and although the game is the same, the task seems easy.
When your team is winning, September is the greatest month of the season for the television crew.
There is no month more agonizing than September if you are covering a team out of contention.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Forget And Continue

We had a sloppy telecast tonight.
But, all in all, this was a good telecast.
I make this statement because we did not let the mistakes snowball into bigger and bigger mistakes.
I believe this is one of the biggest problems for the less experienced members of our broadcast community. The less experienced members of TV sports production teams allow mistakes to effect them and their performance and, thus, the quality of the telecast suffers.
The members of our broadcast community with the most experience understand this "law".
This broadcast community consists of EVERYONE who is involved in a TV sports production. From the runner to the Producer, the most experienced members of our fraternity understand this "rule".
Mistakes will be made.
Keep doing the responsibilities of your job as good as you possibly can!
You can't stop the game and redo a play.
I would like to offer some advice to the less experienced members of our wonderful broadcast community.
Here is the best advice that anyone can give to a member of our broadcast brotherhood:
Don't make the same mistake twice.
Follow this advice and your contribution to the telecast will increase in value every show.
Off Saturday (Big Fox) and sunday (ESPN)
I will blog monday after the Cubs game at Busch.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Star Of The Game

As I write in my book Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From The Director's Chair ( each member of the telecast crew is equally important. Televising live sports in a quality fashion must be a total team effort. From the Producer to the runner, if any member of the crew has a bad game or even a bad moment, the whole telecast suffers.
My favorite game/telecasts are those shows where every member of the TV team contributes to a successful telecast.
We had one of those shows tonight.
It seems that every time we have a telecast of the caliber of tonight's show, there is one person on the crew who particularly stands out.
Tonight, that person was our technical director.
I admit that I am spoiled by the fine work of our home TD (technical director) and the work of our technical directors on the road this season has been exceptional.
Tonight's TD was flawless. He executed his responsibilities perfectly and it was a pleasure to sit next to him on this show.
Great telecast!
Great show TD!

Watching Baseball

It is just after 3AM and I just arrived at my room in Atlanta.
The Cardinals have a very important 4-game series with the Atlanta Braves this weekend and I am excited to be a part of it. I played in the Braves organization over 30 years ago and I really enjoy working Cardinals and Braves games.
I was thinking on the charter flight from Milwaukee about how lucky I am.
I have the greatest job in the world.
I love the game of baseball and I love being a TV baseball director.
I had to smile on the plane because I realized that what it all comes down to is that I watch Major League Baseball for a living.
For home games I get to watch the game with 7 cameras and for road contests I watch the game with 6 cameras.
I love working with the home crew. This crew holds a special place in my heart.
Working with the road crews in each respective city is very rewarding as well.
For the most part, I enjoy televising baseball from different cities. There are very talented TV technicians in every town and it is a pleasure learning from them.
I have often said that the greatest aspect of what I do for a living is that I learn something EVERY time I sit in the chair.
During tonight's uneventful game/telecast, I realized how lucky I am.
I am blessed and I am fortunate.
I watch baseball for a living.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Historical and Weird

Future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman collected his 600th save in tonight's game.
It was a blast to cut the celebration on the field after this great accomplishment. I even got a huge lump in my throat as Hoffman was hugging and kissing his three young boys on the field.
Naturally, we iso'd Hoffman during the final out and were rewarded with a nice reaction shot as he raised his arms in great relief and excitement.
It is always wonderful to be part of the team that televises historical games.
Every TV baseball crew member wants to be part of a perfect game or a no-hitter.
I will never forget Mark McGwire's 61st and 62nd homerun games. And on the final day of the '98 season he hit #70.
I have been part of a couple of no-hitters and it was a fantastic experience.
However, Hoffman ending the game with his 6ooth save capped off a very strange, very weird game.
During the bottom of the second inning, the Brewers had runners on first and second with nobody out. The batter hit a groundball to the second baseman and the Cardinals turned a 4-6-3 double play with the run scoring thus giving the Brewers a 3-0 lead.
However, the second base umpire ruled that the Brewers' baserunner went out of the basepath to take out the shortstop thus nullifying the run.
Brewers manager, Ken Macha, was ejected for arguing the play.
Ejection #1.
The Brewers fans were incredulous and the booing was loud.
After the first pitch of the bottom of the third inning, Home plate umpire Bob Davidson threw Cardinals' pitching coach out of the game for arguing the pitch which was called a ball. Replays showed the pitch was a ball.
Ejection #2
Later in the bottom of the third inning, a Brewers' batter hit a groundball to third and the throw pulled Albert Pujols of the base. He tagged the runner on the head but the first base umpire called the runner safe. Pujols argued that he tagged the runner and Cardinals manager joined in on the conversation. The first base umpire consulted with the home plate umpire and the runner was ruled out.
Replays showed this to be the proper call but the home Brewers crowd would have none of it and the booing became even louder.
During the bottom of the 5th inning, Brewers' outfielder Chris Dickerson was ejected by Davidson after being called out on strikes. He threw his bat and helmet which led to the ejection. Replays showed the pitch was a strike.
Ejection #3.
Before the start of the bottom of the 7th inning something happened that made this weird game even stranger.
Davidson ejected a fan from the game!
We talked in the truck and none of us had ever been witness to a fan being ejected.
Ejection #4
Twenty years from now, baseball fans will look at September 7, 2010 as the day Trevor Hoffman collected his 600th save.
Baseball fans will not remember how weird this game really was.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Best And Worst of The Milwaukee Dual Feed

Despite the fact that it is a dual feed in Milwaukee, I enjoy working with this crew and the dual feed situation is pretty comfortable.
We are in our own mobile unit which is very nice.
This dual feed is among the best in baseball.
I really like the crew in Milwaukee. They know the game and they work hard.
This crew is one of the best in baseball.
Unfortunately, the dugout camera locations are on the outfield side of the dugouts and are easily blocked by players or coaches.
These dugout camera locations are among the worst in baseball.
However, the mid-level camera locations are great. They are not too high and not too low.
They are among the best mid-level cameras in baseball.
I am not a fan of Miller Park. I guess I learned this dislike because of the Metrodome in Minneapolis. I was working on the Twins' telecasts when the when the HHH Metrodome opened in 1982 and there was not one day that I enjoyed working out of that monstrosity.
Baseball should be played outdoors.
Therefore, in my mind, Miller Park is one of the worst venues in the game.
I like the Milwaukee Press Room.
It is one of the best in the National League.
We store our equipment in the visiting clubhouse. Phil, the visiting clubhouse manager is a great guy and is one of the best "clubbies" in the game.
All in all, I like coming to Milwaukee.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Atmosphere 2

Greetings from Milwaukee.
After our game/telecast on Friday night, I wrote about how important atmosphere is to the success of the telecast.
The fans in the stands Friday night created the atmosphere that led to a quality telecast.
Today's game/telecast also included an atmosphere that was the main ingredient to this successful show.
However, this atmosphere was created in a different way than the electric atmosphere of Friday night.
Friday night's atmosphere was created by the fans.
Today's atmosphere was created by a player.
In the bottom of the 6th inning with the Reds leading 2-1, Matt Holliday was at the plate with two runners on and a 3-2 count. He fouled off a couple of fastballs and then the Reds' pitcher, Homer Bailey, threw a curveball which Holliday barely fouled off. The foul ball struck the catcher in the groin area and the flow of the game was slowed as the catcher shook off the effects of the foul ball.
(Before the curveball, I noticed that Bailey was shaking of the catcher's signal for a fastball - twice.)
When play was resumed, the catcher kept putting down one finger (they were using the first sign in the sequence) and Bailey kept shaking off the fastball. The catcher called time, went to the mound, and talked to Bailey.
I read Homer Bailey's lips, "I don't want a fastball", is what he said to the catcher. The catcher continued to plead his case and then went back to his position behind the plate. Bailey shook off the first sign for a fastball, the second sign for a fastball, and then finally agreed to throw that particular pitch.
Holliday hit a 3-run homerun and the Cardinals held on to win 4-2.
Up to that at-bat, there was no atmosphere in Busch Stadium.
The ballpark was downright quiet.
Totally different from Friday night when the place was electric from the first pitch on.
One swing of the at-bat changed that.
Busch Stadium was on fire.
The place was buzzing.
I knew the Cardinals would win that game when Busch Stadium came alive.
It doesn't matter if the fans create the atmosphere or the players.
There is nothing better for the television crew then when the ballpark is rocking!

Friday, September 3, 2010


During tonight's game/telecast I realized how important atmosphere is to the success of the telecast.
The attendance for the last three games of the road trip at Minute Maid Park in Houston was 22,068, 29,307, and 23,140. The atmosphere in that ballpark for those three games was disappointing but understandable. The Astros have never really been in the race after starting the season 0-9.
The attendance for tonight's Reds/Cardinals game at Busch Stadium was 43, 540.
Even though the Cardinals had fallen to 8 games behind the Reds after the atrocious road trip, our main theme for the show was to revisit the last Cardinals/Reds series in Cincinnati which the Cardinals swept and included a bench clearing brawl.
The main combatant for the Reds in that series was Brandon Phillips who precipitated the brawl by calling the Cardinals a bunch of "whiny bitches" among other things.
We addressed this issue in an opening segment. We came back from our last break of the open with open billboards, a shot of the packed Busch Stadium, and then a shot of Phillips who was batting second in the order for the Reds.
After the Reds lead-off batter flew out, I immediately took a shot of Phillips and audio opened the PA (public address) of Busch stadium as Phillips was introduced.
We expected the home crowd reaction to be negative towards Phillips and we were correct. There was a constant "boo" from the crowd during the whole at-bat.
When there were two strikes on Phillips, I had camera 3 (mid 1st) come wide to cover the explosion of the crowd in case Phillips struck out.
He did!
A great reaction was captured live and the atmosphere in Busch Stadium was electric.
After the third out of the inning, our Producer rolled out to commercial with the strikeout at normal speed with the audio being tracked.
A great roll out!
Phillips went 0-4 for the game and each at-bat was a blast to cut. The great atmosphere in Busch Stadium peaked during every Phillips at-bat.
The Cardinals scored two runs in the first inning and one in the second and held on to win 3-2.
This game/telecast would have been completely different in Minute Maid Park because of the atmosphere.
We are blessed that we have the privilege to cover Cardinals baseball at Busch Stadium.
For Cardinals' fans there is only one other venue that can capture the atmosphere of Busch Stadium.
Wrigley Field.
Busch Stadium and Wrigley Field are two of the greatest ballparks to cover the great game of baseball.
Because of atmosphere.
Off tomorrow for FOX game of the week. Next game/telecast is sunday.
Thank you for following my blog.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Three Similar Games, Three Similar Telecasts

A recap of the 3-game series between the Cardinals and the Astros.
Game 1:
Score: 2-0 Astros
Cardinals - 2 hits
Time - 2:00
Game 2:
Score - 3-0 Astros
Cardinals - 3 hits
Time - 2:21
Game 3:
Score: 5-2 Astros
Cardinals - 7 hits
Time - 2:38
These well-pitched, well-paced, low scoring affairs offered the Cardinals television viewers with almost no excitement at all.
The two run homerun that began the third game was about all the excitement that happened for Cardinals' fans throughout the series.
There is frustration in the TV truck as we try and try to raise the quality level of the telecast and we can do absolutely nothing to raise the quality level of the game.
Generally speaking, these types of games usually offer a great viewing experience for the fans watching on television.
I have never seen anything like this series in my 28 years of televising Major League Baseball.
I hope I never experience this again.
Off day tomorrow and then the Reds come to Busch Stadium for a three game set.
There is NO WAY this series will mirror the Astros games.
I can't wait.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No Life

Usually a 3-0 game that ends in 2 hours and 21 minutes is a fun game to cut.
This is generally true for all well-played, well-paced games.
Most well-played, well-paced games are exciting and full of infectious energy.
Most of the time the TV crew will feel a tremendous rush from a well-played, well-paced game.
Not tonight.
There was no life in the Cardinals tonight.
The Cardinals were shut out for the second consecutive game. There was not one instance in tonight's game when there was even a moment to be excited about when the team was at the plate.
The Cardinals had the tying run at the plate in the top of the ninth inning but the game ended on a check swing strikeout.
Fitting for this clunker of a game.
As I have stated in earlier blogs, the game itself will usually give the TV production team something to enhance through video or graphics.
To put this game in perspective, the most telling graphic of the telecast was the updated score from the Milwaukee @ Cincinnati game. The Cardinals are chasing the Reds in the Central Division and are now 7 games behind in the standings.
Other than the updates from Cincinnati, this game offered us absolutely nothing in regards to building up this game/telecast.
It was like the baseball Gods were punishing the Cardinals for their lack of energy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Game, The Venue, The Dual Feed

First of all, let me blog about this game.
From a TV baseball perspective, this was a great game to televise.
The game was well pitched and well played by both sides and the time of game was exactly 2 hours.
This game moved and we had a great "flow to the show".
There were some technical issues early in the telecast but the EIC (engineer in charge) was on top of the problems and fixed them quickly.
These problems included no program audio to a camera and problems with Fox Trax. These issues in no way interrupted the quality of our show.
Now let me blog about the venue.
What did, however, interrupt the quality of our telecast was Minute Maid Park
When the pitcher has a well thrown inning, it is nice to shoot him as he leaves the field at the conclusion of the inning.
Don't try this at Minute Maid Park however. The security guards MUST enter the field IMMEDIATELY after the third out and their positioning on the field blocks the shot.
Also at Minute Maid, the third base coach for the Astros blocks the shot of the pitcher and the runner at first base by where he stands during the game. I realize that he has a perfect right to stand there and I make an adjustment accordingly. Camera 3 (mid-1st) is my pick-off camera on any attempt at first base. This weakens the quality of the telecast because camera 3 is my main shag camera in a dual feed.
Last but not least allow me to comment on the dual feed.
During a dual feed situation, the home show controls the high home camera.
This camera shows the defensive alignment of the team on the field.
I love to show the defense many times throughout the telecast but I am unable to show it when I prefer to because I don't control this camera when I am in a dual feed situation.
I find this very frustrating.
Also, the announcers like to talk about the defensive alignment and you can't blame them.
In the back end of a dual feed, I just can't show the defense when I want to.
I don't control camera 2.
I refuse to ask the home show to pan the defense because I do not want to tie up their production like ours is tied up in the back end of a dual feed.
I was told once that the dual feed was created because everyone "cuts the game the same".
First of all, this comment is insulting and secondly this comment is wrong.
The dual feed was created because it is a money saving venture.
I understand this and I live with it.
Please don't try to BS me that the dual feed is something else.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Camera 1

Camera 1 is the camera located in the third base dugout also known as low third.
In 1982, I ran that camera in the HHH Metrodome in Minneapolis for Minnesota Twins home games.
I enjoy watching and learning from other camera one operators across the country.
Like TV baseball directors, every camera operator has his or her own style when running the camera.
The camera one operator in Washington DC for the visitor's feed of Washington Nationals home games is Jimmy.
It was a pleasure watching this true professional shoot camera one. Jimmy never stops working. During the game and between innings he is always looking for "the shot".
The other camera one operator who really impressed me in the last couple of years is Amy who works in Cincinnati. Amy is now on the home show and I don't blame the Cincinnati producer and director for wanting her on their show. She is terrific.
In no way do I mean to disrespect other camera one operators in Major League Baseball. Most camera operators in our business are very, very good.
Jimmy and Amy have a different style than other camera one operators. They are very aggressive and have a knack to find "the shot".
I say this as a former camera one operator who was average at best.
My claim to fame as a camera operator was that my work was once specifically mentioned on ESPN's SportsCenter.
"Here is a look at Twin's manager Billy Gardner looking slightly dejected and slightly out of focus".

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tomorrow's Telecast

One of the most difficult tasks for any TV sports production team is to decide which themes for the days telecast should be addressed in the opening segment.
Do we talk about the starting pitchers?
Which position player is hot for each team?
What should this telecast spotlight throughout the game?
Many times the previous days game/telecast will give you a definite theme to cover in the next show.
Tonight's game did just that.
The Cardinals lost tonight's game 14-5 and it is my experience to tell you that a game such as this usually doesn't offer any clues as to what the major theme for tomorrow's show should be.
On a blow out loss such as this, it is usually a good idea to stay away from this game and look for a theme from another source.
Thank you Nyjer Morgan.
During the Nationals 6-run bottom of the eighth inning, Morgan went out of his way to collide with the Cardinals catcher as he scored.
A truly bush league play.
Tomorrow's telecast will address this a one of the themes for the telecast.
As we talked in the truck after this incident, it was stated that hopefully this play will fire the club up just as the Brandon Phillips comments before the series in Cincinnati ignited the team to a 3-game sweep.
Great job by the crew tonight and thank you Nyjer Morgan for giving us our theme for tomorrow.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Washington Nationals' TV Crew

I may have a new favorite road TV crew.
This crew in Washington DC is good, very good.
The TD is excellent.
The camera operators work and know what they are doing.
Our Producer loves the tape room.
Audio and video mix and shade well.
The fox box operator is solid.
The duet operator is fast and on top of things.
Our announcers like the stage manager.
And the EIC (engineer in charge) of the truck is easy going and very, very talented.
Last night's game/telecast was an extra inning affair that lasted 4 hours and 35 minutes. The crew was sharp until the final out.
Tonight's game/telecast was very normal game with some intrigue at the end.
Again, a solid performance by these talented TV techs.
The quality of a television sports crew is measured in two ways.
Their performance and their attitude.
I have already blogged about the performance of this fine TV crew in Washington DC crew.
Now I will blog about their attitude.
I love this crew!
They are fun and they are funny.
They have a great time doing their jobs and you NEVER have to tell them something twice.
Televising baseball is a blast!
Some road shows are more difficult and less enjoyable than others. Don't get me wrong. I did not say that some road show are not enjoyable. I said some road show are less enjoyable.
I enjoy what I do as a TV baseball director.
I just enjoy my profession more in some venues than others.
Washington DC is one of those venues.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Highs And Lows

This game included some of the highest highs and lowest lows of any game I have ever televised.
The highs included Albert Pujols 400th career homerun. This historical homerun was a blast to cut. We have been expecting this memorable event to happen since Monday and were well prepared with graphics and flashbacks that really enhanced the homer and added quality to the telecast.
The top of the ninth inning provided an exciting high for Cardinals fans as well. The Redbirds were down 8-6 going into the inning in a time of the season where the team is almost in a "must win" situation.
The Cardinals scored 4 runs in the inning to take a 10-8 lead! This inning provided some exciting moments that we captured on the telecast. Namely, a Brendan Ryan at-bat where Ryan went from an 0-2 count to a double to deep left field to make the score 8-7 with runners on second and third.
A few moments later with the team and fans on an incredible high, Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday was hit on the hand by a pitch.
"Oh my God", I said.
Holliday was in obvious pain and every teammate and Cardinals fan were holding their collective breaths.
The next batter, Randy Winn, hit a two run single and the Cards led 10-8.
Another high.
After the commercial break, the lows began.
Holliday was replaced in left field and we were told that he was getting x-rayed.
Then with one out, the Nationals tied the score with a 2-run homerun.
Thing then got worse.
What is the worst thing that could happen to a Cardinals fan?
How about losing Albert Pujols to injury.
In the bottom of the tenth inning Albert suffered a sprained ankle trying to catch a foul popup by the tarp.
Albert finished the game but the injury did not look good.
The Nationals won the game in the bottom of the 13th inning and after 4 hours and 35 minutes of incredible highs and lows the game was mercifully over.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pittsburgh Baseball

I had a tough time tonight.
I tried and I tried but I could not find anything to be excited about during this game/telecast.
I wasn't bored. Baseball doesn't bore me.
I was in Pittsburgh - a city I like.
I just couldn't escape the feeling that I was directing "another one of those games " from Pittsburgh.
The Pirates are a young team that may be good in two or three years but right now I find them rather irritating to watch. Yes, they did beat the Cardinals in two out of three games in this series, but they are so hard to watch.
I see these young Pirates playing the greatest game in the world at the highest level in the world and I just want to scream "Act like a big leaguer!".
I don't mean to be disrespectful to these young Pirates because they are so talented. But c'mon, respect the game and act like "you've been there before".
Hey Pirates, you want to win?
You have some great young talent in the field.
You have a wonderful, beautiful ballpark.
You have some fantastic and faithful fans. (I know because I witnessed them in the early 90's)
Bring back the interest and enthusiasm of that winning era of Pirates baseball.
Erase the last eighteen years of futility.
Rid yourselves of those games that usually happen in your ballpark.
I love what I do. I love the game of baseball. I love cutting the game of baseball.
Change Pirates baseball.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Rarity In Pittsburgh

Top of the ninth inning, bases loaded, one out, leading 4-3.
Clean-up batter at the plate with the crowd going crazy!
I love cutting the game in this situation.
The batter pops out for the second out and the number five batter comes to the plate.
The noise is even louder.
Ball one.
Ball two.
Strike one.
Crowd on their feet cheering loudly.
Great fun is had in the television truck!
Play by play announcer, "He doesn't want to go 3-1 does he?
Swing and a miss, strike two!
Everyone in the ballpark is standing and cheering.
Here comes the pitch..........pop up to the shortstop, game over.
A game at Busch Stadium?
No. This game ended at PNC Park in Pittsburgh with the Pirates winning 4-3.
I haven't heard a Pittsburgh crowd this loud since the early 90's with Bonds and Drabek.
I don't like the Cardinals loss but the top of the ninth was a blast to cut.
Game on the line.
A raucous crowd.
A Cardinals loss.
A rarity in Pittsburgh.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Am So Fortunate

This blog will recap the Cardinals last three game/telecasts.

Saturday @ Busch Stadium: Cardinals beat Giants 5-1
Pitching match-up: Tim Lincecome vs. Chris Carpenter
Attendance: 44,477

Sunday @ Busch Stadium: Cardinals beat Giants 9-0
Pitching match-up: Barry Zito vs. Jaime Garcia
Attendance: 42,638

Tonight in Pittsburgh: Cardinals beat Pirates 10-2
Pitching match-up: Kyle Lohse vs. Ross Ohlendorf
Attendance: 12,393

How bad can it get for the Pittsburgh Pirates fans?
Take the top of the first inning for example. The Cardinals' lead-off batter walked and went to third base on a single by the Redbirds #2 batter. With the greatest player in the game coming up to the plate in Albert Pujols, Ohlendorf, who injured his shoulder, was removed from the game. Reliever Sean Gallagher entered the game and took as long as he wanted (by baseball rules) to warm up.
On the FIRST pitch to Pujols, Albert swatted a monster blast to deep left-centerfield and the Cardinals led 3-0 only nine pitches into the game.
The Cardinals then went double, walk, single and led 4-0 before an out was made in the inning.
Game over.
As the St. Louis Cardinals TV Director I am spoiled.
Win or lose, the game telecasts out of Busch Stadium are a blast to cut. The energy in the ballpark is electric and contagious. Our home TV crew gets pumped up for every Busch Stadium show because we know the fans will be "into it" and we want to capture that energy for our viewers.
We also realize that we are privileged to cover the St. Louis Cardinals baseball club because they are very good and always play hard.
The Producer and the Director for the Pittsburgh Pirates are two very talented individuals.
Pete and Jeff occupy maybe the two toughest chairs in all of television baseball. Yet, game in and game out, they provide quality coverage and entertaining television.
Being in a dual feed situation in Pittsburgh, I am able to watch their show and these guys are good! They are always upbeat and their coverage shows it.
PNC Park in Pittsburgh is my second favorite ballpark in the National League behind Wrigley Field. It excites me to think of what it would be like to televise a Cardinals/Pirates game out of PNC Park with a raucous full house.
WOW would that be fun! (Hint Hint Pirates management)
St. Louis Cardinals television baseball.
I am so fortunate.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fun Game To Cut

Today's game/telecast was a whole lotta fun to cut.
The Cardinals' starting pitcher, rookie Jaime Garcia, threw the first complete game shutout of his short career.
In my estimation, this performance today rates as one of the top two pitched games of the season for the Cardinals.
In my estimation, this telecast ranks as one of our best this season.
Garcia was in total control the whole game. In the nine inning complete game shutout, Garcia only threw 89 pitches and 65 of them were strikes.
Our Producer, Mike, was in total control the whole telecast. There was a great flow to the show the whole game and Mike capped off a great telecast with a rollout that showed another Cardinals' pitcher, Adam Wainwright reacting after he threw his first career complete game shutout earlier this season. This reaction was followed by Garcia's reaction when the final out was made today.
Great stuff!
During the game, the home plate umpire called a great game.
During the telecast, the camera operators were "on top of it" the whole game, the graphics were succinct, and the tape room was solid. I think todays' game/telecast included our best audio mix of the season. This was a tough day for the video operator with a mix of sun and clouds and the camera shading was excellent.
Sometimes the game is bad and the telecast is good.
Sometimes the game is bad and the show is bad.
Sometimes the game is good and the telecast is bad.
And sometimes, like today, the game was good and so was the show.
This telecast was great fun.
In Pittsburgh for Cardinals @ Pirates in a three-game series starting tomorrow.
I hope there will be more fun games to cut.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Just What We Expected

This game/telecast delivered just what we expected.
Tim Lincecome, Cy Young award winner for the past 2 seasons, pitching for the Giants. Cy Young winner, Chris Carpenter, pitching for the Cardinals.
Also, as expected, we highlighted these two great pitchers in our two of our four open segments.
We pointed out that although Lincecome had never lost to the Cardinals (5-0) he had not pitched well in his last three starts.
Carpenter's performance at Busch Stadium since the all-star break was covered by video and graphics.
Lincecome's line: 5.1 innings, 6 hits, 4 earned runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts and 1 homerun.
Carpenter's line: 7.1 innings, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts and no homeruns.
Final score: Cardinals 5, Giants 1
The pace of the telecast matched the pace of this well pitched, well played game.
Just what we expected.
I thought that I cut a pretty good game except for the two "rookie" mistakes I made.
Twice I looked at camera 7 and said "Take 1".
Lucky for me there wasn't a whip pan, but I am embarrassed when I lose focus.
However, this was not the worst thing that happened during the telecast.
The worst thing that occurred during the show was that the dreaded "tape block" won the pool!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friends In The Business

There was really nothing special about tonight's game/telecast.
We had a fairly clean show with some great super slo-mo replays, but nothing really happened during the show that was truly memorable.
However, in the fifth inning, our EIC (engineer in charge) came to the front of the truck and told something that was truly memorable and, in fact, shocking. I now repeat what Sean told us.
"The game in Kansas City between the Royals and the White Sox has been postponed. Lightning hit both TV trucks and the stadium scoreboard. Both trucks are out of commission and the scoreboard doesn't work."
Mike, our Producer, asked the question that was on all of our minds.
"Is everyone OK?"
"Yes, everyone is fine," Sean responded.
This incident reminded me of what a small, close knit fraternity we are in baseball television. There are thirty teams in the big leagues and there about forty Producers and forty Directors that work the game of baseball regularly.
I know every Producer and Director in the National League and most of them in the American League.
There is a mutual respect between all of us in this great industry.
I consider many of my peers to be good friends and I enjoy talking TV baseball with many of these talented individuals.
We are all very fortunate to work in Major League Baseball.
Every baseball TV director has his/her own style. Every "cut" is different. I have great fun watching my fellow Directors cut the game and I always learn from their work.
I am very lucky to be a part of baseball television and I am very grateful to be a member of this wonderful fraternity.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Second Best

The most fun a baseball TV Director can have during a game/telecast is cutting a walk-off win during a home game.
The second best time a TV baseball Director can have is cutting the game leading up to a possible walk-off situation in the game.
Today, I was fortunate enough to cut a game where the Cardinals were down 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded and two outs. To make matters even more exciting, the Cardinals entered the ninth inning down 3-0.
Needless to say, Busch Stadium was electric.
Our crew fed off this energy and our coverage of the bottom of the ninth inning was crisp and sharp.
With one out, the Cardinals hit back to back doubles to left field. The left fielder actually should have caught both balls. Our replays highlighted this fact with the final angle of each replay sequence being a super slo-mo look.
Brewers 3 Cardinals 1
The next batter for the Cardinals was hit by pitch on a ball thrown up and in. This really fired up the Cardinals' manager and energized the crowd even more.
When the game is on the line and the crowd is going crazy, the television crew is really feeds off this scenario and really gets pumped up.
Then, with two outs, the Brewers first baseman made an error on a groundball which scored a run and left runners on first and third.
Brewers 3 Cardinals 2.
The next batter walked to load the bases.
The Brewers manager than replaced his "closer" with Trevor Hoffman, the Brewers former closer who is the all-time saves leader in baseball history with 697.
We aired a graphic stating the Hoffman had blown 4 of the last 5 possible saves against the Cardinals.
Brewers 3 Cardinals 2, bases loaded and Busch Stadium rocking!
On the first pitch from Hoffman, the Cardinals batter hit a hard line drive that went foul down the third base line.
We showed a great reaction from the Cardinals' dugout on the hard hit ball and this look really stoked up the excitement level of the situation.
The Cardinals batter eventually struck out on three pitches and the energy level in Busch Stadium literally disappeared.
It is very rewarding to the television crew when a home game walk-off victory does occur.
However, cutting the game leading up to a possible walk-off victory is also a blast.
It's just second best.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Big Dog

The operator of our high home camera (camera 2) is Big Dog.
I write about camera 2 and Big Dog in my book Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From The Director's Chair. (
The main responsibility of the camera is to "follow the ball".
It is "how" this operator "follows the ball" that determines the quality of his or her work.
The most important determining factor of "how" this operator runs camera 2 is the framing of the ball in relation to the play on the field. The perspective of the ball to the field and the fielders is very, very important in determining the quality of the viewing experience for the fans watching at home.
The most common mistake that high home camera operators make is to go too tight. This mistake is no more noticeable than on homeruns. On the homerun shag, the operator must keep the ball and the ballpark in perspective. Too many times the ball follow is too tight because the operator is sure that a homerun has been hit. Then, the ball is caught by the outfielder and the too tight ball follow is a lousy shot. Ball follows on ground balls to the right side of the infield should include the ball, the infielder, and the batter. This is the best look for the television viewer.
Being too tight is not nearly as bad as those high home camera operators that pull back, find the ball, and then shag. Thankfully, these operators are few and far between.
I will put Big Dog up against any other high home camera operator in the country.
His framing is top notch.
He is baseball knowledgeable. (He knows the game)
It was a pleasure to watch his work tonight. I noticed his framing early and continued watching his work throughout the game/telecast.
His work was flawless.
Thank you Big Dog.
I learn from you each and every telecast.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Tale Of Two Innings

Today's game/telecast included two similar innings that were quite different.
These two innings were the top of the fourth for the Cubs and the bottom of the ninth for the Cardinals.
The Cubs scored 6 runs in the top of the 4th and the Cardinals scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 9th.
The Cubs sent eleven batters to the plate in that inning and the Cardinals sent ten batters to the plate.
During their big inning, the Cubs collected 6 hits with 2 walks.
The Cardinals collected 4 hits and 3 walks during their big inning.
The big difference between these two innings was the fact that the Cubs' inning seemed to take forever and the Cardinals' inning flew by.
The Cubs top of the fourth inning crawled and crawled and seemed like it would never end.
I didn't want the Cardinals bottom of the ninth inning to end.
There was no real flow to the telecast when the Cubs were at-bat in the fourth and there was a great flow to the show during the bottom of the ninth.
This shows me how much I have invested in Cardinals baseball.
When the team is doing well, it is a blast to cut the game. It is not that I don't enjoy cutting the game when the Cardinals aren't doing well, it is just that I don't have as much fun.
The top of the fourth inning set the pace for the game.
The bottom of the ninth set the pace for the next game.
Off tomorrow, I can't wait for Tuesday.
By the way, our video operator, Larry, did a fantastic job shading cameras today.
Sunny days with huge billowy clouds guarantee a nightmare day for the video operator.
Well done Larry!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Tuesday night's brawl-game between the Cardinals created an energy that carried over to the game on Wednesday. The atmosphere in the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati was electric during the series because of the brawl of Tuesday night.
Usually when the Cardinals and the Cubs square off there is a great amount of energy at the ballpark as well.
It matters not whether the teams are tied for first place or tied in the cellar. One club may be real good like this season's Cardinals and one club may be bad like this year's Cubs team.
Whatever the situation, you can usually count on an electric atmosphere when these two ballclubs meet.
Not last night.
After we signed off the air last night, our Producer commented that this certainly did not seem like a typical Cards/Cubs game.
The highlight of the telecast was the standing ovation Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina received when he came to the plate for his first at-bat. This ovation was a spillover from the brawl in Cincinnati in which Molina was a main combatant. We planned for this moment and opened the PA to hear Molina announced to the crowd as the next batter. The standing ovation was long and loud and was a nice moment in the telecast.
Friday, August 13, and the Chicago Cubs are done.
Stick a fork in them.
I remember thinking early on in the game/telecast that the Cubs were mailing it in. They were just going through the motions. Even though they jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, I knew the Cardinals would win the game.
There was absolutely no life to the Cubs.
They had no energy.
I am off today with the Cardinals on FOX.
This may be good as I can conserve my energy for tomorrow's telecast of the Cardinals and the woeful Cubs.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rhythm And Luck

Yesterday's game/telecast had a strange flow to it.
There would be a nice rhythm going during one inning and then I couldn't get into a flow during the next inning.
When there was no flow to the show I tried being more aggressive and I tried slowing down. There are times during a telecast where no matter how hard you try you just can't get that rhythm going.
However, I was lucky that there was a great flow to the show when the most exciting moment of the game occurred.
During the top of the fifth inning in a scoreless game, the Cardinals' Colby Rasmus hit a grand slam homerun.
When there is a good rhythm going in the TV truck, decisions by the Producer and the Director seem to always "work out".
You "feel" it and sometimes you just get plain lucky.
Just before the homerun was hit I isolated the high first camera (camera 3) on the Cardinals' third base dugout. The framing started with the batter (Rasmus) in the box and also included the dugout. I asked the camera operator to push to the dugout after the batter hit the ball. On the next pitch we got lucky and Rasmus hit his first career grand slam homerun. The reaction from the dugout was fabulous and the shot worked!
During this series, another Cardinals player also hit his first career grand slam homerun. In fact, four Cardinals players had all hit their first career grand slam homeruns at this ballpark with three being hit this season and one being hit last season. During pre-production, our tape producer put together a video package of the first three career slams. We added the slam hit by Rasmus to the package and aired this video adding real quality to the show.
Thank goodness there was a flow to the show during this exciting moment of the game/telecast because I am sure our execution of the moment would not have been as successful if there was no "flow to the show" at that time.
Off day today and the Cubs tomorrow at Busch Stadium.
Home shows always seem to flow.
I can't wait.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Favorite Telecast

Tonight's telecast between the Cardinals and the Reds might be my favorite telecast of all-time. This is a bold statement as I have done more than 2300 TV baseball telecasts, but tonight's game/telecast was such a blast to cut.
Everything worked.
The telecast can never dictate to the game. The game always dictates to the telecast.
It is how the TV crew adapts to the game that separates the quality shows from the weak shows.
Tonight, the game kept giving and we kept adapting.
It was like the game was rewarding us for how well we adapted to it.
From the beginning of the telecast we were spot on in our coverage.
Our second segment of the open keyed on the comments of the Reds second baseman who called the Cardinals a bunch of "whiny bitches" and that he "hated the Cardinals". We accentuated this statement by showing this player making the last out of last night's game by striking out and we contrasted his play with the play of the Cardinals' second baseman who hit a grand slam homerun in the same game.
The game rewarded us in the bottom of the first inning with the Cardinals leading 1-0..
The Reds second baseman is also the lead-off batter for the club.
As he approached the plate for his at-bat, he tried to tap the Cardinals' catcher's shin pads with his bat.
One thing led to another and pretty soon both benches emptied and a full scale brawl erupted. This was not your typical baseball brawl with some yelling and shoving. This was a real fight between the two clubs and both managers were ejected.
During the fight, we aired video of other skirmishes that these two managers have been involved with as they managed against each other throughout the years.
Great TV!
The Reds went down 1-2-3 in the first inning.
The second batter for the Cardinals in the top of the second inning was Yadier Molina, the catcher who began the melee.
He hit a homerun on a 3-2 count.
During his at-bat, we isolated him into a tape machine and we isolated the Reds' second baseman into a tape machine.
The two angle replay was these two isos played at real speed.
Great looks!
This homerun was also our pitch-by-pitch feature.
Very effective!
TV sports is all about capturing "moments".
Sometimes the game will be very stingy in supplying these "moments".
Not tonight.
This game kept giving and giving and we kept adapting and adapting.
This was our best telecast of the year by far.
Every member of our crew contributed to this great telecast.
We nailed it!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Shot

The best camera operators are always looking for "the shot".
From the moment we go on the air until we sign off the best camera operators are always looking, always searching, looking and searching for "the shot".
Capturing "the shot" during the big games is the most rewarding. Tonight's game was the biggest of the season between the Cardinals and the Reds who led the Cardinals by two games in the NL Central division.
What exactly is "the shot"?
"The shot" is when a moment of the game/telecast is captured in an exciting or unique fashion.
St. Louis Cardinals television has included many games throughout the years that have captured "the shot".
There was "the shot" of Albert Pujols in the Cardinals dugout telling John Rodriguez "You don't need that" as he took the bat out of J-Rod's hands and hurled it down the dugout steps. We read his lips, "You don't need that". This was during the tenth inning of a game with the Atlanta Braves at the old Busch Stadium. Sure enough, on the next pitch David Ekstein smashed a grand slam homerun and the Cardinals won the game.
There was "the shot" of Tony Larussa holding up four fingers and telling Kiko Colero, a relief pitcher to take four pitches and not swing the bat. On the second pitch, Colero swung the bat and hit a bloop single to right field. The look on LaRussa's face was priceless.
It was "the shot".
Capturing a moment that can be classified as "the shot" does not happen very often. Once a series is very rare and I believe that we are lucky if we experience "the shot" once a month.
There were no examples of "the shot" in tonight's game/telecast.
Then again, there was no looking and no searching for "the shot" tonight.
Even though this was the biggest game of the season for both ballclubs.

Rain, Rain, And More Rain

The game was finally postponed due to rain.
After a :55 minute rain delay to start the game, the teams played a total of 7 minutes in the top of the first inning.
After another 3 hours and 7 minutes of rain delay, the game was finally called.
The seven minutes of baseball television in the top of the first was some of our best TV of the season!
7 minutes of baseball and 4 hours and 2 minutes of rain.
Great fun.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Feeling It

This game/telecast did not start out the way that we hoped it would begin.
There was a 23 minute rain delay before the first pitch was thrown.
The pitching match-up of the Cardinals' Jake Westbrook and the Marlins' Josh Johnson was very intriguing. As we talked about the upcoming game/telecast, we were expecting a game with the wonderful pace of last night's contest.
We were correct.
Johnson retired the first 10 Cardinals in the game and Westbrook tied a career high with 9 strikeouts.
There were eight 1-2-3 innings.
In fact, going into the top of the ninth inning, the time of the game was 1:50.
The Cardinals trailed by the score of 3-2 going into the top of the ninth and scored two runs with two outs to take a 4-3 lead.
The first batter in the bottom of the ninth homered to tie the score and the Marlins eventually won the game in the bottom of the tenth with a walk-off basehit by Hanley Ramirez.
The total time of the game was 2:23 and this included a rain delay and extra innings!
Despite a few sloppy mistakes we had a good telecast that nicely captured some exciting moments in the game.
Cutting the homerun is a blast for every TV baseball director and there were three in this game including the first batter of the game for the Marlins.
The Cardinals' two-run rally in the top of the ninth was a blast to cut.
All walk-off hits are great fun to cut and tonight's was no exception.
This was another telecast that had a great pace, great action, and was great fun to cut.
Our tight centerfield camera operator (camera 6) had a great look at the walk-off basehit and his shot showed a great "feel" for the situation.
When members of television sports crews "feel" the moment great memories are captured.
Our final rollout in tonight's telecast was the camera 6 look at the winning walk-off play.
A fitting end to a nice telecast.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fantastic Flow!

Tonight's game had the best pace pace of any game we have covered this season.
Tonight's telecast had the best pace of any telecast we have aired this season.
Thank you Adam Wainwright.
Thank you Laz Diaz.
These two gentleman were the primary reason for tonight's 2:23 baseball game.
Wainwright worked fast and threw strikes.
Diaz, the home plate umpire, called the strike zone the way it should be called.
When the game is moving at a nice pace, the players make plays.
The pace of the game also determines the pace of the telecast.
When the telecast is moving at a nice pace, the whole crew contributes to the quality of the show. The camera operators make their shots and the replays are succinct.
The audio is sharper, the video is cleaner and the graphics are more poignant.
Despite the fact that we were in the back end of a dual feed, this was one of the best telecasts that we have produced this season.
During the game/telecast, I was thinking about how much this telecast felt like a home show. The comfort level of tonight's telecast was similar to the comfort level of our home telecasts.
A great show with a great flow!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Pool

Tonight's game/telecast was completely different from the first two game/telecasts of the series.
Tonight was fun.
This was a better pitched, (by the Cardinals anyway) better played, and had a good pace.
The most fun had by the TV crew was in the top of the ninth inning.
The Cardinals led 4-0 after one inning and 7-0 after two.
The score was 8-2 going into the top of the ninth and the game was basically over.
Why was this time of the game the most fun for the TV crew you ask?
Because of our pool.
The pool costs $1.00 to enter and you pick the exact time the final out of the game will be made.
If there are no winners, the pool carries over to the next game until there is a winner.
Tonight's game was game #7 in the pool (7 carry overs) and the total amount of the pool was $180.00.
Because of the pace of the game, we knew in the bottom of the eighth inning that there would be a winner tonight.
The beginning of the top of the ninth began at 9:41 and every time was taken until 10:00.
Our tape crew always buys 4 consecutive minutes and labels it the "Tape Block". So, naturally we all root against them. Tonight however, they made a mistake when they entered the pool and only blocked out only 3 minutes. They chose 9:47 - 9:49. Because of this, their leader Brian was forced to pick 9:53.
Wouldn't you know it, the tape block was on the clock for all three minutes with 2 outs!
The Houston Astros mixed in some hits and scored some runs thus eliminating the "Tape Block" much to the cheers from the production side of the truck.
All of a sudden the "Tape Block" leader was on the clock. The cheers were loud after every foul ball and after every pitch because the "Tape Block" looked like they would not win the pool.
The final pitch of the night was thrown at 9:53:57 and the fly ball was caught at 9:54:05.
The dreaded "Tape Block" was foiled by 5 seconds and the loudest cheers of the night exploded from the truck. (Our TD (technical director) was the winner.)
The Houston Astros visiting feed on the dual side were wondering just what was going on and when they were told of the situation they got a kick out of it as well.
The quality of the telecast does not suffer as everyone is into the game at that time as most of the crew is involved in the pool.
Great telecast and great fun.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Quote

Final score: Astros 18, Cardinals 4
Time of game: 3:19

Quote of day: "Is there a word beyond excruciating?"
Cardinals' Producer Mike Helling after we were off the air.

Enough said

Monday, August 2, 2010

Not Memorable

Usually there is a memorable moment in a game that we capture during the telecast.
The more memorable moments we capture during the game, the more memorable the telecast.
Sometimes the game delivers the moment and sometimes we create that moment in the TV truck.
Tonight's game/telecast did not include one memorable moment.
If there was one reason to be pleased with this telecast it was the fact that the telecast did not match the poorly played game.
In fact, in the bottom of the first inning, the Houston Astros made two errors on one play allowing the Cardinals to score the first run of the game.
I was happy with the game cut during this rare play and the replays were excellent.
Tonight's contest between the Astros and the Cardinals was an absolutely NOTHING game.
Tonight's telecast was very clean with minimal mistakes.
I have already forgotten about it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I Knew

I knew the Cardinals were going to crush the Pirates today.
I knew by the third batter of the game.
On the mound for the Cardinals was Adam Wainwright who was 14-6 and had won 10 straight games at Busch Stadium.
The game did not start out all that well for Wainwright and the Cardinals as the first two batters for the Pirates singled to start the game.
Runners on first and second with nobody out and the Pirates #3 batter who was hitting .305 is at the plate.
What happened next I still don't believe.
As the late, great Jack Buck once said on the air, "I don't believe what I just saw".
The batter tried bunting the ball.
Not once but twice!
And on the second attempt, the ball hit him outside of the batters box and he was called out!
At that moment I knew the Cardinals were going to destroy the Pirates.
The Cardinals won the game 9-1 and the score wasn't even that close.
The Cardinals' ninth run typified the day for the pitiful Pirates. The run scored on a 2-out bases loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth inning.
This will be the eighteenth consecutive losing season for the Pirates.
I have great respect for Jeff, the Pirates TV director. He is always upbeat and he does a great job. I said to him during the game, "I don't know how you do it." His answer, "It ain't easy."
I am totally spoiled because of the success of the St. Louis Cardinals and I am very grateful that I have the privilege to cut their games.
There is a certain added quality sitting in the director's chair knowing that the team you cover has a great chance to win every night.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Can't Top That

The St. Louis Cardinals organization is an organization with great tradition.
It is a privilege to be part of such a successful and respected team and front office.
Before today's game, the Cardinals honored Whitey Herzog for being elected to baseball's Hall of Fame.
We covered the ceremony live and capturing this event for the Cardinals fans was very exciting. I looked forward to this telecast and was very pleased with the outcome.
In fact, the highlight of our telecast was the second inning when Whitey was our guest in the both. Whitey is a great story teller and his interaction with our announcers was very entertaining.
As a fan, the pregame ceremony and the second inning with Whitey were highly enjoyable.
As a baseball TV director, the first inning was very rewarding because of the rare play that occurred to end the top of the first.
The Pirates had runners on first and second with one out. The batter hit a pop-up to the infield. The infield fly rule was called. The Cardinals catcher dropped the ball and the runners took off for second base and third base.
There was some confusion on the field as the Cardinals threw the ball to second base and tagged the runner from first. The umpire called the runner safe and then reversed his decision and called him out.
We came back from break to show replays of what happened during this rare play. Our announcers explained the play and our replays showed exactly what happened.
But, the highlight of this sequence was not the weird play that just happened. Our lead tape Producer, Brian, cued up an equally rare base running play that occurred during a May 7 Cardinals/Pirates game in Pittsburgh.
During that game, there was a rundown and two Pirates ended up at third base. The rule is the runner from second base is out and the runner who was originally on third base is safe. Well, during this particular play, the umpire made the right call and called the trailing runner out. The original runner at third base thought he was out, stepped off the base and was tagged by a Cardinals player and was immediately called out by the umpire. A double play!
Two very rare and very strange base running plays between two teams in the same season.
Airing the May 7th play after tonight's weird play was absolutely the highlight of this telecast.
The Cardinals won in a rout by the score of 11-1 and scored in every inning but the first and the third.
The pregame ceremony was very exciting and very successful.
The first inning coverage was very rewarding.
The second inning with Whitey was very entertaining.
You just can't top that start to a telecast.

A Weird Night

There was a 2:20 minute rain delay before the start of tonight's game.
The game went 10 innings and lasted 2:38 with the Cardinals winning 1-0.
The first nine innings lasted 2:20 thus matching the length of the rain delay.
The tarp went onto the field at 7:10 pm and the rain started at 8:30 pm.
The Cardinals scored the winning run in walk-off style.
Walk-offs are great fun to cut. Tonight's walk-off was no different in that regard, however, I had a brain cramp during the on-field celebration by the Cardinals. We were going to do a live interview before we went to commercial with the player who delivered the game-winning hit. As I was cutting the celebration, I heard the Producer say "Show me Jim Hayes". Jim is our sideline reporter who would be conducting the interview.
I could see Jim when I took a wide shot from camera 3 (mid-third base) and didn't think anymore of the Producer's request.
Once again I heard "Show me Jim Hayes".
Jim was standing in front of camera 5 (low first base) and without missing a beat I took camera 5 showing only Jim standing on the field.
The next thing I hear is "NOT ON CAMERA!"
I immediately cut back to the celebration trying not to hammer myself too bad for this moronic mistake.
A moment or two later I said to Mike, our Producer, "Jim looked good when he was on camera".
Mike looked at me, smiled and shook his head in disbelief.
A weird night indeed.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Watching The Game

It is just after 9:00 pm and I am home in St. Louis after our day game telecast from Citi Field in New York.
What am I doing? To tell the truth, I am watching a re-air of today's telecast on FSN Midwest.
I think it is a good idea to occasionally watch my work.
It is somewhat strange to me that I remember every shot and I can tell you what camera I was looking at and I can remember what I said to the announcers on their IFB during particular moments in the game/telecast.
Whenever the ball is put in play, I go to camera 2 (high home) and immediately start looking at other cameras for my next shot. I know that camera 2 is going to shag (follow) the ball so I really do not focus my total attention on that camera when it is on the air.
I am spoiled because our camera 2 operator at home (Busch Stadium) is one of the finest in the country and is maybe the best at framing shots while the ball is in play.
Well, the camera 2 operator in New York at Citi Field is absolutely outstanding also. He has a great shag and his framing is outstanding.
Once I take a camera and put it on the air, I stop paying attention to that camera and start looking for my next shot. In fact, when I am in a good rhythm, I know what camera I am going to be on in five shots.
Setting up replays during sacrifice situations is an excellent example of this particular shot sequence.
Critical moments during a game are a blast to cut.
Busch Stadium, bottom of the ninth inning, tie game, bases loaded and Albert Pujols at the plate, c'mon, I am getting fired up just thinking about it.
When I start cutting moments such as that, I know where I am going to be three or four or five or even six shots down the road.
I don't look at the program monitor because I am looking for my next shot so I am relying on the camera operator who is "on the air" to provide a quality shot.
I am confident that our home camera operators fulfill this responsibility.
It is great to see the New York Mets Citi Field camera operators fulfill this responsibility as well when they are "on the air".
Great job and excellent telecast by the whole New York crew!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quick Turnaround

A summary of tonight's game:
4 hours, 32 minutes
13 innings
15 runs
29 hits
A 6-run top of the first inning for the Cardinals.
A 4-run bottom of the eighth inning for the Mets.
Both team used eight pitchers.
The Cardinals threw 205 pitches.
The Mets threw 203 pitches.
The Cardinals threw 121 strikes and 84 balls.
The Mets threw 128 strikes and 75 balls.
After our post-game hits, we were off the air at 11:52 pm.
At 11:30 am today, we will be on the air with our pre-game show.
I don't mind the quick turnaround between telecasts because tomorrow is a get-away day and, therefore, on a normal 3-hour game I should be in my door before 7 pm.
I will gladly take the quick turnaround but not another game like tonight's.