Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Most Difficult

What is the most difficult game to televise? The poorly pitched and poorly played game? The blowout game? No, the most difficult game to televise is the meaningless game. Tonight, the St. Louis Cardinals TV crew televised it's first meaningless game in two years. Last year the Cardinals clinched the playoffs on the final game of the season. Every game of the 2011 season was meaningful to the St. Louis Cardinals. With the Cardinals clinching the playoffs in game 161 last night that left only 1 game this season that was meaningless. 1 meaningless game in two seasons! The St. Louis Cardinals TV crew is very grateful and very blessed. This is my final blog of the 2012 season. Thanks to all who read this blog, thank you very much.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Just In The Nick Of Time

When our production team walked into the TV truck today, we were met with some bad news. The switcher was completely and utterly dead. The control card was completely fried. The nearest replacement control card was in Kansas City. The engineers tried to get the replacement card on a plane to St. Louis but were unable to do so. So, one of our engineers left Busch Stadium at 3:15 to drive to Columbia Missouri which is half way to Kansas City. An engineer from the truck in Kansas City was going to take the replacement card to Columbia from Kansas City to meet up with our EIC. Columbia is about 200 miles from Busch Stadium. We figured our switcher would be up and running about 8:00 at the earliest. We built our 4 segment open on a router in which we could only use cuts. Pretty ugly but it worked. Then, to everyone's amazement, our engineer showed up at the truck with the replacement control card at 6:40 and our switcher was up and running at 6:58. Just in the nick of time.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Blessed And Grateful

The Reds/Cardinals game tonight at Busch Stadium was one of the few remaining games in the big leagues that meant something. I am very thankful for that fact. The Reds, who are already in the postseason, are trying to have homefield advantage throughout the playoffs and the Cardinals are just trying to get into the playoffs. The players on the field and the fans in the stands knew the importance of this game and the electricity in the ballpark was very infectious for the TV crews broadcasting the game. For most teams there aren't meaningful games in October. The Cardinals are not one of those clubs. This organization always seems to be in the hunt come postseason and for that I am blessed and I am very grateful. By the way, the Cardinals won this meaningful game 4 - 2.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

No Pressure

The Cardinals beat the Nationals 10 - 4 in 3:07 this afternoon at Busch Stadium. The Redbirds jumped out to a seven run lead after 3 innings and the game was never in doubt after that. Another low pressure, low intensity type of game that is much needed at this time of the baseball season. The most memorable moment of the game came when the home plate umpire took a foul ball directly off his face mask. The blow staggered the ump a bit and most definately had to hurt. He stayed in the game and was pretty consistent the rest of the way. Just three games remaining in the regular season and the Redbirds should clinch the final wildcard slot for the playoffs. I look forward to that telecast.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

As Hilarious As It Gets

The Nationals beat the Cardinals in 10 innings tonight by the score of 6 - 4. This 3:38 affair included the funniest moment I have EVER seen in a baseball game. The Nationals' left fielder, Michael Morse, hit a grand slam homerun in the top of the first inning. The umpires reviewed the blast and signaled homerun as they returned to the field. On the original play, Michael Morse thought he had a homerun and was rounding the bases. The Cardinals played the ball as if the play was not a homerun and eventually tagged Morse out as he tried to return to first base. Our replays showed that it was indeed a homerun. What happened after the umpires ruled a homerun was truly the most hilarious moment I have ever seen on a baseball field. When the crew chief motioned that the play was a homerun, the Nationals players started rounding the bases. The umpires stopped this action and made each runner return to his original base with Morse returning to the batters box. Then Morse, without a bat, took a swing as if he was hitting the ball again. The players circled the bases and the score was 4 - 0. Absolutely hilarious!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Lucky Us

A 5-run first inning, a 4-run 2nd inning and a 3-run 8th led the Cardinals to a 12 - 2 victory over the Washington Nationals tonight at Busch Stadium. This 2:51 blowout was just what we needed on the St. Louis TV side. With a 9 - 1 lead after two innings we were able to relax and present a good telecast. Well pitched and well played close games are a blast to televise. These affairs create a focus on the TV crew that can be quite intense and game after game of these tightly fought contests can begin to be a bit of a drain on the brain. We have had quite a few of these contests lately so tonight's runaway game was greatly welcomed. As relaxing as this game was for us on the St. Louis TV side, I know how excruciating this game was for our TV peers doing the Nationals broadcast. Lucky us!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Miss The Astros

The Lastros beat the Cardinals 2 - 0 in a brisk 2:27 tonight at Minute Maid Park in Houston. I miss the Houston Astros. This used to be a wonderful rivalry. Both home ad road games were electric as each ballpark was full of rowdy fans. It is great fun feeding off the energy of the crowd when cutting a baseball game or any sport for that matter. The announced crowd of 18,712 was the largest announced crowd of the three game series but even this crowd did not generate much enthusiasm. A 2 - 0 game should provide the crowd with some reason to rock and roll but, and I understand why, it is difficult to be fired up when the record of your ballclub is 50 - 105. This win gave the Lastros 51 wins with 6 games remaining on the 2012 schedule. I miss the Astros.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Defining The Lastros

The Cardinals defeated the incredibly bad Loosetan Lastros tonight in 2:42 by the score of 4 - 0. How bad are the Loosetan Lastros? This question was answered in the top of the second inning during tonight's game. After the first two Cardinals batters were eliminated to start the inning, the Cardinals pitcher doubled down the left field line. This obviously upset the Looseton pitcher. On the next pitch the Cardinals batter drove in the run with a single to centerfield. The pitcher stayed on the mound and did not back up the play behind home plate. On the next pitch, the Redbirds runner on first base stole second base WITHOUT A THROW! The batter then walked and the Lastros pitcher complained to the home plate umpire that there was really only three balls. Of course, he lost that argument. Then, during the next at-bat, the pitcher asked the home plate umpire for the count three pitches in a row after he had thrown his first three pitches to the batter. Rebuilding? No......embarrassing!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Primary Goal

The Cardinals beat the Astros tonight by the score of 6 - 1 in front of an announced crowd of 12,584. In truth, there were about 7500 patrons for this affair that lasted 3:03. During the top of the first inning I asked the low first camera operator (an excellent op by the way) to give me a shot of the pitcher. As expected, he immediately went to a waist shot. What was totally different about this particular shot, however, was that the background for this shot showed only empty seats. Absolutely no fans were in this shot at all. After my third waist shot of the pitcher, I told the camera operator to ONLY give me head to toe shots of the pitcher. The head to toe shot actually showed some fans in the background. It should be a rule for every sports TV director to try as much as possible to not shoot empty seats. The primary goal of every TV sports director is to promote the game. Shooting empty seats takes away from that goal.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Waist Shots

It does not matter what city I am in. It does not matter what venue I am directing a baseball game from. And, it is most certainly NOT wrong. It's not even bad. What am I talking about you ask? This is what I am talking about: When I ask a camera operator for a shot of a certain player, EACH AND EVERY camera operator in sports immediately gives me a waist shot of that player. Every single time - EVERY TIME. Like I stated, it is not the wrong shot and it is not a bad shot. When I am cutting the game at Busch Stadium, I have three cameras that can shoot the batter. I have 3 cameras that can shoot a left-handed batter and I have 3 cameras that can shoot a right-handed batter. This gives me 9 different batter shots for lefties and righties. Each of these three cameras can give me a head to toe shot, a waist shot, and a tight face shot. I like to mix up these shots during a telecast and I like to save the tight face shots for late in the game. Despite the fact that each camera can give me 3 different shots of the batter, EACH AND EVERY CAMERA OPERATOR in the country gives me a waist shot when I ask for a shot of a player. Not wrong and not bad - just weird.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mirror Image

Yesterday, the Cubs beat the Cardinals 5 - 4 in extra innings. Today, the Cardinals beat the Cubs 5 - 4 in extra innings. Yesterday, the Cubs tied the score with a homerun in the ninth inning. Today, the Cardinals tied the score with a homerun in the ninth inning. Yesterday's game was a shocker to the St. Louis Cardinals. Today's game was a shocker to the Chicago Cubs. What will tomorrow's game bring?

What Just Happened?

Today's Cardinals/Cubs game/telecast was set up perfectly. Cardinals/Cubs at Wrigley Field. Chris Carpenter making his highly anticipated first start of the season. The Cardinals leading the second wild card race by 2 1/2 games over the Milwaukee Brewers who are playing the National League's best team - the Washington Nationals. A great chance to widen the lead in the wild card race. Carpenter and the Cardinals followed this perfect script throughout the game. Carpenter pitched 5 solid innings and the Cardinals were leading the Cubs 4 - 2 with 2 outs, nobody on base with 2 strikes on a Cubs batter in the bottom of the ninth inning. He singled to right field on an inside fastball. The next batter hit a 1 - 2 changeup for a home run to tie the score. The Cubs won the game in the bottom of the 11th inning 5 - 4. As I watched the game tying homerun hitter circling the bases I was stunned. I remember thinking "What just happened?"

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Looseton Astros

The Cardinals beat the Looseton Astros 5 - 4 at Busch Stadium today. This painful exhibition of baseball by the Looseton Astros took an excruciating 3 hours and 27 minutes. The Cardinals who lead the 2nd wildcard race by 2 games are very fortunate. They get to play the Looseton Astros 3 more times this season.

They Know

I figured out the Astros. They know they are bad. They have played so badly for so long that they believe that they are a terrible baseball club. And they play like it. They play with the "let's just get this over with" mentality. They know they will not win. They know they don't have a chance. I am not sure if the rebuilding process for the Astros will work. I believe that these players will only know losing. They are so rock bottom that they cannot and will not get out of the hole. These guys only know losing. They know.

Oh The Pain

The Astros are the worst baseball team I have ever witnessed. The Cardinals beat the Stros tonight 4 - 1 in 3:11. From top to bottom this Astros club is just plain bad. I admire my peers on the Houston TV team. This IS the most difficult job in all of baseball. Covering bad baseball can be very, very painful. The Astros TV team should be hospitalized for the pain they must go through each and every game/telecast.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Complete and Total Crash

We were in the bottom of the 10th inning when the switcher crashed. Down, out, kaput. We were down to one camera (high third) for two batters and then we had camera 2 (high home) and camera 4 (centerfield field). The engineers were working frantically to bring our side of the dual up to speed when we found out that the home show was in trouble also. Unfortunately for them, their only camera was camera 5 (low first). We all understand that these things happen in live sports television. It was just too bad that this incident occurred during the highest rated telecast and most important game of the 2012 season for both the Cardinals and the Dodgers. The game ended after 12 innings and all we had on the dual side was a router that we could punch in individual cameras. From the bottom of the tenth inning on we had no graphics. no Fox Box, and no replays. We felt better about the siuation then the Dodgers' TV production team because the Redbirds won the game 5 - 3.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


The LA Dodgers scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning after two were out to beat the Cardinals 4 - 3 in 2:55. With the winning run on second base, a soft liner was hit at the Redbird's second baseman who jumped high and the ball caromed off the heal of his glove and bounced away from him. I then took a shot of the runner rounding third base and I stayed on the shot as he slid into home plate. I could have cut to high home camera for the throw home but the play at the plate wasn't really very close so I stayed on camera 5 (low first base) to score the winning run. In retrospect, I probably should have gone to camera 2 (high home) for a better perspective on the play.

Friday, September 14, 2012

LA Is Different

I really like the TV crew here in LA. They are fun to work with, very professional, and you never have to tell them the same thing twice. The problem with LA is not the crew, the problem is the turnover from show to show. I will have 3 different TD's, 7 different camera operators, 3 different tape ops, 2 different audio mixers, 2 different duet operators (graphics)and 2 different video operators in 4 game/telecasts this weekend!The crews here in LA are great. They are just different each telecast.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


There was a playoff atmosphere at Dodger Stadium tonight as the Cardinals beat the Dodgers 2 - 1 in 3:06. I believe that atmosphere is one of the major components that contribute to the quality of the telecast. That is one of the reasons why I am so grateful that I direct Major League baseball games for the St. Louis Cardinals. The atmosphere at Busch Stadium is certainly in the top 4 of all Major League baseball parks. Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field should all be included on that list. Bottom line is that ATMOSPHERE SELLS TICKETS. The viewer at home feels the atmosphere at the ballpark and wants to be part of it. The importance, therefore, of atmosphere is two-fold. Atmosphere raises the quality of the telecast and atmosphere sells tickets. Capturing the atmosphere is relatively easy. Creating atmosphere - now that's the key.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


This is my 25th year with St. Louis Cardinals baseball. I am spoiled. This has been a very good team for a long time. I have come to expect good things with this baseball team. The 100+ win teams of 2004 and 2006 set a high standard that has set the foundation for the expectation of good baseball. This I knew. Each and every year I knew. Each and every year I expect good competitive baseball and each and every year I get what I expect. This, however, has been a trying season. I know they are a good team and I enjoy going to the ballpark each and every day. However, the foundation of my expectation of good baseball may be starting to crack a bit. In my heart, I know what I want to expect. I want to expect good baseball. I want to know. Again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Throughout a baseball season I will direct anywhere from 155 to 160 games with half of these games on the road. A TV sports director must make adjustments during each and every game/telecast. The pace of the game will dictate these adjustments. Also, adjustments must be made with the each and every crew. Every single crew member does things differently. Every camera operator operates his or her camera differently. The high first base operator in each city has his own style as does the high home operator and the centerfield camera op. They all have different styles and it is up to the Director to adjust to these different styles. Trust me, I know by the third inning which operators are the most proficient and which operators lack quality. Just as important as the Director adjusting to each crew member is the crew adjusting to the Director. Every TV sports Director cuts the game differently. Every Director has his or her own style. Just as some Directors are better at adjusting to the crew, some crews are better at adjusting to the Director.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I Can't And Won't Complain

The Cardinals lost to the Padres tonight by the score of 11 - 3 in a poorly pitched, poorly played game that lasted 3:20. I can't and won't complain. This past Saturday my daughter got married and I took off the whole weekend. While my family and I were celebrating this wonderful occasion, this is what occurred during the three telecasts I missed: Friday night, Cards vs Brewers at Busch Stadium. The game started AFTER a 2 hour 32 minute rain delay. 13 innings and 4 hours and 30 minutes later the game ended. The final out was 2:05 AM and the Cardinals lost 5 - 4. The Redbirds lost on Saturday night 6 - 3 in a yawner that took 3:32 to complete and Sunday the Cardinals won an extra inning game 5 - 4 in 3:23 after the Brewers tied the score with a 2-out homerun on a 2 - 2 pitch in the top of the ninth inning. Trust me, I can't and I won't complain about tonight's game.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

First Time in 25 Years

I cut today's 5 - 1 Cardinals victory over the Mets a bit under the weather. I'm sure I was a distraction to the crew with my hacking and blowing my nose. I have been feeling lousy for a few days and I decided during the day that I am taking tomorrow's telecast off. My daughter is getting married on Saturday and I want to be well for her big day. This is the first game in 25 years that I have missed because of illness. Our Producer, Mike, will cut tomorrow's game. I also have the weekend off and will write again from San Diego on Monday. By the way, the medical term for my illness as the Doctor put it "You have a doozy of a sinus infection".

Monday, September 3, 2012

DC At Home

The Cardinals beat the Mets today 5 - 4 in 3:09 at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals led the game 4 - 0 going into the 7th inning and 5 - 4 entering the ninth. The leadoff batter for the Mets in the top of the 9th inning doubled down the right field line and was called out for missing 1st base on an appeal by the Cardinals. We were ready for the appeal and the live cut of reactions on the field and our replays were very enlightening and memorable. I don't recall an out call on an appeal that had so much effect on the outcome of a game. It was great to be at Busch Stadium working with the home TV crew. They made me feel like I was televising from DC.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Thank You DC Crew

The St. Louis Cardinals TV production team would like to thank the TV crew for the Cardinals/Nationals series this weekend in DC. This crew works hard and is alot of fun. Our telecasts were super clean and included some of our best moments of the 2012 season. From top to bottom there is not one mediocre member of this crew. Let me rephrase that - each and every member of this crew is outstanding. They are pleasant and professional. They have a good time and don't miss a beat. It is a privilege to work with them. We return to DC in exactly one year - September 2, 2013. I look forward to that series!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Shot Of The Year

During our camera meeting before the first game of the Cardinals/Nationals series I said to camera 5 (Right Field corner) that his only responsibility was to "show me something I have never seen before." Despite the fact that the Cardinals were destroyed tonight by the score of 10 - 0, this operator captured a truly remarkable shot. It was the shot of a father explaining the game to his young son. I stayed on this fantastic picture for over twenty seconds because it was so wonderful. The Washington Nationals should use this powerful, powerful shot on a TV commercial. They would sell thousands and thousands of tickets. Nice going camera 5, you captured the shot of the year!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Great Great Great Great

Yesterday I wrote about a bad apple who affected a telecast. Tonight I write about a great, great TV crew with a bunch of talented TV techs. This DC area crew is absolutely one of the best crews in all of baseball. The EIC's of our truck worked their asses off in putting out many fires until we finally went to air. We didn't even have any audio leaving the truck until 6:10 PM - 20 minutes before we went to air. I salute each and every member of this crew. This road TV crew makes us feel as if we are televising at home!! In DC the crew is great, the truck is great, the scenics are great, and the ballpark is great. I can't wait for tomorrow's game/telecast.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One Bad Apple

There were three TV feeds going out of PNC Park for the Cardinals/Pirates game tonight. The Pirates home feed, our visiting feed, and a Wednesday Night ESPN feed. After the game/telecast tonight (which the Pirates won 5 - 0), I was talking to a member of one of the other feeds who I have known for a long time. He was telling me about a member of their crew who was being "a total pain in the ass" the whole day. My friend swore that this attitude affected the whole telecast. "This was a hard show to do" he told me. "This crew member disrupted the whole show". Anyone with any experience in live television sports has been in this situation. One person can disrupt the whole show. As I have stated in this blog before - if you don't enjoy this wonderful business do something else. Do yourself and everyone else on the crew a favor - leave.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Taking Chances

The Pirates had a runner on 2nd base with two outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning. I decided to take a chance. I told camera 1 (mid 1st) to show me home plate tight and then I had him pull back to a fairly tight shot of the plate. I told the operator "If there is a collision at the plate, this is where I want you. Beat the throw and frame that shot." Wouldn't you know it, the next pitch the batter singled to right field and there was a violent collision at home plate. The Cardinals' star catcher was shaken up on the play and was removed from the game. Our replay sequence of the play showed exactly how violent that collision was and how unbelievable it was that the catcher held on to the ball. Taking chances during a game requires a great degree of luck. Well, tonight we were very lucky. The viewers will certainly remember the Cardinals catcher getting smoked at home plate. They will hardly remember that the Cardinals got smoked by the Pirates 9 - 0.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pleasant Surprise

I was sitting in the truck here in Pittsburgh this afternoon about 2:45 when I experienced a pleasant surprise. One of my camera operators was actually practicing! I often see our Busch Stadium camera operators practicing but this is a rare occurrence on road game/telecasts. I praised the operator and thanked him and throughout the telecast he did a great job. Apart from the :30 minute rain delay during the game, this 4 - 3 Cardinals victory was a nice clean show. After my pleasant surprise earlier in the day, this successful telecast did not surprise me at all.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


As I sit in my hotel room here in Pittsburgh, I find it hard to understand why today's Cardinals/Reds game wiped me out. The Cardinals won the game 8 - 2 in 3:14. There was really nothing stressful about this ordinary game and yet my brain is mush. We lost camera 3 (mid 1st) for the fourth inning and I was down to only 2 of my own cameras but that has happened before and we didn't miss a beat. I certainly don't feel as brain dead as I did after our 19 inning, 6:07 game of a week ago but I'm close. Big 3-game series with the Pirates starts tomorrow and I can't wait. Let's hope the old brain recovers.

Friday, August 24, 2012


The Cardinals beat the Reds tonight 8 - 5 with a 6-run 6th inning. The Redbirds are now 6 games behind the 1st place Reds and still lead in the race for the 2nd wild card team by 2 games over the Dodgers and the Pirates. This is a very meaningful series both both clubs. Games that "mean something" give a little rush to the TV crew as well. The adrenalin kicks in throughout the game/telecast. This 3:35 game was a fun game to televise. The Reds led 4 - 1 and 5 - 2 before the Cardinals scored 6 in the 6th to win the game. As the top of the 6th inning began, our Producer said "The Cardinals are going to win this game." As we walked back to the hotel here in Cincinnati after the game he said "I just had a feeling they were going to win this thing." He was right. Off tomorrow - Cards on FOX. I can't wait for sunday. Maybe I'll get a prediction from our Producer about sunday's contest.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Awful Astros

The Cardinals overcame a 4 - 0 deficit today to beat the Astros 13 - 5 in 3:20. I actually feel sorry for my peers on the Astros. This Astros ballclub may be the worst baseball team ever. There is absolutely no life to this club. True, I have been spoiled by the long successful run by the Cardinals but I still can't imagine what it would be like to televise a team as awful as the Astros. Trust me, I would televise our 19 inning, 6:07 game of last Sunday every day as long as I didn't have to cover this Astros club.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Just That

Every TV baseball production crew loves a well-pitched game. Kyle Lohse provided just that for the Cardinals TV crew tonight as he tossed 7 wonderful innings giving up just 3 hits. He threw 87 pitches with 63 strikes - outstanding! On offense, every batter wants to come through with a clutch hit. Yadier Molina did just that with an RBI single in the bottom of the 8th inning that gave the Redbirds a 4 - 2 lead - money!. On defense, every player wants to make that outstanding play that will surely appear as a Web Gem on sports highlight reels. Jon Jay did just that in the top of the 6th inning with one of the greatest catches of this season - WOW! Pitching, hitting, and defense - the Cardinals provided just that in their 4 - 2 victory over the Astros tonight

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pablo Picasso/Bus Driver

Adam Wainwright painted tonight. He painted with his fastball, he painted with his curveball and he painted with his cutter. The Cardinals beat a not very good Astros team 7 - 0 in 2:42 and Wainwright was in total control the whole game. This complete game 5-hit shutout included one walk and 12 strikeouts. Wainwright threw 71 strikes and 34 balls. This was a masterpiece. Not only did Wainwright emulate Pablo Picasso with his performance, he also emulated a bus driver - he took the Astros to school.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


I left my home at 8:55 AM to drive to Busch Stadium for the 1:15 Pirates/Cardinals game. I arrived home at 8:14PM. That's right - 11 hours and 19 minutes after I left for the ballpark I arrived home. Games that last 6:07 will do that to you. The Pirates beat the Cardinals 6 - 3 in 19 innings. To add even more torture to this gruelling day the Redbirds tied the score in the bottom of the 17th inning after the Bucs took the lead in the top of the inning. Little did I know that the 14 pitch at-bat that happened in the 4th inning was a sign of things to come. This marathon became almost too much to bear when in the bottom of the 17th inning, after the leadoff batter singled, there was a 8 pitch at-bat mixed in with 7 tosses to first base. (You may have heard the cursing from the TV truck.)

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Terrible Ten Minutes

The Pirates beat the Cardinls tonight by the score of 2 - 1 in 2:47. This game was a very well-pitched, well-played contest except for the top of the 4th inning. That inning included a walk, an error, a wild pitch, and a passed ball. It's too bad that such a good game will only be remembered for a terrible ten minutes. One will see walks in just about every game. Although not as frequent as walks, errors occur as well in most games. There might be a wild pitch and/or a passed ball a couple of times a month in major league baseball games. But to have a walk, an error, a wild pitch, and a passed ball during a ten minute span in the same half inning is very rare. This rare half inning cost the Cardinals a victory. A terrible ten minutes indeed


There was a long 1:25 rain delay to start the game tonight between the Diamondbacks and the Cardinals. There was a long homerun with one out in the top of the ninth inning by the D'Backs to tie the score at 1 - 1. On the next pitch, there was another long homerun to put Arizona up 2 - 1. The game ended at 11:31 PM with Arizona beating St. Louis 2 - 1 and this long day ended at 12:22 when I arrived home.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thank You

The Cardinals beat the Diamondbacks 5 - 2 tonight in 2:31. This is every TV tech's favorite type of game. Well-pitched and well-played. It is amazing how these two aspects of a baseball game go hand in hand. When the game is well-pitched, there is a flow to the game and therefore the game is well-played. The players all get into a rhythm and this most beautiful sports shines. This type of game affects the telecast as well. What a pleasure it is to develop a nice flow to the show. There is a ryhthm to the telecast that makes this business so pleasurable. Just as it is near impossible to stomach a poorly pitched and thus a poorly played baseball game, it is wonderful to be a part of a well-pitched and thus well-played game. I want to personally thank the pitchers in tonight's Diamondbacks/Cardinals game.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Favorite

One of my favorite people and favorite TV baseball directors cuts the game for the Arizona Diamondbacks. This guy is one of the most creative people in our industry. We always get together before games and compare notes.I have often said that the most rewarding aspect of directing live television sports and baseball in particular is the fact that one learns something each and every game/telecast. One of the reasons I enjoy and respect the Diamondbacks director is that I learn much from our conversations. When his career is over this director will go down as one of the most influential directors ever in the world of sports television. A favorite indeed.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Bitch

The Cardinals took a 7 - 4 lead with 3 runs in the top of the 8th inning only to give back the 3 runs to the Phillies in the bottom of the eighth on a 3-run homerun. I knew the Phillies were going to tie the game with a 3-run homerun. I even said "They are going to tie this thing up and we are going 20". I was wrong on the length of the game as the Phillies won the game in the 11th on an infield single. I knew the Phils were going to tie the game up after a Cardinals' reliever walked the first two batters in the bottom of the 8th. I believe in the "baseball Gods" and I knew that the payback for the two walks was going to be a bitch. It was.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


This is live television. You get one (1) chance to capture a moment in the best possible way. Therefore, there is no such thing as a perfect telecast. You are going to make mistakes and/or you are not going to capture a particular play as good as you could have. Sometimes a certain moment in a telecast IS captured perfectly. These are the most rewarding moments of any game/telecast. On our telecast, when we capture a certain moment in a wonderful way, we don't go running around the television truck throwing out high fives while we hoot and holler and on our telecasts we don't make excuses when we don't capture a moment as good as we might have and we don't hem and haw after the fact. So for all you TV crew members who believe they NEVER mess up or if they do make a mistake they say it's "not my fault" or "but I blah blah blah" here is some advice - STFU!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Game Of Stars

Philadelphia Phillies star pitcher Roy Halliday was fabulous tonight as he beat the Cardinals 3 - 1. He threw 8 innings and allowed 2 hits and 1 earned run. He tossed 72 strikes and 27 balls. Philadelphia Phillies star second baseman Chase Utley smashed a 2-run homerun in the bottom of the 8th inning to supply the winning margin for the Phils. Cardinals star right fielder Carlos Beltran was 2 - 4 with a solo homerun in the top of the second inning. The game ended when Phillies star relief pitcher Jonathon Papelbon threw out Cardinals' star Beltran as he tried to steal 2nd base with a runner on third, 2 outs, and Redbirds' star player David Freese at the plate. The stars came out tonight.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


The Cardinals beat the Giants today 3 - 1 in 2:37. Both starting pitchers were spot-on. This well-pitched, well-played game equated to a well-paced, well executed telecast. Good pitching = good quality of play = good pace to the game = good pace to the telecast = good show. All things being equal, this was a very good telecast.

2012 Low Point

The low point of this 2012 season occurred during the Giants/Cardinals game tonight at Busch Stadium. The low point was not the 15 - 0 drubbing that the Giants handed the Cardinals. The low point was not the 3:19 minutes it took to play this game. It wasn't the home plate umpire, Tim McClelland, and his incredibly slow strike call. It wasn't that the Giants outhit the Cardinals 15 - 4. The low point was not that rain was threatening at the end of the game. (It started raining 11 minutes after the game ended) No, the low point occurred in the bottom of the ninth inning with a runner on first base (single) and nobody out. The low point occurred when the Giants pitcher WALKED the batter with a 15 - 0 lead and rain threatening at any moment. I probably did not have to write this as I'm sure everyone heard my screams of disgust when ball four arrived at home plate.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lots Of Wows

Tonight's game between the Giants and the Cardinals was one of those "wow" games. There weren't any mediocre plays and there weren't any good plays. This game won by the Giants 4 - 2 in 2:51 was a game that featured many great plays and moments. There was a 3-run homerun by the Giants and a Cardinals player hit 2 homeruns. The Cardinals made four outstanding plays on defense as well. This can be a difficult type of game for the Producer. These great moments must be revisited throughout the telecast and there orchestration is no easy matter. Our regular Cardinals' Producer was off to football meetings and the person who replaced him doesn't have the experience of our regular Producer which during a game such as this one may warrant concern. No worries. Tonight's Producer was cool, calm, and collected the whole telecast. There was a nice flow to the show. In fact, as the game went on this Producer got better. I remember saying "wow" throughout the telecast for the great plays of the game. I also remember thinking "wow" as our Producer led the way to a superb telecast. Nicely done!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pre-Telecast Chat

The Cardinals beat the Giants tonight by the score of 8 - 2 in 2:36. With the Giants in town that means my good friend and fellow director, Jim Lynch of the Giants, is also in the house. I wrote about Jim in my book "Cutting The Game" as I believe that Jim is one of the most talented TV baseball directors in the game. I look forward to televising Cardinals/Giants games because of the pre-telecast chat that Jim and I have before every game. We clue each other in on tendencies of each ballclub. We talk about the starting pitchers for the game updating each other on how fast the pitcher works with the bases empty or with runners on base. We talk about experiences from past telecasts and generally we prepare each other for that evenings game. Believe me, these chats are invaluable as we prepare for the telecast. I respect Jim immensely and I look forward to chatting with him before tomorrow's game/telecast.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


The Cardinals were victorious tonight over the Brewers 6 - 1. As I wrote last night, the Brewers are a bad baseball team. But the performance tonight by Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright greatly overshadowed this fact. Wainwright would have beaten the '27 Yankees tonight. He threw a complete game with 98 pitches of which 73 were strikes. He had 7 strikeouts and 0 walks. He was in total command the whole contest. The first batter of the game doubled on a play that should have been made to start the game. The Cardinals outfielder catches this ball 9 times out of 10 but not tonight. Yes, it was a tough play but it should have been made. This was one of the most enjoyable game/telecasts of the 2012 season. The Cardinals fans celebrated the return of the 1982 World Series Champions before the game and the spectacular performance by Wainwright after the game. Heck, Wainwrights performance overshadowed the 1982 celebration.

Either Good Or Bad

The Cardinals beat the Brewers tonight at Busch Stadium by the score of 9 - 3 in 3:18. We were commenting in the truck tonight about the amount of bad baseball and bad baseball teams there are in the big leagues this season. The Brewers won the NL Central division last season with a great team. My how they have fallen off. This is a bad baseball team. Even with super-star Ryan Braun and very good players like Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks, this is a bad baseball team. The Cardinals previous two opponents, the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs are horrible. I think the NL Central Division is a perfect example of the good teams/bad teams scenario. The Reds, Pirates, and the Cardinals are all very, very good baseball clubs. The Brewers, Cubs, and Astros are all terrible. I have never noticed such a descrepency between the quality of baseball clubs ever during my 29 years of covering Major League Baseball. I don't like it. Give me parity.

The Glamour

10:00 AM - wake-up. 11:00 AM - 35 minutes on treadmill 1:30 PM - lunch with an old friend at Capital Grille 3:00 PM - Arrive at TV truck. 6:42 PM - First pitch 9:27 PM - Final out 10:31 PM - Leave Coors Field 3:11 AM - Land in St. Louis 3:40 AM - Get suitcase at Busch Stadium 4:21 AM - Pull into my driveway 4:26 AM - Get into bed. Oh, the glamour.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Bright Side

The Cardinals beat the Rockies tonight by the score of 9 - 6. The time of game was 2:59 minutes and this did not include the 1:26 rain delay in the top of the eighth inning. This made for a long day at Coors field but as we said in the truck "Better tonight than tomorrow night". That's because we have a night game on a getaway day. Tomorrow will certainly be a longer day than today as we will probably arrive in our doors at about 4AM. Again, looking at the bright side - 16 of our next 19 games are home at Busch Stadium. This is the best stretch of games for Cardinals' baseball and I am looking forward to them

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Standout

Major League Television baseball crews are very talented. I'm not sure if there are truly any bad TV techs in the world of sports. Almost every TV sports crew member is at least good at what they do. It is the "standouts" that are on every crew that raise the quality of the telecast. The "standouts" make the rest of the crew better. I noticed this and thought of this tonight as I directed the Cardinals/Rockies game/telecast out of Coors Field in Denver. There is a crew member on the visiting TV crew who is unbelievably good - he stood out. This Denver crew is very talented from top to bottom but this certain member is absolutely one of the best in the country. He made everybody better. He was the standout.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Despite The Fact

I love Wrigley Field. I love Chicago. I love the side-by-side television setup at Wrigley. There is nothing better than Cardinals/Cubs games at this wonderful venue. The weather was perfect. The crowd was electric. The local TV crew for our telecast are great TV teammates. Today was a great day all around. Despite the fact that the Cubs beat the Cardinals today 4 - 2 with a 2-run walk-off homerun in the bottom of the tenth inning. Off day tomorrow in Denver. Coors Field on Tuesday. Look out!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

First Inning And The Rest

The Cubs beat the Cardinals 3 - 2 with almost nothing worth anything happening after the first inning. The first three batters of the game walked for the Redbirds and they only scored one run. The Cubs took the lead in the bottom of the first with a single, a double, and a triple by three of the first four batters. The starting pitchers settled down after the first inning and the rest of the game was almost nondescript. Still, we were at Wrigley Field - the best venue in all of sports and EVERY game/telecast out of Wrigley is great, great fun. Get away day tomorrow as we head for Colorado. We come back to Wrigley in September. I can't wait.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Love It

As I wrote in my book "Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From the Director's Chair" the most fun a TV baseball director has during a game/telecast is cutting a homerun. Well, thanks to the Redbirds I was able to enjoy myself in each of the first 5 innings today. That's right, the Cardinals homered in each of the first 5 innings today. This was the first time in their history that they accomplished this feat. I had loads of fun cutting these homeruns and I had great fun watching the Cardinals beat the Cubs. Homeruns against the Cubs, beating the Cubs - Love it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dodgers Series

The Cardinals took 3 of 4 from the Dodgers in the just completed 4-game series at Busch Stadium. These games couldn't have been more similar. Except for a few moments here and there, these games were mirror images of each other. The temperature for the first three games was over 100 derees and today's temp. was in the low 90's. You can only take so many shots of sweating players, umpires and fans. The Dodgers won game 1 despite being outplayed by the Redbirds. The Cardinals were victorious in a non-descript game 2. Game three went 12 innings and was just as draining on the TV crew as the players. There were 26 total hits in today's Cardinals victory with 26 of them being singles. There is not much to write about when not much happens. This Dodgers/Cardinals series was just a bunch of ground hog days.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


The Cardinals scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning and cruised to a 7 - 0 victory over the Cubs today at Busch Stadium. After last night's record setting game (7 doubles, 12 runs in the 7th inning), the Cardinals scored these 4 runs with the help of 3 doubles. The Redbirds completed the scoring with back-to-back homeruns in the 7th inning. When a team is performing well there is an excitement that flows through the TV crew. I think the best members of any sports TV crew actually raise their performance level when the team is playing well. Just as there are certain players in professional sports who actually make their teammates better, there are games that actually make the TV crew better. This is certainly evident at the end of a perfect game or a no-hitter. This is also true when a team is on a roll and playing great. The Cardinals are a very good baseball team and are on a bit of a roll. The upcoming stretch of games are going to be a blast to cover.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Making History

Here is what happened in the bottom of the 7th inning tonight in the Cubs/Cardinals game. 12 runs scored tying the Cardinals club record for runs in an inning set on September 16, 1926. 7 doubles in the inning tying the major league record set on August 25, 1936 by the Boston Bees against the Cardinals. The half inning took 50 minutes with 17 batters, 10 hits, 3 walks, 7 doubles, a triple, and a wild pitch. The only ball that was hit hard was the triple. I had a blast cutting this inning. I don't know how many times "Are you kidding me?" was uttered in the TV truck but I think that set a record as well.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Wow Bomb

Behind great starting pitching, the Cardinals beat the Cubs 4 - 1 tonight in 2:37. This was a pretty uneventful game/telecast except for the fact of the longest homerun ever hit at the new Busch Stadium. Matt Holliday's 469 foot homerun on a hanging splitter was absolutely crushed. As you know from my book "Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From The Director's Chair" (now available on the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook for $2.99) cutting the homerun is great fun for a TV baseball director. As the ball hit the bat I took camera 2 (high home) and said "Oh my God" and before I took another camera I uttered "wow". Homeruns are great fun to cut. Homerun bombs are even better.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

2 Ten Minute Segments

Today's Cardinals/Brewers game telecast really came down to just 2 ten minute segments. The first segment came in the bottom of the first inning when the Brewers scored all their runs. After a leadoff error, a single, and a hit-by-pitch, the Brewers loaded the bases. Then the ten minute segment began. Here is what happened in the next ten minutes: A 2-run single, a ground out, a line out, and then the Cardinals made 3 errors on one play allowing 2 additional runs to score. That ten minutes was all the Brewers' offense was able to do the rest of the game. The Cardinals ten minute segment began in the top of the ninth inning when they were down 4 - 2. After a double and a walk and with two outs the Brewers walked the bases loaded and then had a meeting on the mound. The meeting must not have been very effective as the pitcher proceeded to walk in a run. With two outs and the bases loaded, a long fly ball to the warning track eneded the game with the Brewers prevailing 4 - 3. The Brewers enjoyed 10 minutes in the first inning and the Cardinals enjoyed 10 minutes in the ninth inning. Sandwiched between these two ten minute segments was a game with little or no drama.

Milwaukee Crew

I enjoy working with the Milwaukee TV crew. They work hard and are very professional. But what I enjoy most about this crew is that they are just fun to be around. Televising on the road can be very difficult. We deal with many different personalities and sometimes someone may be having a bad day. I have never worked with a Milwaukee crew member who was "having a bad day". While we are televising the game, everyone is pleasant and they all do a great job. I truly enjoy working in Milwaukee.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Not Rusty

One week ago today we started our all-star break. We were off from Monday through Thursday. We televised from Cincinnati on Friday and then we had Saturday off (FOX) and Sunday off (ESPN). One telecast in seven days. I was wondering if we would be a little rusty since we are used to doing 19 telecasts every 21 days.
Thankfully the starting pitchers pitched well and we were able to develop a good flow to the show. The Cardinals won the game in exciting fashion 3 - 2 scoring all their runs in the top of the ninth inning.
The Milwaukee crew is fun to work with and we had a nice clean show.
We weren't rusty a bit.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Right And Wrong

I don't believe there is a right way or a wrong way to televise baseball or any sport for that matter. I believe certain people like their coverage a certain way while others like their coverage differently. I like my high home camera to play it loose rather than tight. I like a perspective of the field when the ball is in play. Some director's like their high home camera to "shag" the ball tight or tighter than most. This is fine. I will not disparage this type of high home coverage. I prefer a different high home "look", that is all.
However, I much prefer mistakes to be made by camera operators because they are aggressive. Mistakes made by camera operators who are not aggressive usually look like that particular operator is lazy. Often times this is true, but sometimes a non-aggressive mistake is made because the operator doesn't know the game or the players. What is worse - a lazy operator or one that just doesn't know the sport? That's an easy answer - you can't fix lazy but you can educate an operator on the sport.
In TV sports there is no right or wrong, there is no good or bad.
Ask 100 viewers what they like about TV sports coverage and you'll get 100 different answers.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Walks And Walkoffs

I don't think there is anything worse for a baseball game and telecast than the walk. Walks destroy the pace of the game and the pace of the telecast. I don't think there is anything more fun and exciting for the baseball fan and the baseball TV crew than a walkoff win. The Cardinals beat the Marlins today by the score of 5 - 4 despite the fact that Redbirds hurlers issued 8 walks. This was one of the most entertaining victories ever for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball fans. The Cardinals scored 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth with the final 2 runs coming on a walkoff single. The game ended with a bang bang play at the plate with the runner correctly ruled safe. We ended the telecast with 6 angles of the final play capping the sequence with a wide angle that captured the jubilation of the Busch Stadium crowd as the winning run scored. The quality of the game suffered with all the free passes given by the pitchers but not many viewers, if any, will remember that aspect of today's game. The quality of the telecast was greatly enhanced because the fans will not remember the walks, they will not forget the walkoff.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

We Surrender

The Cardinals played the ninth game of their ten game homestand today as they head into the all-star break. Every single game of this homestand was played in 100+ degree temperatures and before today every game but one was over 3 hours long. The game that wasn't 3 hours long went 2:54. This has been one of the most difficult if not the most difficult homestand to televise in my 25 years of Cardinals baseball. Lousy baseball teamed with super uncomfortable hot weather can really wear on a TV crew. The camera operators bear the brunt of the heat as they are outside but the whole crew is affected. The last out in today's game/telecast was was completed in 2:29 which was really a blessing. However, after the first two batters were retired the next two had basehits. So here we were in the TV truck - faced with a possible quick game, with the tying run on second and the lead run on first and a full count on the batter. Our color analyst pointed out that with the runners off with the pitch (because of the 2-out full count) it would be impossible to throw the lead runner out at the plate. Someone stated "They are going to tie this thing up." At that point the attitude in the TV truck was "if they do, they do." Usually the TV crew is eagerly anticipating the final out. Not today....we surrendered. The batter fouled out and the game was over. No cheers from the truck. Just a big sigh of relief.

In The Dugout

When the Cardinals starting pitcher walked during an at-bat, the other starters were having fun at his expense in the dugout. Once again, this was an example of capturing a moment during the game that the fans in the stands don't see. Later on in the game the same pitcher smacked a double and the reaction from his fellow starters in the dugout was, once again, priceless. When a moment during the game warrants a replay and a rollout to commercial you know that it was a special moment. Well both these moments were used as replays and as rollouts. Good stuff from the dugout.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Away From The Play

One of the goals of our telecast is to show the viewers something the fans in the stands don't see. The best time and place for this is between innings in the dugout. However, the most rewarding time for the TV crew is during action on the field. The Cardinals started a player at second base tonight. This player hadn't played that position since he was 13 years old. We iso'd him throughout the game and we captured a great sequence in the first inning when we aired a split screen of this player and the infielder's coach as he was positioning the player. Immediately after every pitch the player looked over at the coach. Capturing moments away from the play can be very rewarding. Last night's game/telecast proved this point.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fans In The Stands

The Cardinals beat the Rockies tonight by the score of 4 - 1. This 2:54 game was played in 103 degrees at the start and 94 degrees at the end. Despite the heat, the 42,338 fans in attendance were really into the game. A loud crowd is very beneficial to the home team and great for a telecast. Just as players feed off the energy of the fans so does the TV production team. A stadium that is rockin and rollin really enhances a telecast. The St. Louis TV baseball production team is quite spoiled. Most home games are sold out or near a sellout and the fans are really into the game of baseball. The viewing experience is also enhanced by the fans in the stands. The fans in the stands are really another production tool for our telecast. Just as important as the camera shots and replays, the crowd is equally important to the quality of the show.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

2 Moments

The Rockies beat the Cardinals tonight 3 - 2 in 3:00. There was a 2-run homerun by the Cardinals in the first inning and a 3-run homerun by the Rockies in the third inning. That was it. I checked back into baseball history and discovered that this was the most nondescript 3 - 2 game in MLB history. There were 278 pitches thrown in this game and only 2 mattered. TV crews are always looking for memorable moments in every game realizing that a "moment" can occur with each pitch. I remember 2 pitches from this game. I have no recollection of the other 276 pitches.

A Joke

The Cardinals beat the Rockies tonight by the score of 9 - 3 in 3:12. This game was a perfect example of the difference between good baseball and bad baseball. The Cardinals starting pitcher worked fast and threw strikes. (105 pitches, 70 strikes) The 4 Rockies pitchers threw 103 strikes and 96 balls. Apparently the Colorado Rockies pitchers are under a 75 pitch limit. (What a joke) Because of this strange and ridiculous edict the 4 Rockies pitchers went 3 innings, 2.1, 1.1, and 1.1 innings. When the Cardinals pitcher was throwing the game moved and the fans were entertained. When the Rockies were on the mound the fans in the 100 degree heat were looking for the nearest bridge. Hey Rockies - instead of worrying about pitch counts, teach your pitchers how to pitch. I'm trying to figure out what is the bigger joke - the pitch count or the pitchers.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

OK I'll Say It

Baseball is a beautiful game. When the game is well-pitched and well-played this sport can't be matched by any other sport. But, just as baseball can be the most wonderful sport, there can be nothing more brutal than a poorly pitched, poorly paced, poorly played baseball game. I know this because I just witnessed a three game series between the Cardinals and the Pirates that was just excruciating. These three nine inning games went 3:09, 3:04, and 3:13. There was no pace, no drama, no nothing to these games. Ok I'll say it - I'd rather watch soccer.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


The Redbirds lost to the Pirates today by the score of 7 - 3. The game at Busch Stadium was played with the temperature over 100 degrees. That was about the only thing hot about this game/telecast. Apart from an unbelievably great super slo-mo replay on an attempt by the Pirates centerfielder, this game did not offer much in the way of entertainment. There are very few games that could possibly offer less to a telecast than this game. There was a grand slam hit by the Pirates in the top of the first inning that teased of the possibility of an entertaining contest, but that is where the game ceased to provide even a speck of entertainment. A brutal day for the fans because of the heat. A brutal day for the TV viewers because of the game.

Full Responsibility

Yes, the Pirates scored a season high 14 runs and collected a season high 19 hits as they defeated the Cardinals 14 - 5 tonight in 3:09. And yes the Cardinals scored their 5 runs on just 7 hits. Yes, this was a good old fashioned butt whooping. The Pirates came into Busch Stadium and absolutely spanked the Cardinals. Do I give credit to a well-played game by the Pirates? You bet I do. Do I give them credit for the victory? No! The St. Louis Cardinals TV production team will take full responsibility for this brutal loss. This loss absolutely rests on the shoulders of all involved with the telecast. This loss was our fault. Let me explain. Going into the top of the 5th inning, the Cardinals were leading the Pirates by the score of 5 - 2. At this time we aired a graphic over Cardinals starting pitcher, Adam Wainwright, that pointed out the in his career Wainwright was 50 - 1 when given 5 runs of support or more. The Pirates scored 3 runs in the top of the 5th on a bases loaded double to tie the score at 5. To make matters worse, the Bucs scored the runs after the first two batters of the inning had been retired. After the Cardinals went down meekly in the bottom of the 5th inning, the Bucs took the lead for good with 3 homeruns in the top of the 6th. The Cardinals were sailing along rather smoothly until we aired that graphic. This loss was our fault. We take full responsibility.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Just The Way He Should Be - Invisible

There were some moments in tonight's game/telecast that were most noticeable: The Cardinals once again jumped out to a quick 1st inning lead (2 - 0). The Marlins tied the score in the 5th inning when their only walks of the game both scored. The Cardinals took the lead in the top of the 7th inning when back-up catcher Tony Cruz hit his first major league homerun. What was most noticeable about this moment was the fact that Cruz is from south Florida and many of his family and friends were in attendance. The Marlins took the lead for good in the bottom of the 7th with back-to-back homeruns. The second homerun came against a relief pitcher and had to be reviewed by the umpires. Looking back, however, the most noticeable aspect about this game was something that was totally unnoticeable - the home plate umpire. During the first two games of this series, the homeplate umpire played a big role in both contests. The first game featured the home plate umpire relaying the wrong information on a double switch by the Cardinals to the Marlins manager and the Marlins manager was ejected by the home plate umpire during the second game. Tonight's homeplate umpire called a great game and was invisible - just the way he should be.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Very Comfortable

The Cardinals scored 5 runs in the first inning tonight and cruised to a comfortable 5 - 2 victory over the Miami Marlins. Speaking of comfortable, this was the most comfortable telecast we have had in a while. There was a good flow to the show and everything clicked. For almost every telecast, both home and road, it may take a few innings or more before a comfort level sets in.
This was not the case for tonight's game/telecast. The comfort level was there from taping the three segment open until the final out. This game matched the life style of southern Florida - very comfortable.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bizarre Strange Weird Huh?

The Marlins led the Cardinals tonight 2 - 0 going into the seventh inning in a fast paced, well pitched affair.
Then the weirdness began.
The Cardinals scored a run in the seventh on a passed ball making the score 2 - 1 Marlins.
The Marlins countered with 4 runs in their half which included back-to-back bases loaded walks.
The Redbirds picked up a run in the 8th inning when a Marlins player made 2 errors on one play.
Score 6 - 2 Marlins.
The Cardinals score 4 runs in the top of the ninth inning capped by a 2 out 2-run homerun.
The Cardinals then scored 2 runs in the top of the 10th with the second run scoring on the first major league hit, an infield hit, by a rookie pitcher who was forced into the game because of a mistake by an umpire. In fact, with runners on first and second the Marlins intentionally loaded the bases to face this player.
The reason this player was in the game was because the home plate umpire relayed to the Marlins manger the wrong information about a Cardinals double switch.
The Marlins then scored a run in the bottom of the tenth inning and had 2 base runners when the game ended.
4 hours and 7 minutes of the most bizarre, strange, and weirdest games ever played.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


The Cardinals swept the Royals today by the score of 11 - 8. There were 5 homeruns hit in the game and, as you know, homeruns are great fun for a TV baseball director to cut. The homeruns were the only part of this awful game that offered any enjoyment to me as I cut the game.
One cannot utter the words "good baseball" without also uttering "good pitching".
The Royals have some really talented players. Players that are fun and exciting to watch. Trust me, there have been many, many young talented and exciting players who have been ruined because they became use to losing. I truly hope this isn't the case with the Royals so I will offer the Royals organization some sound advice - develop pitching!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I spoke with the Royals TV director and asked that his X-mo (tight cf) give me more batter shots than last might's telecast. He did and cam 6 was great. This has been a nice road trip from the TV side. Detroit and KC are both fun places to work. Would somebody please talk to the players and tell them to improve THEIR game.
Help us out Players - we want good TV as well as you do.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hard Work

I spoke with the Kansas City Royals TV director this afternoon and we decided to put his X-Mo camera in the tight centerfield position and, thus, moving my camera 6 (tight cf) to the centerfield position (camera 4).
I, therefore, was down to just 2 cameras which I controlled because we were in the back end of a dual feed.
Well I'll tell you what, cutting a game in the back end of a dual situation with just two cameras is just plain hard work.
Then the Cardinals score 4 runs in the first inning and 6 runs in the second inning and led 10 - 1 after the top of the second inning.
2 cameras + 10 runs = hard work.

X-MO Camera

The Detroit Tigers TV team place their super slo-mo (x-mo) camera in the tight centerfield (cam 6) position. This is a great spot for that camera. Capturing the spin of the baseball as it nears the batter is awesome video.
I called our tech manager at Fox Sports Midwest and requested that we position our X-Mo camera there until further notice.
The Detroit visitor's crew is now my favorite road TV team. We had three nice telecasts. There are many aspects that make for a comfortable telecast. Certainly, the enjoyment of the viewer is of the highest priority. Succeeding at this priority AND enjoying this task as we televise (because of the people we work with) makes for an enjoyable experience for the visiting broadcast team as well.
Special thanks to the talented Detroit crew!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nice And Smooth

The Cardinals beat the Tigers tonight 3 - 1 behind a brilliant performance from the Redbird's starting pitcher. This was also another excellent telecast even though it included a whip pan. I take full responsibility for that mistake as I wasn't very clear in my command to the camera operator.
This game and this telecast were both nice and smooth.
Just the way every member of every team (sports or telecast) hopes for every game/telecast.
I really enjoy working with this TV team. They don't take themselves too seriously yet they are serious about their work.
Nice and smooth.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Great Crew

Our game/telecast was out of Detroit tonight. Tonight was very enjoyable. I was able to watch Justin Verlander pitch for the Tigers and I was able to direct the game with a fantastic crew. These guys (and girls) are good. Very good. I really appreciated the fact that not only are they very good at what they do, they really enjoy what they do. There is a passion with this crew that is infectious. Justin Verlander may be the best pitcher in the game today and it was great fun watching him pitch. But, to me, it was more enjoyable watching the Detroit crew ply their craft.
Thank you Detroit crew, it is a pleasure being part of your team.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Here was today's timeline for the Royals/ Cardinals game: 1:16 pm - 1st pitch 3:46 pm - Billy Butler hits a 2 out 0 - 2 pitch for a game tying (2 - 2) homerun in the top of the ninth inning. 5:35 pm - Yuniesky Betancourt hits a double to give the Royals a 3 - 2 lead in the top of the 14th inning. 5:56 pm - Yadier Molina ties the score with a 2-out single in the bottom of the 14th inning. 5:59 pm - Cardinals batter strikes out with runners on 1st and 2nd to end the inning. At that point I had never heard a TV truck so quiet. Then someone said "I have never seen a TV truck so stunned." 6:07 pm - Betancourt hits a 2-run homerun in the top of the 15th to give the Royals a 5 - 3 lead. 6:16 pm - 5 hours after the first pitch of the game the game ends. A stunning victory for the Royals. A stunning game for the TV crews.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

From The Onset

I knew this was going to be a brutal baseball game from the onset. During the top of the first inning the Cardinals seemed to complete a triple play. With runners on first and second the batter hit a soft liner to the pitcher who seemed to catch it. The baserunners who were off with the pitch were easily caught and the triple play was completed. Or so it seemed. The Royals manager complained, the umpires huddled, changed their original call and put the runners on second and third with one out. The Cardinals manager stormed out of the dugout and after a long delay was finally ejected. The Royals scored a run a led 1 - 0 after the top of the first. The Cardinals hit 2 homeruns in the bottom of the first and led 4 - 1 going into the second inning. The first inning took 42 minutes to play. 3:38 minutes after the first pitch and 310 pitches later the game ended with the Cardinals winning 10 - 7. A dreadful, dreadful game. I knew it from the onset.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Wow Camera Finish

The Kansas City Royals beat the Cardinals tonght by the score of 3 - 2. The 2:39 game ended in extremely exciting fashion. With a runner on first and two outs in the bottom of the ninth the Cardinals attempted to steal second base. I stayed on camera 4 (CF) with the throw from the catcher. The ball got away from the shortstop who was covering and rolled towards the shortstop position as the runner broke for third base. I cut to camera 2 (high home) as the second baseman ran to the ball and the runner ran towards third. The second baseman threw wildly to third and the ball went up against the stands down the third base line. Our high home camera operator, Dawn, pulled out and kept the runner and the third baseman each in the shot and tightened in as the throw and the runner each came to home plate at the same time. The game ended as the runner was called out. This was just a brilliant shot by Dawn as she showed great perspective in her framing. This was a wow ending to a baseball game because of the great, great throw from the third baseman and a wow ending to a telecast with a great, great shot from the high home camera operator. Nicely done Dawn!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Back To Back

This was another well-pitched, well-played game in which the Cardinals beat the White Sox 5 - 3 in 2:35. It is so nice having back to back game/telecasts that have a great flow to the show. Establishing a rhythm is really important when cutting a game. The shots are crisper, the replays are tighter and everyone on the TV crew (announcers included) benefits as a result. Tomorrow, the Kansas City Royals come to Busch Stadium for another interleague series. Back to back to back shows with a flow would be nice.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Important Telecast, Great Game

We had our annual Champions Club telecast tonight where the announcers sit outside the Champions Club to broadcast the game. The Champions Club is an all inclusive area in Busch Stadium that has outdoor seating, indoor air conditioning, free food and booze, and countless big screen tv's. We enjoy promoting this wonderful area to watch a Cardinals game. We also enjoy a 1 - 0 pitchers duel that ends in dramatic fashion. The Cardinals scored on a solo homerun in the bottom of the third inning. The White Sox threatened in both the top of the 8th and the top of the 9th innings. The 8th inning ended with a double play from a hitter who had homered off the same pitcher yesterday. In the top of the ninth inning, the Sox had runners on 1st and 3rd with one out and their best hitter at the plate. This batter hit into a game-ending double play on a 3 - 1 count. Our tight iso of the Cardinals closer was a great way to end our coverage. The emotion he expressed was memorable. This important telecast was one of our best deliveries of the year. Only fitting as this was the best game of the year thus far.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


The Cardinals lost to the White Sox 6 - 1 in 2:40. I looked forward to tonight's game/telecast because the White Sox TV director is Jim Angio, who in my opinion, is the best TV baseball director ever. I made a point of watching his feed from our truck at different times during the game. This guy is so smooth. He never ties himself up or cuts his way into trouble. He is in total control the whole show. I can feel the confidence of his game cut as he directs the telecast. He is a master of setting up shots. He obviously knows where he will be in 5 or 6 or 7 shots down the line. I first noticed his work when he was directing a Chicago Black Hawks telecast against the Minnesots North Stars in the early 1980's. I remember thinking "wow, this guys is different from any other TV sports director that I had witnessed up until that time. In fact, I dedicated my book "Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From the Director's Chair" to Jim "who inspired me" to become a director. Almost 30 years ago I sat in a TV truck and said "wow". Thirty years later things have not changed - "wow".

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Wonder

The Indians defeated the Cardinals today by the score of 4 - 1 with a 3-run homerun in the top of the ninth inning. For a 1 - 1 game through eight innings, this was a game with few, if any, memorable moments. Yes, there was some good starting pitching from both teams. In fact, the Cardinals starter was making his major league debut and did quite nicely. Maybe it was what occurred on the field after the final out that blotted out any aspect of the actual game for me. After the final out was made I took a hero shot of the Indians pitcher who had just collected his Major League leading 20th save. (Coincidentally the Cubs won their 20th game of the season today but that's another story) My next hero shot was of the Tribe's second baseman who hit the game winning homerun in the ninth inning. As the announcers began wrapping up and preparing for their final toss, I wanted to finish the telecast with another shot of the closer (a former Cardinals) but I had to wait. He was on his hands and knees in front of the mound throwing up! I mean he was hurling. He then stood up and joined his teammates in celebration of the victory. I took the shot and closed out the telecast. I wonder if our viewers would have remembered anything of the game if I would have taken the shot of the player vomiting.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Finally. A well-pitched, well-paced baseball game. A well-paced telecast - a show with a flow. The Cardinals lost to the Indians tonight by the score of 6 - 2 in 2:34. A new addition to our home telecasts began tonight. We placed a handheld camers behind homeplate and a few feet up the third baseline. This unique look was very effective and offered our viewers a quality view of the game. When a show has a flow everything seems to click. It seems odd but there is a feeling of calm excitement flowing through the telecast team. Calm because everything is clicking and excited because everything is working. We haven't had such a rewarding telecast in quite a while. We did tonight. Finally.

Friday, June 8, 2012

All You Need Is Love

I did not blog from Houston because my wife, step-son, and grandson were with me. We had a great time despite the horrific baseball that was played between the Cardinals and the Astros. Here is a brief description of this series from hell: 3 games, 10 hours and 15 minutes of play, 40 runs, 67 hits, and 7 errors. Don't get me wrong - I love directing major league baseball. But, in my 29 years of involvement with this great game I have never been a part of a weekend of bad baseball such as this one. Thank God part of my family was in Houston. I was able to forget the games and concentrate on my good fortune of having these people I love with me in Houston. For this I am truly blessed. The Beatles were right - "All you need is love."

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Good With The Bad

The Bad: The Cardinals were shutout by the Mets for the second consecutive game by the score of 5 - 0. The Good: The game was well paced and was played in 2:34. The Bad: The Cardinals looked lifeless. The Good: Mets starting pitcher R. A. Dickey threw a complete game shutout with 73 strikes in a 100 pitch outing. The Bad: With the Cardinals playing on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball tomorrow I have a day off on the road. The Good: I will have dinner in Little Italy tomorrow night. The Bad: The Cardinals continue play in New York with a day game on Monday. The Good: My wife, stepson, and grandson will be in Houston when I get there Monday night. After that, no bad only good!

Friday, June 1, 2012

A No-Hitter

Cutting a homerun is fun even though they happen quite often. Cutting a walk-off base hit is more fun even though they do happen occasionally Cutting a walk-off homerun is really great fun even though they do occur every so often. Cutting a perfect game or a no-hitter is super fun because they are so rare. The final out of a no-hitter is really the culmination of a build up that begins in the seventh inning. When the seventh inning begins and a no-hitter is in progress, the pitcher is covered nonstop. Even when the no-hit pitcher's team is at-bat there is a camera on the pitcher in the dugout. Starting in the seventh inning all graphics are built in anticipation of the no-hitter. The commentary from the booth is concentrated on the possible history in the making. Indeed, the whole telecast is focused on the no-hitter. The focus of every member of the telecast team grows more intense with each pitch until the game is over and the no-hitter is attained. It is amazing how intense the focus is during a possible ho-hitter. There is nothing that could possibly distract the TV team from this focus. Nothing. Cutting Santana's no-hitter tonight was, indeed, super fun.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Off Day In New York

I don't usually blog when we don't have a game/telecast but today in New York (an off-day) warrants some commentary. We arrived at the hotel from Atlanta at 2:30 am eastern time. At 2:40 I entered my room to an uncomfortable smell. The hotel was more than happy to give me a new room and at 4:50 (2 hours and 20 minutes later) I received my Cardinals suitcase and hit the hay. The 2 hour delay to get my bag and go to sleep did not bother me as we had today totally off. I awoke at 1:00, showered and went to my favorite deli for a sandwich, chips, and a coke. I went back to the hotel and did the treadmill for thirty minutes. Later, I was reading a great book in my room when our producer, Mike, texted and said he was buying drinks at our favorite Irish Pub in honor of is wife's birthday. Most of our Cardinals TV production team showed up for the happy occasion. After a bit our producer and his wife left for a private dinner celebration. Then myself, our lead tape producer, and our pre-game host left for dinner at a wonderful NY italian restaurant. A plateful of wonderful pasta and a bottle of wine later we departed for our hotel rooms. What a great off day! I know that you who are reading this could care less and I understand that. My point is that off days on the road can be brutal. This off-day was wonderful. Cards at Mets tomorrow. I'm ready.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Nothing Game

This was a tough one. The Braves beat the Cardinals tonight 5 - 4 in 2:43. This was a 1-run game with no drama. None. A TV sports director can elevate the excitement of a game with crisp tight cuts but the game must dictate the when and the why of such a cut. This game offered nothing. I tried to speed up my game cut. I tried to cut tight shots. I tried quick transitions. Nothing. This game offered nothing. Finally, I surrendered to the game. I was alert to the game for any possible change in it's direction. That never happened. I tried and I tried. There was no cooperation. This was a nothing game.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Perks Of The Job

I direct 157 Cardinals games each season. I have probably directed over 3,000 Redbird telecasts during my career. Covering Cardinals baseball means that I am on the road away from my family 2 weeks a month in the summer. Hard to do. Tonight, I had dinner, stories, and laughs with the Cardinals equipment manager Rip Rowan. Travelling on chartered airplanes - nice. Staying in 4-star hotels nice. Covering Major League Baseball for a living nice. Dinner, stories, and laughs with Rip Rowan - a great perk to this job

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Made It Through

Even with the off day yesterday because the Cardinals were on FOX, I was still feeling the effects of Thursday's mentally draining telecast and friday's emotionally draining show. I was still a bit wiped from those two shows when I sat in the chair today for the Phillies/Cardinals game/telecast. The Cardinals won the game 8 - 3 in 2:35. I must admit that I was a bit worried that my concentration level would suffer throughout the telecast but that didn't happen and I was able to maintain focus throughout the show. The Redbirds hit three homeruns today and that certainly helped me maintain focus because homeruns are great fun to cut. I made it through the telecast and felt good about the show even though I was still a bit wiped.. I am now in Atlanta for a three game series with the Braves that starts with a day game tomorrow. Hopefully a good nights sleep will invigorate me. I hope so. Cutting the game mentally and/or physically tired is super difficult. I hope the teams come through with a well-pitched, well-played game. Back to back well-pitched and well-played games are just the tonic I need.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Emotionally Spent

We had our "This One's For You" telecast for our U.S. military tonight. I look forward to this show every year. Not a single telecast throughout the season has as many elements in it as this show does. There are "shout outs" from the troops in Afghanistan, 4-"This One's For You" keyable elements, live interviews between soldiers in Afghanistan and their spouses, interviews in the booth, Twitter messages throughout the telecast and so on. We even had a live marriage proposal in the pre-game show. The Cardinals had a girlfriend of a soldier serving in Afghanistan throw out the first pitch. Little did this woman know but her boyfriend (who she thought was still overseas) caught the pitch at home plate. When he took off the catcher's mask and she saw him it created one of the most remarkable moments ever in Cardinals baseball television. Her look of utter surprise and then unbelievable happiness was priceless. If you didn't tear up at that moment you don't have a heart. In fact, there was at least a half a dozen times throughout the show that I choked up with a huge lump in my throat. There was a beautiful little girl holding up a sign that said half of my heart(love) is deployed. Soldiers in Afghanistan recognizing family in the stands and pointing to the TV monitor with huge smiles on their faces was wonderful to witness. As I stated in yesterday's blog, I was mentally spent after that huge offensive game. Tonight I am emotionally spent.

Offensive Offense

The Phillies beat the Cardinals tonight by the score of 10 - 9 in 3:31. There were 19 total runs and 33 total hits. Runs were scored in 9 of the possible 18 half innings. Single runs were scored in 4 innings, two runs were scored twice, there was a 3-run inning and two 4-run innings. This game was all offense which I find very offensive. Cutting a game such as this is very difficult because you can never just sit back, take a breath and regroup. A nonstop onslaught of hits and runs is very draining mentally. I was wiped out after this one.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Worst First

The Cardinals swept the Padres tonight by the score of 6 - 3 in 2:52. This game included some big homeruns and some great defense. This game also included the worst first inning ever. Let's recap: Here is what happened in the top of the first inning: The first batter hit a homerun - San Diego up 1 - 0. The next batter singled and was thrown out stealing. The number three batter walked. The next batter was hit by pitch. The next batter singled which put runners on first and third and the Padres led 2 - 0. The next batter grounded into a fielder's choice which scored the runner on third. Padres 3 Cardinals yet to bat. The seventh batter of the inning struck out and the Padres led 3 - 0 with the Redbirds coming to the plate for the first time. Total number of pitches - 26. Here is what happened in the bottom of the first inning: The first batter singled and scored when the second batter doubled to deep centerfield. Padres 3 Cardinals 1. The next two batters made outs. The number 5, 6, and 7 hitters each singled tying the score at three apiece. The number eight batter made out and the game went to the second inning tied at three. Total number of pitches in the bottom of the first inning - 27. 53 pitches, 6 runs, and 8 hits in the first inning alone which took 30 minutes. Developing a rhythm for the telecast - impossible. Finding a flow to the show - impossible. The rest of the game was fairly exciting but the first inning set a bad tone for the game/telecast. Fortunately our veteran crew weathered the storm and provided a fairly clean telecast. No thanks to the worst first ever.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Adam Wainwright tossed his third career complete game shutout tonight as the Cardinals beat the Padres 4 - 0 in 2:34. Wainwright missed the entire 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Wainwright was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball before the surgery. He is very competitive and has not experienced much satisfaction this season with his performance. He is now 3 - 5 after tonight's brilliant performance. After the game, we interviewed Wainwright as he left the field. He became very emotional and actually teared up and had trouble speaking during the interview. This was one of the most powerful moments in my television sports career. This show of emotion brought a lump to my throat. Any sports TV producer or director who covers a specific team knows the importance of leaving personnal feelings about the team and it's players at the door. Adam Wainwright is one of the most cooperative players in all of baseball. Adam Wainwright is a genuine person and a great guy. He is one of our favorite people in all of sports. As he pitched this gem, we were all very happy for him but we were all focused on covering this performance in the best possible way for our viewers as is our responsibility. I am thankful that the postgame interview was the end of our telecast. It would have been very difficult to continue. Powerful indeed.

Monday, May 21, 2012

On The Air, Off The Air

At 7:55pm during our telecast we lost all audio. We continued to cut the game with no effects and no announcers. A short time later we lost all video on our Fox Sports Midwest feed. Fox Sports San Diego's feed was thus fed to the FS Midwest viewers. However, because our feed went to a very small number of cable viewers we continued to cut the game even though there was no audio. Kudos to the FS San Diego TV broadcast team. They had both audio and video the whole game/telecast but were unable to run commercials. They did a great job adjusting and filled between innings with some wonderful programming. I watched their feed between innings and what they did was very, very impressive. They were on the air and on top of it. They nailed it. I can't remember ever losing audio and video for most of a telecast. A rarity indeed. As I have stated before, the great thing about live television sports is that I learn something each and every time I sit in the director's chair. What did I learn tonight? FS San Diego's telecast team is very, very good.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Great Sequence

For the Cardinals Fans/viewers this was a pretty uneventful game/telecast. The Redbirds were really never able to amount much of an offense against last season's Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw as the Dodgers won the game 6 - 0. When presenting Cardinals baseball, we on the St. Louis TV crew are always looking for a special moment, a moment that is memorable to the viewer. We are always looking for a moment in the game/telecast that only the viewer at home sees and not the fan in the stands. We succeeded in that endeaver tonight. During the bottom of the 7th inning, LA Dodgers rookie, Justin Sellers, connected on his second career homerun. Sellers will never be known as a homerun hitter. He is a contact batter at the plate so homeruns will be few and far between for him during his career. Cardinals pitcher, Jake Westbrook, was none too pleased with the homerun. This led to our most successful replay sequence of the 2012 season. After the homerun the Cardinals made a pitching change. During the commercial break for the change our Producer cued up both players, Sellers and Westbrook, as they left the dugout tunnel for the clubhouse. As Sellers left the dugout for the clubhouse he was all smiles as he returned high fives with his teammates. Westbrook left the dugout for the clubhouse very angry with teammates leaving him alone. This obvious contrast described the game perfectly. Tomorrow, when Cardinals fans talk about this game/telecast, this is the moment they will remember. A great, great sequence.

What Just Happened?

With the Cardinals down 5 - 4 in the top of the ninth inning Lance Berkman hit a two out homerun on a 0 - 1 count to tie the score. Great excitement for the Cardinals fans and quite a let down for the Dodger faithful. The Dodgers won the game in the bottom of the ninth on a walk-off walk. Great excitement for the Dodger fans and quite a let down for the Redbird faithful. I was wondering after we were off the air if there can be any loss more painful for a ballclub and it's fans than a walk-off walk? I don't think there can be any loss more difficult to swallow than a walk-off walk loss after your team just tied the score with a dramatic homerun. After the homerun, we were saying in the TV truck "Are you kidding me?" Covering a walk-off walk loss for television leaves the TV crew to feel cheated. It's like the show didn't end. After the walk-off walk, we were saying in the TV truck "What just happened?"

Thursday, May 17, 2012


My God I was bad today. Awful. It wasn't that I couldn't get a rhythm going. I did develop a rhythm. In fact, I developed a rhythm quite a few times during the game/telecast. That was the problem. I couldn't sustain the rhythm and the reason was that I had a difficult time all game staying focused. I can't use the fact that it was a shitty game because most of the games we have televised in the past 10 days have all been shitty and I have been able to stay focused. Perhaps I am revolting mentally against the poorly played, poorly pitched games that we have televised in the past 10 days.. The best TV directors in sports have all mastered the art of staying focused during a complete game/telecast. Also, all TV sports directors will go through moments of certain games where the focus has lagged a bit. This is only natural. I can use the excuse that staying 100% focused for 157 baseball games is darn near impossible and I would be right in that assumption. That reasoning, although true, does not make the fact that I had trouble focusing today any easier to swallow. Today I was awful. Tomorrow I will be better.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Love SF

I love the San Francisco visiting TV crew. I love AT&T Park in San Francisco. I love the city of San Francisco. I love the press room in AT&T Park in San Francisco. I love the hotel we stay in San Francisco. I love Lori's Diner in San Francisco. I love Field's Book Store in San Francisco. I love the coffee shops in San Francisco. I love that I can walk to AT&T Park from the hotel in San Francisco. This is my favorite stop in all of baseball. I love San Francisco.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

As Always

As I stated in this blog last night there is nothing better than cutting a Cubs/Cardinals game. These games are always a blast to cut. The Cardinals beat the Cubs 7 - 6 with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. This came after the Cubs tied the game with a solo home run in the top of the ninth. Great fun! We televised one of our best segments ever in the open today. We broke down the coverage of a relay play where the Cubs threw out a Cardinal baserunner at the plate. We used a video box out of the Fox Box showing the runner in the first angle and made great use of the telestrator in the second angle. This segment set the scene for the rest of the show. We delivered a crisp, clean, quality telecast that was great fun to be a part of. Cubs/Cardinals television - great fun! As always.

Monday, May 14, 2012

It Doesn't Matter

The Cubs beat the Cardinals at Busch Stadium tonight by the score of 6 - 4 in 3:15. The most fun I have when I direct Major League baseball is when the Cardinals play the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Coming in second as far as enjoying cutting a Major League baseball game is when the Cubs play the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The teams could be good or the teams could be bad. It doesn't matter. The Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908. The Cardinals have won two World Series in the last six years. It doesn't matter. The Cubs are not very good this season and the Cardinals are quite good. It doesn't matter. There is something infectious when these two clubs play. The TV crew feels it, the fans feel it, and the two ballclubs feel it. The game could end in extra-innings. The game could end in a walk-off fashion. The game could be a blowout either way. It doesn't matter. It's the Cubs/Cardinals!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

By Definition

Excruciating is defined in the dictionary as "extremely painful". This is the perfect word, in fact, the ONLY word that can describe today's Braves/Cardinals game. This was definitely the most difficult game to televise during this 2012 season. From the first pitch of the game to the final out there was not one moment of good baseball. Not one. This game just never flowed. Ever. Even when there is no flow to the game the TV production team must still try to establish a flow to the show. As much as we tried this just did not happen for us today. This 3:33 minute game was extremely painful. This game was excruciating.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nothing Personal

Throughout a Major League Baseball season, we televise 157 games. We travel with the team on their airline charters, we ride on their buses and we stay at their hotels. There are even instances where we might even ride in a cab or hotel shuttle with the players to the ballpark. Because of this, we form relationships with the players. Of course some relationships are stronger than others. One of the players that we on the TV crew have a great relationship with is Adam Wainwright. Adam is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. Wainwright missed the whole 2011 season after Tommy John surgery. He has struggled a bit in his return and this is very understandable. However, when we cover St. Louis Cardinals baseball we cannot and will not let our personal relationships with players get in the way of our coverage. Wainwright had one of the worst outings of his career tonight. Our commentary and our graphics covered this outing in a very honest way. We did not sugar coat this outing and we did not bury Wainwright. We covered this game as total professionals (as always) and this was a quality telecast. We would like the Cardinals to win every game but if they don't and a player has a bad game we cover it. Nothing personal.

All-time Favorites

Tonight's telecast was one of my all-time favorites. The Cardinals retired Tony LaRussa's #10 and there was a huge and classy pre-game ceremony. Our game telecast began at 6:45 which allowed us to air 3 of our 4 pregame commercial positions before the ceremony began at 7:00. This allowed us to cover the complete ceremony without commercial interruption. A great move my Fox Sports Midwest! This was one of our greatest telecasts ever. Throughout the show, we aired many "LaRussa moments" as bumps to break. Tony joined us in the booth for an inning which was spectacular. The Cardinals lost the game in 12 innings but they had the bases loaded twice (in the 9th and 10th) and didn't score. Covering those situations was great fun. We had LaRussa iso'd and the replays of his reactions were wonderful. During the 19 seasons that I have worked with Mike our producer I have never seen him more on top of things. This show clicked. This was one of those telecasts that are special even before we go to air. Everyone on the crew was pumped and everyone delivered. I was very proud to be part of this network quality telecast. Telecasts such as this one that have a "theme" to them are very, very special. LaRussa's retired # telecast and the Troops in Afghanistan telecast are so much fun to be a part of. And these shows are often our best of the season. Tonight's show was one of my all-time favorites!

Love Arizona

Doing Cardinals telecasts on the road can be quite difficult. Not, however, in Arizona. I did the Phoenix Coyotes for 4 years (1997 - 2000) and I know many on the crew. Because of our familiarity with each other, we are able to achieve a good flow to every show. The TD is excellent, audio is outstanding, the tape room works crisply, the cameras are always shaded well by video, the camera operators know the game and work hard and our announcers are very comfortable with the stage manager. I wish we would do more than one series a year in Phoenix. All in all, this is one of the best stops in the National League. Love Arizona!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

These Guys Are Good

I enjoy writing this blog about the night's game/telecast. Tonight's show was very comfortable. There was a nice flow to the show and there were two home runs hit by Carlos Beltran of the Redbirds of which one was a grand slam. But I don't want to write about tonight's game/telecast. I want to comment on something more important. Something that will affect every game/telecast the rest of the 2012 season. These guys are good! When these guys are good, we have to be good. The pressure is on. We have to deliver each and every night because the 2012 St. Louis Cardinals will deliver on each and every night. I had the same feeling during the 2004 Major League season when the Cardinals won the Central Division by 13 games with a 105 - 57 record. I had the same feeling during the 2005 Major League season when the Cardinals won the Central Division by 11 games with a 100 - 62 record. The St. Louis Cardinals fans and the St. Louis Cardinals TV production team are both very spoiled. At the start of every season we feel that the Redbirds will compete with the best of Major League baseball. In 2004 this feeling of success grew to a feeling of expectation. In 2005 this feeling of success grew to a feeling of expectation. This season, 2012, this feeling of success has also grown into a feeling of expectation. These guys are good.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Enjoyable Evening

The Cardinals/Diamondbacks game/telecast this evening was very enjoyable. The afternoon started off in a great way as I met up and caught up with Mitch the Diamondbacks TV director. Mitch is one of the most talented TV baseball directors in the business and I really enjoy talking shop with him. He told me the starting pitcher for the D-Backs was really pitching well. He was throwing strikes and he was working fast. This is good to know as one prepares for a game/telecast. The pace of the pitcher will dictate the pace of the game and knowing the pace of a pitcher before the game is very beneficial to a director. Mitch was right. This starter had a brisk pace. Unfortunately for this pitcher, he only lasted 3 1/3 innings giving up 9 hits (with 3 homeruns) and 7 runs (with 6 runs earned). As I wrote in my book Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From The Director's Chair, cutting the homerun is the most fun a TV baseball director can have during a game/telecast. There were 6 homeruns in tonight's game, 5 by the Cardinals including back-to-back homeruns twice, and a homerun by the D-Backs. This was one of my favorite night's of the 2012 season. A visit with a good friend and a talented baseball director and a game with six homers. An enjoyable evening indeed.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Nice And Smooth

Every television sports production team wants the show to go nice and smooth. Tosay's game/telecast did just that. The Cardinals combined some excellent pitching with some power at the plate and won the game 8 - 1. This was a very comfortable telecast with a great flow to the show. A few times during the game I went to the Houston Astros telecast for replays and they were well executed. There was not one moment of indecision during the telecast and that is just the way we like it. Nice and smooth. I am now in Arizona and I am looking forward to another rewarding telecast tomorrow with the Fox Sports Arizona crew.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Staying In The Game

The Astros beat the Cardinals tonight in 2:40 by the score of 8 - 2. The Astros third baseman hit a grand slam home run in the bottom of the first inning on an 0 - 2 count to give the Astros a 4 - 1 lead. The other three baserunners all reached base on walks. A very poor start for the Redbirds to say the least. As the game continued on, the distinct feeling that the game was basically over gradually made it's way into the picture. When this occurs, staying focused becomes a difficult task. Trying to find the "little things" becomes a challenge but this is a good way to "stay in the game". A highlight of the telecast was Astros first baseman, Carlos Lee, fumbling and juggling a throw from the shortstop during between innings warmups. His reaction was pricelss and became a quality moment of the telecast. When a game seems over or is poorly played or poorly pitched staying focused or "staying in the game" can be a real challenge for the TV broadcast team. Our TV team succeeded tonight.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bad To Good To Great

This was a game that started out bad. After 2 1/2 innings the score was 5 - 4 in the Astros favor and there were 3 errors and a balk committed during this embarrassing play. The feeling in the truck was "here we go again". We maintained our focus (unlike the play on the field) and were rewarded with some nice play on the field. The pitchers began to pitch and there was a nice flow to the show and a nice pace to the game. Innings 4 through 8 were the exact opposite of the first three innings. Our rhythm in the truck matched the rhythm of the game. Our patience during the first part of the game and our focus during the middle part of the contest was rewarded during the top of the ninth inning. With the Astros still maintaining their 1-run lead, the Cardinals lead-off batter singled to start the inning. What happened next was our sure reward for our previous due diligence. The next Redbirds batter hit a tiny pop fly to the second baseman. The Astro's second baseman made one of the nicest plays I have ever witnessed. Because of the little popup the baserunner at first was in between. If he ran towards second base the second baseman catches the ball and doubles him off of first base. Instead, the second baseman caught the ball on a short hop, flipped to the shortstop who tossed the ball to first to complete a double play! A great play indeed. The next batter struck out and the Astros prevailed 5 - 4. From bad to good to great describes this game perfectly.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pittsburgh's Pace

The producer of any sports telecast can and must control the pace of the telecast. The producer of any sports telecast can never control the pace of the game. The pace of the game can be a producer's best friend or it can be a producer's worst enemy. The past three games of the Pirates series at Busch Stadium were all perfect examples of a worst enemy. These games had absolutely no pace. The times of these three nine inning games were 3:04, 3:11, and 3:26. The pace of the game is directly related to pitching. The pace of these games were directly related to Pittsburgh's pitching. Memo to the Pittsburgh Pirates: Start in the minor leagues. Start in rookie ball which is called low A. Teach your pitchers how to pace. Teach them how to "get the ball and go." There is a reason why the Pittsburgh Pirates have had 19 consecutive losing seasons - no pace pitching. By the way, the pace of our telecasts was fine despite the excruciating pace of the games.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Foretelling The Future

It was the bottom of the 5th inning and the Cardinals were leading the Brewers 1 - 0. The Cardinals starting pitcher was on third base with one out. A fly ball was hit to centerfield that was certainly deep enough to score the run from third base. But, the Redbirds baserunner broke for home on contact, reversed direction to tag up but it was too late and he stayed at third base. Our announcers talked about the blunder and said that they hoped the starting pitcher would not take his mistake to the mound in the top of the sixth inning. They mentioned that the third base coach did not repremand him for the blunder because he didn't want the pitcher (baserunner) to think about the mistake while he was on the mound. They mentioned that this particular pitcher had a history of letting mistakes affect his performance. Before the top of the sixth inning the Cardinals catcher went to the mound and, once again, our announcers mentioned the possibility of a big inning for the Brewers. "(The catcher) is trying to keep (the pitcher) focused on pitching." Well, as predicted, the Brewers scored all three of their runs in the sixth and won the game 3 - 2. Anticipation is a valuable tool for any TV sports director. Because of the commentary from the booth I was able to anticipate the play on the field and the camera shots and replay sequences worked. Off tomorrow and then the Pirates come to town.