GAME THREE OF THE NLCS
Although we’re just an hour behind Cincinnati time here in St. Louis, I’m having difficulties getting on the same page. I’ve been early for everything since I arrived here. I’ve set my watch twice. The first time, I set it back two hours, which created additional and unnecessary problems.
I’m usually pretty good with traveling and properly adjusting to the time changes, but this measly one-hour thing, for some reason, has turned my world upside-down. As you could guess, no one has ever accused me of being the brightest crayon in the box.
So, I began yesterday a lot earlier than I should’ve. I ate lunch when I should’ve ate breakfast and I made it to the ballpark before all the seats were cleaned. I had a lot of time to burn, so I walked around the park and took in the sights – similarly to what I did at Wrigley last month when I traveled with the Reds to Chicago. Not to sound profound or melodramatic but there really is something about a big league ballpark when no one else is around. There’s a quiet energy to it.
When the rest of the world came to, it was time to prepare for the big event – Game Three of the NLCS.
I was onhand for the afternoon’s press conferences, which consisted of both team managers and Thursday’s starting pitchers.
Nothing enlightening or earth-shattering came from those sessions, although it was no surprise that a pinch of controversy was broached when Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke was asked about a published report involving the seat locations of Brewers’ families and friends.
I guess some of the folks in the Milwaukee clubhouse weren’t happy with where their loved ones were being placed in the stadium for the games here in St. Louis - basically the kind of stuff that is reported on by folks who get bored with the actual game of baseball. Complete silliness.
After the press sessions ended, I ventured out onto the field to check on one of my main assignments for the day – seeing that TBS’ Craig Sager taped an interview with Prince Fielder at 4:50. With help from my former co-worker Mike Vassallo, Prince and Craig made beautiful TV.
Due to the threat of inclimate weather, pregame batting practice was canceled. However, television stations doing their “stand-ups” and “live-look-ins” remained on the field to preview the night’s game for the viewers at home. Lots of baseball writers were present as well, including my pal C. Trent Rosecrans.
Eventually it was time to help Katy Feeney and Chuck Torres “clear the field” of the media. The pregame ceremonies were starting soon.
Finally, it was game time.
I spent the majority of the game near the auxiliary press box location, where I watched the game on a TV (go figure, right?). At the conclusion of the seventh inning, I returned to the press conference room where I waited on my postgame assignment.
My postgame duties are the most exhilirating. Chuck assigns me a player and tells me which media outlet to take him to, on the field.
With the Brewers batting, and the Cardinals holding a lead in the top of the 9th, Chuck lined up the media in the staging area near the field entrance behind home plate. The rightsholders are the first entities permitted onto the field to interview their requested players. That first stage of media, including TBS and ESPN Radio, followed by MLB Network, hits the field the second the final out is recorded.
After the umpires exit the field, local TV and other media outlets are allowed to join us.
Upon the final out of the game, Chuck, Matt Chisholm (SF Giants media relations) and myself burst onto the field to prepare corraling our assigned players. Mine was Cardinals closer Jason Motte.
Once the Cardinals players finished shaking hands and giving each other high-fives, I immediately took Motte to TBS’s Sager and then to ESPN’s Tim Kurkijan and finally to MLB’s Sam Ryan. In mere minutes, my most important job of the day was finished.
Cool stuff. Obviously it’s a neat gig.
Once the game ended, we got to unwind at the Busch Stadium NLCS hospitality party, hosted by the Cardinals. The ”party” is for VIPs and folks like me who actually ”work” the games.
I only enjoyed the “hospitality” for a few minutes before I realized it was time to get back to the hotel to rest my “barking dogs.” And with that, I turned in for the night.
Time to do it all over again today!
Here are some more photos from yesterday…
Thanks for allowing me to share this with you! I’ll have more from St. Louis, soon!
Expect good news,