The cold and rainy skies of Wednesday’s Game One gave way to sunshine on Thursday as we prepared for Game Two of the 2011 World Series in Saint Louis.
Things were “back to normal” for the MLB Photos Photo team as Rich Pilling returned to his familiar position as MLB’s on-field guy and I rotated into Brad Mangin’s Game One photo position in the outside third well with Brad moving upstairs to the highly desirable first base overhead photo location.
Brad forewarned me that things were rather cozy and a bit uncomfortable in the well at third, which meant among other things that it would be difficult to swing lenses quickly while attempting to follow the action. The third base well also brought with it the ever present danger of being blocked by any one of an assortment of obstacles. Third base coaches, umpires, security personnel, other players. You name it, they can and usually will block you. Thankfully, that’s why most organizations have other photog’s board to cover events like the World Series. Hopefully someone will have a clear view of the “play of the game”.
The play of the game. It is usually quite obvious. Game One’s picture was Chris Carpenter’s defensive gem at first base. But what if there really weren’t any pictures? I’m talking for the entire game. What do you do?
Thursday’s Game Two was one of those games. When there are combined five hits total through the middle of the seventh inning and the score is deadlocked at 0-0, what might be revered by many baseball fans as “a classic pitchers duel” is most certainly boring as hell from a photographers perspective.
Just tell me how many images of dejected players walking back with their heads down back to the dugout after striking out can any editor use?
How about a great defensive play, or a take em’ out double play to at least give us photog’s something? Not this night.
I felt guilty shipping cards back to our editors filled with… nothing. You can only shoot what you see, so the guilt evaporated quickly, but as the old saying goes, “it is what it is”. “What it is” is disappointing, especially when you are working on generating content to fill a commemorative book.
Thank goodness for the sunshine earlier in the day. At least before the game I had an opportunity to make a few pictures.
Of course, my photojournalist mindset took charge and worked at trying to make the decisive plays of the game at least look interesting. But I gotta tell you, Thursday’s Game Two just wasn’t a standout game for me. I kept silently pleading with the third base coaches to get aggressive and send the runners in the ninth inning to at least set up a play at the plate. Come on!! We need pictures!!
As bad as the Rangers looked through my collection of strike em’ out dejection pictures, they came to life just in time and pulled out a 2-1 come from behind win to defeat the Cardinals and knot up the best-of-seven Series at one game apiece.
Game Three is in Arlington Saturday night. I’m looking forward to getting to the ballpark with hopes that the Rangers and Cardinals get their respective offenses going so the I can once and for all quit adding to my already too large collection of batters looking dejected after striking out pictures!