First Take

Greetings fellow baseball fans. My name’s Joe Cronin and though you almost definitely have never heard of me, chances are good that if you’ve watched video on MLB.com over the past seven-plus years you’ve seen some of my work.

First off, I have to admit that I’ve got a pretty cool gig for a guy who’s been a lifelong fan of the game. I get to travel the country, see lots of baseball, interact with players and create video features for all you baseball fans out there. There is a downside… all that traveling means I’m away from my wife & kids a whole lot between late February and early November.

The plan for “Behind the Lens” is to share my experiences on the road, how we go about putting together the video pieces you see on MLB.com and frankly, anything else that might strike my fancy (just being honest here). I travel with Jonathan Mayo & Lisa Winston a lot, so you might see their names appearing here. If you haven’t read their blogs, check out B3 (that’s Jonathan) and got milb? (that’s Lisa, who even has that phrase on her license plates).

So far this season (and without counting my annual trip to Spring Training), I’ve been to Syracuse for Opening Day (with Lisa); Northwest Arkansas, Tulsa and Allentown (Jonathan) – that was a doozy of a trip, but both those new ballparks are sweet; Carolina to see Cameron Maybin (Lisa again); Akron (that was a solo trip, it’s local for me); and Lynchburg & Charlottesville (Jonathan).

I’m writing this from my hotel room in Syracuse. Lisa & I traveled here to upstate New York to take in the Cooperstown Classic between the Chiefs & Rochester Red Wings. The Classic was celebrating the 125th anniversary of the International League. Of course, it rained so much that the teams couldn’t complete two full innings before the game was suspended. They didn’t even wait the requisite 45 minutes mandated by league rules. I guess that’s a benefit of having IL President Randy Mobley in attendance. So much for the feature…

fisk_1stpitch.jpgHall-of-Famer Carlton Fisk was on hand to toss out the first pitch (which turned out to be one of the very few pitches actually thrown). Note a couple of things about the pic to the left: the mound is still covered with a tarp (it was raining pretty hard); and what’s with the guy with the red shirt in the bleachers? You’ve got to be extremely devoted (or twisted) to sit way out there in the pouring rain. There was a decent crowd, but I don’t recall seeing anyone else out there during the game.

Our other mission: a feature on Kevin Mulvey and Phil Humber, two of the four players shipped by the Mets to Minnesota in the Johan Santana deal. Together with Francisco Liriano and Brian Duensing, they give the Red Wings a very nice rotation.

mulvey.jpgMulvey started the Classic, so I got a whole five outs’ worth of b-roll out of him before the umpires accepted that Mother Nature was not going to cooperate. (B-Roll is a word you’re going to see frequently here; for those unfamiliar with vid-speak, b-roll is essentially video which isn’t interview or talking head – that’s called a-roll, but no one actually says a-roll. Footage of Mulvey pitching qualifies as b-roll).

humber.jpgHumber threw a side session this afternoon in a decidedly cold and damp Alliance Bank Stadium here in the ‘Cuse, so I got my Humber b-roll there. Lisa interviewed both players and though they’ve probably been asked five million times about Johan Santana and the Mets, they were good sports. Look for the feature later this week, or maybe early next week.

A side note: Mulvey’s a fellow Jersey guy. We talked about Jersey back in Spring Training when we interviewed him for our MiLB season preview. Seth Everett was the talent on that shoot – he’s from Jersey too. We Garden Staters stick together. If you can name all the places shown in the opening sequence of “The Sopranos,” you’re a true Jersey guy (or gal). Even though I live in Ohio now (the wife’s from there), I’ll always consider New Jersey to be “home.”

That’s going to be it for now. I’m still new to this blogging thing, so bear with me while I go through my growing pains.

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