We all know that the baseball season is more of a marathon than a sprint. It is simply not realistic to expect any fan, no matter how dedicated, to watch and/or attend all 162 games in a season (not including the playoffs). Fortunately, since we live in such a connected world, there are mobile apps and websites that can keep you as-up-to-date as possible, and even provide some insight and knowledge that will wow your friends. Here are my top five mobile apps and websites that help me during the baseball season:
1. ESPN ScoreCenter (mobile app – free)
I am definitely a brand loyalty kind of guy and, like many others, ESPN is my sports drug of choice. What I love about the ESPN ScoreCenter app is that you can identify all of your favorite teams from NCAA College Basketball and NHL Hockey to Major League Baseball. Then, on one screen you can see how all of your teams are doing live. It’s the mobile equivalent of a picture-in-picture-in-picture-in-picture TV. You can have it send you alerts when your team scores and click on any score to see the in-game activity and most recent play. And, it’s got the scrolling bar across the bottom with the top news of the day. Definitely the app I use the most on my iPhone.
2.Twitter (mobile app – free and website)
I know this one has a bit of the “no duh” factor, but I love Twitter for all things sports during every sports season. Specifically during the baseball season, I follow national and local writers, local bloggers and players and get some really cool insight and perspectives from players. For example, I follow a pitcher on the Oakland A’s who had a terrible outing and tweeted about it right afterwards. It’s pretty amazing to get inside a player’s head like that. There is also a free app called MLB Players Tweets, which compiles tweets from roughly 50 current and former MLB players. It’s an easy way to stay connected. My favorite Twitter app is Echofon, which is free to download.
3.MLB.com At Bat (lite = free, full app = $14.99)
While ESPN ScoreCenter provides a good, high level picture of all games and you teams, the MLB.com At Bat app is like taking a magnifying glass and zooming in on baseball. The lite version (free) is very user friendly and lets me identify my favorite team and gives me that team’s latest news, upcoming schedule, roster and more. I haven’t been able to justify paying $14.99 for the MLB.com At Bat 11 full app but with the full version, you can listen LIVE to every regular season and postseason game, watch MLB.tv live the day of game, follow live on MLB.com Gameday, get push notifications and some other cool features. It’s pretty darn impressive.
Again, as a loyal ESPN brand follower, I frequent the website (and by frequent I mean I live there) and if there is a game one while I am working (please don’t tell my boss this), I launch the MLB GameCast, put it up on one side of my computer screen and get busy working. In fact, I’ve got one up right now as I’m typing this. It’s the next best thing to watching it live except when you watch a game you can’t get up-to-date stats, switch over to any other live game like you can with the ESPN GameCast.
Joshua Russell works for a nonprofit leadership network during the day and during all other times eats, breathes and lives sports. He blogs about the Oakland A's on rantsports.com, and the Warriors on WarriorsCourt.com (Bloguin). Josh has been a regular guest on the DSD Podcast talking all Bay Area sports and has guest blogged for FoxSports.com.