Thursday March 31, 2011 10:46 am
Follow your favorite baseball team on Opening Day the geeky way
Spring has sprung, and the best thing about spring isn't the warmer weather or the allergies—it's the baseball. The 2011 MLB season begins Thursday, taking over the lives of fantasy owners and fans alike for the next seven to eight months (depending on how good your team is). Whether you're at work, at home, on on the road, here are a few ways to track your favorite team.
MLB at Bat 11
MLB at Bat 11 is the sanctioned-by-the-league option for following your favorite team throughout the year. It's an app for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Mac OS, Windows, and other platforms, and it lets fans watch out-of-market games (crucial if your team isn't your local team), track every statistic you can think of, and see "Live Look-Ins" whenever something critical is happening in another game.
There's a lot packed into the MLB at Bat app, but it comes at a cost: the app itself is $14.99 (there's also a very stripped-down version that's free), but if you want to watch live games you'll need a subscription to MLB.tv, which starts at $99 for the season. Luckily, thanks to a deal MLB made with Volvo, you won't need a subscription for the first month of the season, so you can try before you buy.
MLB.TV on Roku and Apple TV
If you own a Roku box ($69 at Amazon) or an Apple TV ($99 at Amazon), you're already almost all set up to watch baseball this season. With an MLB.tv subscription (the same one you'll need for the MLB at Bat app), you get access to live-streaming games via your Roku box or your Apple TV, along with plenty of other features like fantasy player tracking, DVR controls, and even on-demand access to local games (which you can't watch live) 90 minutes after the game ends.
Bloomberg Front Office 2011
For many baseball fans, loyalties go only as far as the players on your fantasy team. If that's you, you'll need Bloomberg's Front Office, available for iOS and on the Web, to get you through the season. The app puts you in the driver's seat of your league, with lots of analysis and information about free agents in your league (the app integrates with fantasy leagues at ESPN, CBSSports and Yahoo), as well as plenty of head-to-head comparison tools to help you see if you're getting the wrong end of an early-season trade. You can manage your lineup, and get statistics, all in real time. At $19.95, it's not cheap, but then again, neither is victory.
If you don't need to watch every second of the game, but still want to follow your team and see how they did, download the free ESPN ScoreCenter app for Android or iOS. It's a window for ESPN's news and statistics, but also for tons of highlights, box scores, and more. You can set favorite teams and see everything about them, or just follow baseball news as it happens.
One thing baseball's got that other sports can't match is crazy statistics. Baseball Prospectus is the geek's baseball bible, filled with every sort of statistic, analysis and metric you can think of, and you can access it all through the Baseball Prospectus site, or the $14.99 app for iOS devices. Whether you're looking for a leg up on your fantasy league, or just want to sound impressive quoting the PECOTA system to predict who's due for a huge year, it's your (very) insider's guide to the baseball world.
Of course, if the single-serving app isn't your style, there are plenty of Web sites that offer up-to-the-second scores and statistics, like CBSSports.com, MLB.com, ESPN.com and Yahoo.com. Those might be better options for the office, where they're a little easier to hide.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to set my fantasy roster.
This article, written by David Pierce, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.
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