Playoff baseball is around the corner, get ready with these iPhone apps

Sep 7, 2010
Misc

It’s not I’m not excited about the upcoming MLB playoffs, it’s just that I’m incredibly disappointed. This is the kind of thing that happens when the St. Louis Cardinals legally change their name to the Underachieving St. Louis Cardinals. But enough about me. One thing I am excited about is the state of baseball apps […]

It’s not I’m not excited about the upcoming MLB playoffs, it’s just that I’m incredibly disappointed. This is the kind of thing that happens when the St. Louis Cardinals legally change their name to the Underachieving St. Louis Cardinals. But enough about me. One thing I am excited about is the state of baseball apps on the iPhone, and there have been a number of exciting updates and new releases this so far this season. Hopefully, your team is still in playoff contention, and, if so, you’ll want to check out these apps as you prepare for fall baseball.

MLB.com At Bat 2010

You know I can’t talk about MLB apps without mentioning MLB.com At Bat 2010, which I believe will eventually replace “sliced bread” in the cliche “the greatest thing since sliced bread.” The app continues to improve its At the Ballpark section, with an end-of-August update that adds a profile feature that allows you to check the box score of every game you’ve checked into as well as view all the parks you’ve attended. There have also been improvements to the app’s Twitter and Facebook functionality, so clearly making the app more interactive is a priority. Even better news, the app is on sale for $6.99 (regularly $14.99) until Tuesday, Sept. 7 at midnight Eastern time. This probably goes without saying, but if you haven’t downloaded At Bat 2010 and have even a passing interest in baseball, now would be the time to do so.

SI.com

Yeah, I know it’s a bit of a stretch to include this all-encompassing sports app in a baseball article, but I’ve been waiting for a chance to mention SI.com’s fantastic new look since it’s August update. The main menu now shows the app’s different sections, with stories viewable in either a gallery mode or the traditional list view. In addition to sporting a nicer look, it’s also much easier to navigate your way around the app now. SI.com remains a free download, and as for baseball content it provides scores, news, rumors and access to Tom Verducci’s Inside Baseball column. Apparently there’s even a video section in the works, meaning that whether you’re a baseball nut or just a sports fan in general this app is worth checking out.

Batting Goggles

I’m a sucker for stat-heavy baseball apps, so it’s no surprise I’ve fallen hard for Batting Goggles (99 cents). The app shows you hot and cold charts for every major leaguer, presented similar to the strike zone charts you see on television broadcasts. This means you can find out where Albert Pujols likes the ball (everywhere except for down and away) or where Roy Halladay gets hit the hardest (the middle of the plate). It also shows averages for pitches that are outside of the zone, though you can choose to filter that out and only view the nine areas of the strike zone. Users can also filter by vs. left and vs. right hand hitters/pitchers. There’s a free version that gives you access to limited players, though I can safely say if you’re into Fangraphs or apps  like that, Batting Goggles is a must download.

Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball ’10

The MLB playoffs aren’t the only thing right around the corner, as many fantasy baseball leagues are entering their playoff series this week. I’ve often trashed Yahoo’s efforts at creating fantasy apps, though I will admit its free baseball app – Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball ’10 – is getting closer and closer to being an option. Fantasy owners can finally add and drop players from within the app, while there were also improvements made to its search functions. And while it still looks better than the competition, MyFantasyTeams and the new kid on the block, Fantasy Baseball Monster ’10, remain more enticing options for Yahoo! fantasy users. If the official app can give us basic things like offering trades and viewing the league message board I might just change my tune.

MLB World Series 2010

Speaking of improvements, MLB World Series’ second release on the iPhone has a number of encouraging upgrades. First things first, it’s still the only game with all real teams and players, and MLB World Series 2010 ($4.99) now also includes all 30 MLB stadiums. The graphics have gotten an upgrade as well, though they still lag behind other sports games. The gameplay and computer AI still need plenty of work for this to get anywhere near being labeled a realistic experience, though, if viewed as an arcade game, it’s good enough. Homerun Battle 3D and Baseball Superstars 2010 remain the best baseball games in the app store, though World Series 2010 is an acceptable game if you simply can’t live without the official license.

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