If you’ve been thinking about getting the latest MLB At Bat App for your Apple, Blackberry, Android, or Windows device, Quick Fix Sports is here to break down the specifics and value of this sports app from MLB.com.
What is MLB At Bat?
In case you aren’t familiar with MLB At Bat, here’s the quick rundown. Depending on which version you get, it’s an application developed by Major League Baseball that lets you follow; MLB scores and headlines, watch video of MLB games, and even track an MLB game play by play. The basic free version is pretty straightforward: you get basic box scores of each day’s games, plus news and standings. The full version will cost you a few bucks, but you get access to the full offerings of the application (see below).
What’s it cost?
There are three options with the app.
The free version costs nothing and gives you game scores, news, and standings, but is only available on Apple devices.
The full version costs $14.99 for the season, or $2.99 monthly if you prefer to go that way. However, the monthly option is only available on Apple devices.
Also, if you get the MLB.TV premium package, you get full access to the app as part of that package (an update this year), so you don’t get dinged twice.
What devices is it available on?
The app is available on Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.) in the free and full versions. It’s also available for Blackberry, Android, and Windows devices, but only with the full version.
What do I get with the full version?
If you buy the full version, you get the following features:
- Scores and statistics: In addition to the basic box scores, you can access game stats for any game.
- Gameday: This is a cool tool that gives you real-time pitch-by-pitch tracking. You get to see a digital representation of where pitches cross the plate, the pitch speed and type, and if a pitch is a ball, strike, or hit. It also tells you who’s on base, what’s happened the last couple of plays, who’s the batter and pitcher, and finally, the score. Another nice touch is that the background shows an image of the home team’s stadium. If you’re like me and want all the information you can get about a game in progress, it’s a very cool feature.
- Live Radio: If you can’t be at the game or watch it on TV, this feature is perhaps the next best thing. You can listen to the game’s live radio broadcasts with your choice of home or away announcers. Those guys are usually so good, you don’t’ really mind that you’re not seeing it live. Be aware, however, that the voice calls will sometimes lag behind the online stats coming across.
- Highlights and Videos: You can watch in-game highlights, and also access post-game “Condensed Game” video of the game. This basically gives you all the action without the boring stuff, which is a useful feature. However, one major negative to this feature, to be aware of, is that there are blackout dates. Basically, when teams are in their home market, video of those games is blacked out due to licensing agreements with the local cable stations carrying games. This could ultimately limit the usefulness of this feature, if you only want to watch video of your home team (away games are still good to go). A lot of people are asking for the blackout ban to be fixed somehow, and the MLB has been pretty good over the last few years of improving the app, so maybe they’ll have a plan—just not this year.
- Live Look-in: Another cool video feature is the Live Look-in option during games, which is signaled by a yellow button that pops up on the scree, when there is a key moment in the action. If you click on the button, you can watch live video of the key play or situation, even on blacked-out games, reducing the sting of that limitation just a little.
So is MLB At Bat worth it?
If you’re a serious MLB fan, this is a very useful and fun app to have.
- The play-by-play feature is great for giving you a real sense of how the game is going if you’re on the go.
- The Live Radio feature can come in very handy too, even if you’re at the game and want to listen to the radio calls, although the delay can be a little frustrating.
- The video functionality is nice, but of less use due to blackout rules for games televised in a team’s home area.
At$14.99 I think the advantages of the app are worth the price, even with the video limitations. If you like stats and game data, and especially if you like to follow a number of teams, this app is a must-have.
For Apple device users, the monthly option might be a good choice if you want to give the app a try without spending the whole $15. They also recently added a 5-day Free Trial option, if you want to go that way.
In the end, let’s face it—can you really get too much info about your favorite MLB teams? I say no.