The iPad = My Baseball TV

The first thing I did on my iPad was check out how the FanGraphs app looked on it. It works, but truth be told you’re better off using the website on an iPad, which will work in its entirety. I much prefer the FanGraphs app on the iPhone to the website, but it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to use it on a bigger screen. Now if you could use the FanGraphs app as an iPad widget and leave it in the corner all the time or something, that would be cool.

The second thing I did was download the MLB At Bat 2010 for iPad.

MLB.tv through MLB At Bat 2010 works great on the iPad. While I was doing the live chat yesterday, I had the iPad propped up with whichever game I wanted to watch that was not blacked out. It’s like having a handheld television, specifically designed to watch baseball games.

And of course you have all sorts of statistical overlays available to you while you watch the game. Want to know which players are in the field, or want to see a boxscore while watching the game? No problem, those are all available right at your fingertips.

There’s also a high resolution MLB Gameday view, where you can see each at-bat, pitch by pitch along with lineup, boxscore, and video highlights. You can pull up so many extra “stat boxes” that it will more or less fill up the entire screen. It all looks really great and because you can’t access the web based MLB Gameday on your iPad, this is really the only official MLB live scoring option available to you.

The downside is that it costs $15 dollars, again. And I say again because I already have MLB At Bat 2010 for my iPhone, which cost $15 dollars too. I also noticed a few opening day bugs, which weren’t show stoppers or anything, but caused the application to crash on me a couple of times. I’m sure these will get ironed out pretty quickly.

While it’s one of the more expensive apps you’ll purchase, it does provide the most robust and prettiest live scoring experience on your iPad, mainly because of the lack of Flash software that will prevent many popular web based solutions (including MLB’s very own) from working. And if you have an MLB.tv subscription and an iPad, getting MLB At Bat 2010 for the iPad is really a no brainer.




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David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.


29 Responses to “The iPad = My Baseball TV”

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  1. Phill says:

    Anyone have At Bat 2010 for blackberry?

    Does it have the same capabilities of pulling up split stats, etc?

    They’re asking a lot to charge $15 without a free trial.

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  2. Albert says:

    Anyone know if there’s a way I can trick the MLB app out of blackout restrictions?
    I have the MLB App, I have an MLB.TV Subscription, but the games I’m most interested in are blacked out.

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    • byron says:

      If you’re on an iPhone, the words “jailbreak,” “cydia” and “FakeLocation” will get you there. Those words are as yet meaningless on the iPad. None of the above words have anything to do with acquiring this program and not paying the $15, nor receiving MLB.TV without a valid subscription.

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      • Evan_S says:

        There’s a way around the subscription?

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      • Fresh Hops says:

        I’m pretty sure that fangraphs would appreciate it if we didn’t use their blog to facilitate illegal activity, especially when people whose interestes align with MLBAM probably read this site.

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      • Fresh Hops says:

        By the way, that comment was intended mostly for the issue of circumventing the subscription (i.e. stealing the service) not circumventing blackouts, which doesn’t steal anything–it just allows paying customers to get service for their home team…

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      • byron says:

        Let me be more specific. I do not know if it is possible to steal this app or the MLB.TV service, and I wouldn’t do it if I knew how. I do know it is possible to make your iPhone think you’re in Alaska when you are not. If you purchased a MLB.TV subscription and the MLB At Bat app and told them that you were in Alaska, this does stuff to licenses and rights. What stuff? Does it steal anything? Is it illegal? I don’t know, as I’m neither a lawyer nor someone who has done it.

        The legality of jailbreaking an iPhone was never questioned until very recently, when Apple did something or another in court that seemed kind of weird. Once again, I don’t know, I’m not an expert. I do know that my iPhone is jailbroken and has been synced with iTunes a few hundred times without the police descending on my apartment.

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  3. Wells says:

    David- did you watch over wifi or 3G?

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  4. Gina says:

    Now I just need going to have to harvest my own kidney so I can afford one.

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  5. TsB says:

    The first thing I did with my iPad was blend it.

    That’ll teach me to doubt youtube videos.

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  6. Rarn says:

    Now if only iPad’s had any actual utility to justify the cost :\

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  7. Schu says:

    A shill for Apple now eh?

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  8. SaltyBiscuits says:

    I was excited when I heard about this App – thanks for the review. It sounds like everything I was hoping it would be. Not that I own an iPad or anything.

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  9. byron says:

    Can anyone confirm that individual games are still purchasable for $.99? I heard that was a feature last year, but have seen no confirmation it’s still in place. Thanks!

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    • byron says:

      In checking for answers I noticed that the decimal point is miniscule, and if you saw it you’d think my question was asinine. Let me rephrase: Can you purchase individual games for 99 cents?

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  10. Colombo says:

    To get around MLB.tv, you have to set up a proxy server.

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  11. BobLoblaw says:

    So I have MLB.tv Premium already. I’m already pissed that for that much money I still have to watch a commercial every time I try to switch games. And with an iPad I would have to spend another $15 for the app? I hate MLB, the money grubbing organization.

    MLB.tv is so glitchy on my PC, I do not think it is worth the money. I have a new laptop with a broadband internet connection. Should be good enough to not have all these lags and non-updating box scores and disconnecting audio feeds. The only thing I don’t have is a dedicated graphics card. Do I need one?

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  12. Bryan says:

    This post might as well be behind a $500 PayPal firewall.

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  13. dickey simpkins says:

    I watched a baseball game on a TV. Will you still be my friend?

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  14. verd14 says:

    That looks delicious.

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  15. Scott says:

    I don’t get how an iPad is that practical of a baseball TV solution.

    You get an iPad and MLB At Bat for $515. You get 16 gigs of storage (which if your primary reason is to watch baseball games then that doesn’t really make a difference) and a 9.7 inch screen.

    For 350 bucks you can get a cheap emachines netbook from best buy with a year subscription to MLB.tv, which has a 10.1 inch screen and a 160 gig hard drive.

    Now first combat the likely complaints, size, yes it is bigger to have a netbook open then to have an iPad open, but not massively and unless you bought a stand, the Netbook would be way more stable. Next is portability. The iPad is a half inch thick. The Netbook is 1 inch. Honestly in the grand scheme of things is that that big of a deal?

    Now on to the strengths the Netbook has. First off the MLB features. MLB.TV premium has over standard MLB.tv (which I don’t even know if all those are available on the iPad) you can choose which announcers you wanna listen to (which can be a huge advantage) you get DVR like controls, and Multi-Game views.

    Now onto other advantages, you can have your game running, and with a quick alt-tab flip over to MLB game day (hell throw in 15 bucks if you want the premium gameday, still way cheaper than the iPad) and with a control+tab you can switch tabs between gameday and fangraphs live win probability.

    I mean I’m not trying to disuade people from buying the iPad, but certainly doesn’t seem practical if your main use is to watch baseball games.

    Also it’s possible (though not legal according to the MLB.TV contract IIRC) to easily get around blackouts on a PC.

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    • I don’t disagree with anything you said and I don’t particularly advocate buying an iPad either, that is not what this post was meant to be about.

      Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I was going to use the iPad, but I’ve pretty much been using it as my baseball TV for the past couple days. Whether or not I find a bunch of other uses for it has yet to be seen.

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    • deadpool says:

      Well, one thing I will say is that I’ve had good luck with the MLB.tv function of at-bat on the 3g network. If the 3g iPad can perform as well outside of a wi-fi area then that’s something a netbook can’t do. As the kind of guy who has two computers open way more often than 90% of American’s I can see where the iPad would be useful.

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      • Scott says:

        @Dave

        Fair Enough, I wasn’t exactly sure what you were going for but I see it now. If you got it might as well use it for baseball. I’ve got the atbat for Android which doesn’t have video but I couldn’t help but get it.

        @deadpool

        VerizonWireless sells netbooks with 3G internet access. The biggest positive to the iPad is that it’s internet is cheap. But that’slargely cause you’re much less likely to use as much internet on the iPad as you are on a netbook.

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  16. BobLoblaw says:

    David Appleman,

    Do you find the iPad MLB.tv app performs BETTER than your PC’s version?

    The reason I ask is that the PC version uses Adobe Flash. The Apple uses the (HTML5?) app. If I listened to Steve Jobs, I might think that Flash is the culprit behind my crappy MLB.TV experience.

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    • JonnyBS says:

      If you have a graphic card that support Adobe Flash beta 10.1, then the performance will not be crappy at all.

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  17. The affect this product is going to have on the pc world is enormous. It will give us a more or less bigger excuse to consume time messing around on the interweb. I would be tempted to purchase the iPad if it cleansed up my room and did my washing!

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