We all have our Charlie Brown moments, but is there a more thankless job than manager of an amateur baseball or softball team? Yes, there is: scorekeeper of an amateur baseball or softball team. Those who step up deserve a big hand, and not just on the back but in the office, too. SBC's Softball-Baseball Team Calculator is a free Excel-based tool that makes it easy to keep track of individual, team, and league statistics and standings. It can generate box scores for individual games, track and rank batters in 19 categories, and calculate division standings on a game-by-game … Read more
Calling all baseball junkies! Major League Baseball just lowered its subscription prices, at the same time introducing an even less expensive plan for smartphone owners.
The new MLB.TV Mobile Phone Only subscription lets you watch unlimited live out-of-market (meaning non-home) games on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or Android phone for $49.99 per year. That breaks down to just over $4 monthly, which strikes me as pretty cheap for that much baseball.
It's also a nice alternative to the $89.99/year and $109.99/year standard and premium plans, respectively, (which, incidentally, also include smartphone streaming), especially … Read more
Wilson mysteriously disappears on this beautiful Wednesday, but Natali's pulling a twofer this week and filling in to help us with today's rundown. To her delight, a new augmented reality app is bringing future tech from the Harry Potter series alive, a PhillieBot will chuck the first patch at tonight's game, and a new iPhone case protects more than just the device inside.The 404 Digest for Episode 803 Robot to throw first pitch at today's Phillies game How did that RFID chip end up in my suitcase? On a related note, Natali brings this delightful Jamaican tale to our attention. The JustinCase prototype fights for safe sex. Thanks to Attariq for drawing this picture of The 404! Episode 803 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Links from Wednesday's episode of Loaded:
Sony has made its last PSP Go and shall make no more
T-Mobile launches an app that lets you make voice calls through Facebook
Facebook is expanding its social reporting system for users to report harassment
Google opens Map Maker to Americans
AT&T closes shop on its local listing site, Buzz.com
A robot will throw the opening pitch at the Phillies game today
I am a diehard baseball fan. Wait, let me clarify: I am a diehard Oakland Athletics fan. And now's a good time to throw in a full disclosure: I also work for the team on game days as their in-stadium host. I know--it's the greatest job ever for a baseball fan! When I saw that my CNET colleague Erica Ogg was writing a piece about mobile apps for baseball, I thought it would be a perfect way to combine my passions--baseball and tech--into one cool and useful story for our CBS audience.
As an LA Dodgers fan, Erica … Read more
Baseball is a team sport, but for fans of the major leagues, there's never been a good way to play along in real time.
Until now that is, say the creators of GameSlam, a real-time social predictive baseball game that allows fans to get in on the fun even as the balls and strikes are being thrown and the home runs are clearing the fences.
For years, baseball aficionados have been able to take part in Major League Baseball by joining a fantasy league. And there are 10 million people in leagues like this, as well as 20 million … Read more
Before "The Star-Spangled Banner" is sung, Navy jets go ceremonially zooming overhead, and the first cracked peanut shell hits the ground today, let's talk about the important stuff when it comes to the inaugural game of the 2011 Major League Baseball season: Baseball apps for your smartphone or tablet.
While baseball is surely the most romanticized of American professional sports, it's also by far the geekiest. After all, it was a certain set of baseball fans' and executives' reliance on and obsession with player performance numbers that gave birth to the curious science behind baseball statistics nicknamed "sabermetrics."
In some sports you can't look away or you'll miss a key play. Baseball moves at a bit more easygoing pace. "People say it's slow, but it's a thinking game," is how basketball coaching legend John Wooden once defended the sport.
With all that time between plays, and of course with OPS and VORP--that's "on-base percentage plus slugging" and "value over replacement player" to the uninitiated--to calculate (and pick the perfect roster of players for your fantasy team, obviously), it makes sense that the geekiest sport of them all offers so many ways to use technology to watch it.
Here are some of the best ways to watch, follow, or fantasize about America's pastime, and of course, keep score of games. … Read more
We're always on the hunt for good under-the-radar games, but it's not always easy to discover new titles that aren't already on the top games list in the App Store. Well, in honor of the start of the baseball season, we'll point you toward one that's worth taking a shot on: Hit the Deck Baseball from developer Smashedfly (Mike Miller).
As you can see, this isn't a "real" simulation baseball game but actually a throwback to a great old mechanical baseball pinball game of the '80s--and the first one to use solid-state electronics. The game is a faithful rendering of that pinball machine, and the physics are solid, with smooth gameplay.
You get a choice of three pitches (fastball, curve, change-up) when you're pitching, and swinging is pure timing. The home-run ramp randomly goes up and down and you can play against the computer AI, a friend, or just go for a high score in arcade mode.
Alas, our only complaint is that this isn't a universal app, so you have to buy the iPhone and iPad versions separately. But in all it's a polished game that should only get better with updates. It's also simple yet challenging enough that both adults and kids can enjoy it.
Editors' note: Look for CNET's full roundup of best baseball apps tomorrow. … Read more
With spring training under way, it's time to brush off the cleats, dig into the batter's box, and step into another season of baseball video games.
The usual suspects are at it again: 2K Sports' MLB 2K11 and Sony's MLB 11: The Show. Both games introduce some new features and gameplay, so let's go head to head to see which game hits for the cycle.
As it's been for some time now, Xbox 360 owners will only have one choice for a baseball game: MLB 2K11. Because MLB 11: The Show is developed by a Sony property, the game is only available on PlayStation 3.
MLB 2K11: If you're one of the millions of players last year who didn't win a million dollars pitching a perfect game in MLB 2K10, the contest is back again this year, though we wouldn't be shocked if the promotion ends before this post goes live.
Marketing strategies aside, MLB 2K11 does make a few noticeable tweaks in presentation and gameplay to improve the overall realism of the experience. Fielders will respond a bit more lifelike this time around, though there still were a few unnatural-looking instances that just didn't make sense.
Regardless, it's clear that a fair amount of attention was devoted to correcting some of last year's fielding issues, and we're happy to report things are much better in 2K11.… Read more