Modern Technology And The Baseball Fan

May 30, 2012

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If you’re new around here, you might not know that I’m a huge baseball fan.  If you’ve been a reader for a while, you really have no excuse for not knowing.

I really feel fortunate to live in a time when there is so much modern technology to keep me in touch with baseball.  Sure, it lets me keep up on world news and the stock market, but let’s focus on what’s important.

The Old Days

When I was a kid, I was a fan of the Cubs (I was cured of this disease in my late teens).  I loved baseball, but my access to information was extremely limited.  We didn’t have cable TV, so the only time I was able to watch a game was when the Cubs were on national TV – a handful of games each year.  I did have the ability to listen to games on the radio.  I could almost always get the Cubs games, and often the Cardinals, too.  On a good night, I could catch the Reds from where I lived in eastern Iowa.  I’m sure I could have also picked up the White Sox, but even as a kid I had little interest in the American League.

Statistics?  There were box scores in the daily paper, but if I wanted a running total, I had to wait for the Sunday paper, which would list the league leaders in hitting and pitching (a long list).  I had to run my finger down the list until I found my favorite players.

The Modern Age

These days, I subscribe to MLB Extra Innings.  Although a bunch of teams are blacked out in Iowa (Cubs, Sox, Twins, Brewers, Cardinals), I have the ability to catch most games played by my Colorado Rockies – assuming that I have the free time to do so, and that the game gets over at a reasonable time (those west coast games are killers).  Such easy access to “out of market” games is a dream come true for a baseball fan.

If I want statistics, there are no end of sites that can give my up to date information.  The most frequently used app on my Palm Pre?  The “Baseball Live!” apps that constantly refreshes scores and allows me to quickly check in on any game.  I keep tabs on quite a few players (beside my Rockies,  I watch Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Matt Holliday, Adam Dunn, Albert Pujols, and a few others), so this is really handy.

I don’t get as much time to catch baseball coverage as I would like, and I spend a lot of time alone in my car.  Recently, I realized that it would make a lot of sense to load up on podcasts.  Since then, I’ve been listening to several hours of baseball coverage every day.  ESPN, Baseball Prospectus,, Baseball America – if they’re talking, I’m listening.  It’s definitely far better than the options available on over the air radio during my drive times.

Of course, we can’t forget about Twitter.  I’m not a huge Twitter user, but I do follow a couple of Rockies players – Dexter Fowler and Eric Young Jr.  Both interact quite a bit with fans, and I’m come to become bigger fans of both as a result of what I see on Twitter.  EY occasionally retweets some nasty tweets he receives from “fans” (anti-fans), which let us see what they have to deal with at time.  Fowler seems to constantly be doing ticket giveaways.  Both guys are clearly enjoying playing a kids’ game.

Has your hobby been influence by technology in recent year?  What impact has technology had?

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Evan
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 09:43:36

    Although I can get the Phillies where I live (after a few years of them not being available here when I first moved), I do subscribe to, so I can get the games via the AtBat app on my iPad wherever I am (my crappy old phone isn’t supported). I’m 90 minutes from Philly, and the Phils are not blacked out. I’m 3.5 hours from Pittsburgh, yet the Phillies are blacked out when they play the Pirates. I’m also in the Nationals and Orioles blackout territory. Have to love baseball’s rules.


  2. kosmo
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 10:12:45

    I think MLB is losing out on a lot of money with the blackouts. If I was a Cardinals fan, for example, I’d almost never get to see their games, even with MLB Extra Innings. In other words, most of the Cardinals fans around here (there are quite a few) aren’t likely to pay the $200+ per year for MLB Extra Innings, because they wouldn’t be able to watch their team’s games. Extrapolate that nationwide, and this is undoubtedly millions of dollars in lost revenue.

    I think everyone would be better off it MLB scrapped blackouts from the premium packages and just distributed some of the money to the local cable companies that hold the rights for those geographical areas.

    This is one of many seasons I’m anxiously awaiting Bud Selig’s retirement. I hope the next commissioner has a better vision for the future.


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