I'm working in an empty conference room today, unable to partake in the national pastime of skipping work on baseball's Opening Day. I'm in a cinderblock building where radio reception is next to impossible, and the local radio station that carries Red Sox games, which I can normally access through Stitcher, has a game-long blackout on online streaming in place.
So far, however, that has not been a drag, thanks to MLB At Bat 12, an iPad app I downloaded just before the 1:05 p.m. start of the Red Sox-Tigers game in Detroit. The app is free, although subscriptions that unlock all of the features (including the ability to listen to every Major League Baseball game) run $2.99 a month or $14.99 for the season.
The first inning just ended but it's safe to say I'd pay as much as $2.99 per game, and I consider myself a casual sports fan at best. I'm listening to the call of the game by WEEI's Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien with crystal-clear quality. While I'm opting for the hometown coverage, I can also grab the Detroit feed and the Boston feed of a Spanish broadcast of the game.
I'm not going to spring for the $24.99 per month it would cost to watch the game on MLB.TV (I am, after all, supposed to be working). But I caught a few innings of the service's video broadcast of last night's St. Louis-Miami game and would gladly pay the premium if I thought I was going to want to watch a lot of games on the go.
I may also be willing to pay that extra coin if I had already upgraded to iPad 3. The biggest change between At Bat 12 and last year's At Bat 11 is that the newer version is enhanced for iPad 3's enhanced retina display.
Other features of At Bat 12:
- The app and the basic subscription are free. Basic subscribers can watch the game of the day and get access to MLB Gameday, the real-time box score that has also been updated for iPad 3.
- The app let's fans take "live look-ins" to in-progress games, regardless of blackout restrictions.
- The league-wide scoreboards have been redesigned to give better visuals and more up-to-date information.
I'm sold, and given the static-free reception and real-time statistics through two innings, I suspect I'll not only be using this At Bat 12 on the go but at home in lieu of my terrestrial radio.
Oh, and of course...Go Sox!