Monday, September 12, 2011
New iThing AppPosted by Dave Studeman
I'm always on the lookout for great baseball apps for my iPad, or your iPhone, or anyone's iThing. Baseball Mobile is a worthy addition to the list.
Baseball Mobile provides an easy way to look up the basic stats of any player in the majors. The emphasis is on the current year, but you can also look up any year in baseball history. To make sure the screen is readable on the iPhone, there are only about eight stats provided per player, but you can select two types of stats—regular or sabermetric—which nearly doubles the number of stats available to fifteen. If you could only know fifteen stats about a player, these might be the best fifteen.
The stats are presented in my favorite format, on a team-by-team basis. You can look up individual players, but that's not really the point of the app. Bill James Matchups is the only other app I know that does this effectively. The advantage of Baseball Mobile is that all the stats are on your iThing; the app doesn't pause to download stats each time you select a new team. This is a clean, easy and quick way to find the latest stats for your favorite team and also stroll through baseball history in a couple of taps.
Of course, the app can be improved. There is too much white space between stats and the header row is repeated for each player. This is an unnecessary use of space. It would be good to have a horizontal view so that stats can line up next to each other and more stats can be included. It should be easier to switch between hitters and pitchers (right now, you have to scroll a lot) and it would be nice to be able to switch stats types (regular or sabermetric) on every page, without having to return to the home page.**
**CORRECTION: The programmer just pointed out to me that you can switch between regular and sabermetric stats by just swiping the player. Nice touch!
Finally, the app works well on an iPad, but it's really an iPhone app on an iPad. There is a great iPad app waiting to be built, one with an easy graphical interface, downloaded stats and team-by-team listings of individual players: an iPad Baseball Encyclopedia. Baseball Mobile isn't it, but it does help point the way. It's just $1.99 at your iTunes store and it's highly recommended.
Dave was called a "national treasure" by Rob Neyer. Seriously. Comments about this article can be sent to him through the miracle of e-mail.