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App Review: MLB.com At Bat 11
by Jonathan I Ezor#IM on Wednesday, Sep 14, 2011

As the Boys of Summer head towards the Fall Classic, and magic numbers start lowering, baseball fans who want to catch every last minute of the action and pour over every stat and piece of news, will still find At Bat 11 from Major League Baseball's MLB.com a useful addition to their TouchPads. At $4.99 (the app was released in mid-season and its price reflected that fact), it offers a variety of ways for baseball fans to follow their favorite teams and players (and revel in rivals' misfortunes). (Those who aren't fans of U.S. baseball, though, will likely find both this review and the app less than useful.)

At Bat 11 is a TouchPad-only app, with typical Enyo sliders and other design elements. There are three major sections of the app: Scoreboard, News, and Standings. Scoreboard (which updates in real time) offers both summary and full pop-out scores going back to March 31, 2011 (Opening Day for the regular season--preseason stats aren't shown). Tap on a game, and you get a choice of animated Gameday simulations of pitches and hits (archived games offer a wrap-up instead), full box scores, game summaries, video clips and a diagram of the field and players' positions on it.News is just that: stories (including video highlights) and opinion pieces from MLB.com's own staff. Standings is also self-explanatory, with both divisional and Wild Card stats for both leagues.

Beyond the basic information, At Bat 11 also offers live (though not archived) streaming audio from the radio broadcasts for each game. Tapping the headphones icon at the top of the Scoreboard display brings up a list of all games in progress at that point (and the inning they're in). Tap a game, and you get a choice of the broadcasts from each team's home city station, plus a Spanish-language broadcast when available. Sound quality is good (don't forget to cancel "Mute Sound" to hear it), although of course dependent on the WiFi bandwidth available to the TouchPad. In proper webOS fashion, the streaming game audio keeps playing even when the At Bat 11 card is in the background.

Although At Bat 11 does not offer streaming video of games, its variety of features and solid use of webOS' capabilities and the TouchPad's screen make it a good choice for baseball fans. Here's hoping that, like other storied franchises, webOS will come out swinging with a new edition of At Bat after spring training in 2012.

MLB.com At Bat 11 is availabl in the TouchPad App Catalog for $4.99

Filed Under: Apps; Tags: touchpad, webos, At Bat 11, baseball, MLB.com