Never Miss a Game: Best Baseball Apps for Armchair Athletes and Season Ticket Holders


Baseball has a timeless appeal. However, today’s fans need to use time wisely to get scores, scoops and inside analysis. Yesterday’s fans relied on the reporting of mainstream radio and television stations. Season tickets are expensive and driving long distances wears on the car. Today, baseball fans leverage a number of apps so they never miss a game despite sitting in their home armchair.

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App of the Week: Fantasy Football Edition

So I’d like to take this time to admit that I have a fantasy football problem.

That’s right, I’m that guy. The one with multiple teams, and a small fortune invested in their outcomes. The one who will watch every game to follow my players, and root against lifelong favorite teams if one of my guys needs to get be an extra point or so before the late games. Hell, I once introduced fantasy football into a conversation about a friend’s dad being hospitalized due to malpractice by saying, “Hey, speaking of dropping the ball, what do you think about Dez Bryant against the Eagles this week?”

Luckily I live in a football and fantasy crazed society that supports this sickness. More than support it, they allow it to successfully infiltrate other aspects of your life by providing awesome mobile apps so that you never have to sit through another social obligation or work day without having the ability to request trades, and change you roster for the 5th time in a week. Of those apps, here are the most essential ones that you will need come time for the new season.

For Your Overall Needs – ESPN Fantasy Football 2012

Available for iOS here, and for Android here

So, there’s a lot of sites you can play fantasy football on, but I say if you’re going to spend a disturbing amount of your life during football season watching the same SportsCenter over and over until the new one kicks in, you might as well stick with ESPN. Quite simply, this app allows you the full range of features you would get by logging into your ESPN league (trades, roster movements, league news, etc.) but of course here you have all of that power in the palm of your hands. Best of all is the notification alerts, so you’re never behind on an injury update, or smack talk opportunity ever again.

If you’re going with fantasy football through ESPN this year, then this is the most essential app you can download (and if you’re not, be sure to snag your host site’s alternative). Just try not to spend the whole day considering your WR loadout for the week, just because you have the ability to change it at will.

For Your Draft – Rotowire Fantasy Football Draft Kit 2012

Available for iOS here

If the draft isn’t the most important part of your fantasy football year, it sure is the most exciting. Watching your roster come together from the all star impossible selections of the first few rounds, to the vital sleeper picks of the late rounds, all while trying to beat your friends for the most bragging rights is the best part of any season. As my 2010 year proved, however, sometimes flipping a coin between tough decisions is not the best way to go. In that case, I have to recommend the unrivaled help provided by the Rotowire Draft Kit.

This is a smart draft app of sorts, as it allows you to set recommendations based on your preferences, and can actually adjust player rankings based off of your league settings and your needs according to the draft progress thus far. You’ll also find the usual range of stats, recommendations, and upset picks all tied together by a clean interface that allows you to smoothly navigate the various app features while keeping up with the draft thus far.

While this app won’t prevent you from picking the sure thing player gone bust, or keep your first two running back picks from blowing their ACL’s in week one, it is otherwise the closest you will come to a fool proof draft day.

For the Compulsive – Fantasy Football 12’ HD

Available for iOS here, and for Android here

From Bignoggins Productions, this is one of the most popular fantasy football apps available. It offers the same add/drop, roster changes, news updates, and trade abilities as the host site apps, but the difference here is you can manage your ESPN, Yahoo, and teams all via this app without having to move back and forth. Plus, since you will be second guessing your every move throughout the year, this gives you another available outlet for recommendations and news.

If your fantasy obsession has taken you to the darken back alley that is owning and managing multiple teams over multiple leagues, then there is no more essential app available then this one.

For the Hell of It – Paper Football 3D

Available for the iOS here, and for Android here

Look, it’s quite possible that every one of your star players will go down and you’ll miss out on every great free agent pick up of the year leading to the dreaded winless season. It happens.

It’s at times like this that you need something to remind yourself that football is supposed to be fun. And since the official NFL Madden app will probably just remind you that Darren McFadden just will never stay healthy, and you should probably just stop drafting him already (sorry…still working through some stuff here), why not dial it back another notch and go back to the simplistic days of paper football. It takes the basics of the game (points, mostly) and gives you a reprieve from the brain crushing numbers of fantasy ball, while providing your methadone fix of the game that you most desperately need.

While I can’t guarantee that these apps will make you a lock to win your league this year, with Calvin Johnson most assuredly going down to the Madden curse, we could be looking at another topsy turvy anything can happen kind of season. Which is why you may soon find yourself needing my first four picks in this round of app of the week.


Stats galore: Bill James Baseball IQ app

Baseball fans love their stats, particularly fantasy owners looking for an edge. Whether you’re a certified stat geek or your fantasy league’s reigning champ, you could spend hours digging through the vast pool of information found in the Bill James Baseball IQ app. Created by Steve Selfors in collaboration with noted historian and stat savant Bill James and developer American Eagle, Baseball IQ sets itself apart from other statistics-based baseball apps by putting the sport’s endless stream of useful data into the hands of its most rabid fans with full color graphics that are easy to both navigate and understand.

Say, for example, you want to see how Toronto’s Jose Bautista, the game’s current home run king, has fared against Yankees ace CC Sabathia throughout his career. Well, for starters, that’s just too simple for this app. In fact, with a few clicks, you can see Sabathia’s lifetime stats against every hitter on Toronto’s roster (Bautista, incidentally, is 0-30 against the large lefty with 14 strikeouts…yikes). Want to see a location breakdown for Bautista’s 14 Ks vs. Sabathia? Check out the K Zone chart. Wondering how those numbers stack up against Bautista’s stats against other Yankee starters, or any other pitcher in the game over the last year? Last two years? Last three years? Check. With Hit Locator, you can see where Bautista is most likely to hit the ball in certain situations (against particular pitchers, in a specific ballpark, with an 0-2 count, etc.), and with Hit Zone, you can see the location of pitches in and around the strike zone where Bautista tends to get his hits. Of course, these breakdowns are available for every player in the game over the last three years, and the app also allows you to stack one player’s stats up against another’s over a set time period and against particular teams and/or pitchers. Pretty cool.

But we’re just scratching the surface here. The bottom line is, you’ll find stats on the Bill James Baseball IQ app that you won’t see anywhere else, giving you the knowledge you need to impress your friends at the bar while continuing to dominate those same friends in your fantasy baseball league.