NVC the 0403 Edition: March Madness, Dugout iPads, Walk-up this Way


Closing in on the end of March Madness NCAA basketball tournament and the start of the 162-game madness of Major League Baseball’s April-to (through)-October-game season, this version of News, Views & Clues is very sports-oriented with a tech twist.

Note: Joey and Doc seem to think that’s always the case. Hey, Doc! It is what it is, right?

Moving right along… Where’s the Game?


We’ve been observing Annie’s “always on” sports habits and were very much aware of her frustrations with the “where’s the game?” challenge. It’s apparent that live sports broadcasting is a huge, but not necessarily fan-friendly, business.

The Wall Street Journal did a piece (All Eyes on Turner as NCAA Championship Moves to Cable) ahead of Monday’s NCAA championship final which can be seen on Time Warner Inc.-owned TBS (the first cable channel to air the title game of March Madness). Since 1982, the championship game has been carried on CBS, which is free over the air (a lower channel number).

The move reflects a broader trend in the media world of marquee events including college basketball, college football and tennis shifting from broadcast to cable networks, which hope that by shelling out for big-time sports rights they can negotiate for higher fees from pay-TV operators.

And TBS is… where??? Oh well. It is what it is…

iPads in a Dugout Near You:

MLB iPad Pro

Shifting gears from where to what the…?

That same Wall Street Journal had a story about Major League Baseball (MLB) signing a multi-year deal with Apple to equip every team with iPad Pro tablets to help coaching staffs make better use of data.

>> iPad Pro (Baseball’s Latest Recruit Is an iPad).

The league will issue team managers and coaches Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pros fitted with rugged cases displaying the league’s logo. The software centerpiece is a custom app called MLB Dugout, built by MLB’s New York-based Advanced Media division, with assistance from Apple. It’s data will be preloaded before each game

This triggered a few thoughts — like here we go again with yet another bunch of people spending their time looking down instead of up in a ball park. First the fans, now personnel in the dugout. That’s just great…

The second was a reminder of how Microsoft’s deal to supply their Surface tablets to the National Football League AND how broadcasters kept referring to those devices as iPads.

Different league, similar concept…

Anyway, what we do know is that tablets are great for viewing / consuming information and entertainment. This is one niche that Apple could potentially excel as long as the ballpark broadband works speedy fast.

But can an iPad Pro be a Substitute for a Laptop?

Apple iPad Pro Stern WSJ

The Journal’s Joanna Stern
asks and answers in this piece. She wrote:

While the new Pro’s 9.7-inch display can look cramped next to the larger laptops, it is crisper and easier on the eyes. The new True Tone screen—which reduces the bluish tint in some lighting to look more like white paper—is nice when reading a book or sifting through that never-shrinking inbox.

Or looking at baseball-related stats in a dugout, right? Her comments about typing though, just confirm our thoughts about tablets = media consumption:

Typing on the claustrophobic Smart Keyboard tailored to fit the 9.7-inch screen is like sitting in the middle airplane seat, elbows pulled together.

It will be interesting to see if the Pro tablet gets any traction outside of these types of niche markets

That’s a wrap for this week’s edition of News, Views & Clues. To change things up (yes, nice baseball phrase), our musical portion features a baseball walkup sampler. Enjoy!

And, as always, #SCMF!

—The Gang

This story about major league baseball walkup songs will set the framework. It references this piece that appeared at the baseball prospectus website.

Which led us to this. On MLB’s own website, there are pages dedicated to “park music.” So for fun, here are the pages for the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs.

We did a little drilling down too and selected a couple of representative players: Russell Martin of the Toronto Blue Jays and Sean Doolittle of the Oakland A’s.

Russell Martin (Toronto Blue Jays)
Russell Martin MLB Toronto Blue Jays

Here’s what it sounds like.

Sean Doolittle’s music is incorporated in a giveaway scheduled for the end of the month: Sean Doolittle Metallica Gnome.

Sean Doolittle Metallica gnome MLB Oakland A's

Ready for some metal, er… Metallica?

Fun stuff. We like how creativity has found its way into the ballpark where games can last 3-hours or longer.

To close (for real this time), here a 4-minute walkup song sampler:

That’s it! Send in the gulls!

Seagulls invade AT&T Ballpark

Late game invasion by seagulls wanting garlic fries.


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