By Mark Carlisle
Fans will have more ways to connect with the game as they watch the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch-Glendale this spring.
The stadium, celebrating its 10-year anniversary, has installed free public Wi-Fi, powered by Cox, in the stadium and concourse for the first time for fans to use during games.
While this technology will of course be helpful for sharing photos of players and selfies with Dodger Dogs and Chicago Dogs, it can also help you follow along with the game.
The MLB At-Bat app, the official app of Major League Baseball, in my opinion is the best way to follow along with the action. The app provides live scores, play-by-play and in-game statistics as well as complete career statistics on every player. The most knowledgeable fan and the baseball beginner can both learn something new from the app.
The app allows you to keep track of who’s at bat and who’s in the field and keep tabs on other Cactus League games across the Valley or click on a player to pull up his statistical history. It also includes videos of highlights and post-game interviews with players.
If a player just homered off a left-handed pitcher, pulling up his stats page and selecting splits will tell you how often he homered off lefties last season.
Isn’t that the same guy who homered at the spring game you went to last year? Pull up his stats page, switch it to “Game Log” and from regular season to spring training, and it will show you game-by-game stats for his spring training games.
Sadly, the pitch-tracking feature is not active during spring training.
Spring training is filled with a lot of unfamiliar faces. To look up who a player is by their jersey number, select the team’s page and scroll down to roster. You can look up coaches and managers, too.
The roster feature gets a little wonky during spring training. The Active Roster tab actually shows the 40-man roster and the 40-man roster tab shows the 40-man roster plus non-roster invitees. Select the latter for a full list of players that could be on the field.
Of course, that roster will have to be whittled down to 25 players by Opening Day. Another online resource is great for finding out which players are likely to end up on the team for the games that count.
RosterResource.com shows projected lineups, pitching rotations, bullpens and benches for each team, and the projections usually end up being pretty accurate. If you’re developing a new favorite player, the site will tell you how big a role, if any, he’s likely to have during the regular season before you get too attached.
The mobile interface is not the best, and there’s no app, unfortunately. Each team’s page can be found by searching the team name, plus “roster resource.” It includes a lot of other helpful information such as the player’s age, where they went to college and if they’re new to the team this season.
After you log on to Camelback Ranch’s new Wi-Fi, hopefully these tools can answer any questions you may have from the stands.