Have you ever used Fox Sports' Game Connect during the game? Since I watch all the games I had heard the announcers and commercials encouraging us to try it out, but I didn't use it until the social media manager at Fox Sports South asked me to use it a few times and write up a post with pros and cons. Not a problem!
I definitely see the benefits. Let's look at a few screen shots, and I've included the opinions of some of my readers who joined in the fun...
— Patrick Wormsley (@SP_Mathemaniac) July 24, 2012
I really like the pitch count tank, in spite of thinking pitch count doesn't matter as much as how the pitcher feels and is locating his pitches. I think the addition of a pitch tracker (like MLB's Gameday offers) would make this more useful - if MLB doesn't have a copyright on that or something. Seeing Prado's average against Buerhle was helpful as well. I tinkered with seeing how other Marlins hit against our pitchers and there are more batters hitting over .400 against us than I'd like!
Liked the play by play on the left and who's on deck (with their faces, in case I didn't remember what a player looked like).
I like the ball to strike ratio, but I'd rather see what the pitcher is throwing. In Huddy's case, I want to see how many pitches are sinkers, cutters, curveballs, splitters, or fastballs. It's not easy for a layman to pick up on the differences, so it would definitely provide "an enhanced game experience".
This is the fifth time I have used Game Connect, and I've never been able to "join the game conversation". Twitter shows me that I've approved the app...
But I still can't tweet directly from Game Connect. I don't know what the problem there is.
There are a few other "cons" for me. I was asked, "For the hardcore stat enthusiast, could you see it being a tool they would enjoy on a regular basis as a second screen experience, even if it’s perhaps not something you would use every single night?"
Since I'm not into stats, I think that's why I wouldn't use it on a regular basis. The main thing that strikes me is that the "hardcore stat enthusiasts" are looking at much more advanced stats than Game Connect provides. W/L, ERA, batting average... okay. They showed all those in on-screen graphics in 1987 on TBS. ;) What about WHIP? FIP? UZR and other defensive stats? WAR is one of the biggest "new" stats I like. There isn't even an option to see more than the most basic stats.
Personally, I like to watch the game and not the box score. Sometimes I'll think, "Wow, it's been a long time since Bourn hit into a double play. I'm going to find out when that was." In cases like that, I appreciate the statheads who keep record of all these things for us. (It's definitely not a daily thing I think about, though.) (And of course, Bourn grounded into his first double play of the year as I'm writing this post!)
Some of the situational stats are interesting (batter vs pitcher), but again, they're pretty basic. I do like the pitch count meter but I wish we could see something along the lines of, Craig Kimbrel has one ball and two strikes on David Wright. For the next pitch, odds are 60% that Wright will see a mid-80s changeup and 40% that he will see an upper-90s sinking fastball. That may be too complicated to put together, but if something along those lines was there, I'd spend more time on GameConnect. :)
Here are some comments from a couple of LMB readers:
@braveslove I think there should be video highlights,or maybe even show the game there
— Haider Ali (@Bravesfan786) July 24, 2012
I'm sure MLBAM wouldn't allow the entire game to be broadcast, but instant highlights (again, like MLB's Gameday provides) would be great.
Please visit Braves Game Connect here and let us know what you think!