Thanks to the mobile Internet, armchair sports are no longer confined to, well, the armchair.
Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball ’10, developed by Yahoo! Inc. (of course), is available for free from the App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch. Take your fantasy baseball team to the ballpark? Why not!
The app is simply a front-end to your Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball account; you will need to set one up, join a league, pick players for your team, and all the other setup on the Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball website. This, in turn, requires you to have a Yahoo! Account. If you use Flickr, or your ISP uses Yahoo! E-mail (for example, Rogers in Canada), you already have one; if not, you’ll need to set one up.
Once you have your team selected, and your league’s draft is done (if you don’t understand all this, it’s explained pretty clearly on the website for beginners), you can use the app to manage your team, view your players’ stats, and your league standings.
Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball ’10 is really easy to use and navigate, clearly shows you all the information you need, and is backed by one of the most popular and the most populated fantasy baseball sites on the Internet. I asked someone with far more baseball knowledge than I (a former manager of mine) for advice while testing the app, and it turned out that he actively uses Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball; coming from him, that counts as a strong recommendation in my books.
Things that could be better.
Because it’s an Internet-heavy app, there is significant load time as it queries Yahoo!’s database. It would be nice if one weren’t staring at a blank splash screen for those few seconds; at the very least, a progress bar, or even saved data from the last session would be preferable. Also, the design and graphics are cool, but because the app is slow, the graphic transitions get ugly quickly when it pauses to think. There’s too much effort to dress up an app that would be effective with far less graphic content. Still, this is the iPhone, and we expect a few bells and whistles, so maybe having the app store more data instead of fetching everything on demand would speed it up enough to avoid the problem.
The bottom line is, Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball ’10 is where it’s at for fantasy baseball on the iPhone. It’s a perfectly serviceable app, not prone to crashing (being developed by a larger company like Yahoo! has its advantages), and decent for a free download. Get it before the season’s over!