03/16/08 5:00 PM ET
BlackBerry is baseball fan's best friend
Wireless device makes it easy to enjoy game anywhere
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
According to the latest scientific research here at MLB.com, Albert Pujols will hit at least 30 home runs, Fenway Park will set the record for consecutive sellouts, most people will put mustard on their ballpark dogs, virtually every prediction now being made is bogus, and more peripatetic fans than ever will have a BlackBerry attached to one hand as if it were Ichiro Suzuki's Mizuno Classic Pro GCP51 outfield glove.
That's where the BlackBerry Baseball Help Desk comes in.
This applies to millions of Major League Baseball fans, with more added each day, and a hot device even named after a baseball pitch -- "Curve." The most necessary piece of information, by far, and it isn't really even close, is to immediately put your favorite team's logo on the BlackBerry desktop as an icon so you stay connected to a 24/7/365 lifeline of information about your boys of summer.
That's what this new BlackBerry customer and longtime baseball fan just did. It's easy, and it's a must. Here's how to do it:
On your BlackBerry device, open the browser, click "Go To" and then enter your favorite team's URL, such as yankees.com or dodgers.com. The first thing you will notice, above your team's Top Stories, are the boldfaced words "Get the Yankees BlackBerry Shortcut now!" or "Get the Dodgers BlackBerry Shortcut now!"
Follow that advice before even thinking about adding a Lil Wayne ringtone or sending someone a cameraphone pic. It's almost as important as being able to retrieve your work email on that device, and possibly even more important in the big picture.
Click the "Download" button at the next prompt to start the download.
Click the "OK" button once the download has completed. The icon is now installed.
After this step is completed, your favorite team's logo will be prominently displayed on your desktop, along with the icon for your messages, call log and calendar. That's where you want it, because the shortcut gives you immediate access to your team's scores, news, schedule and other information. Just think what a convenience it is now for a modern baseball fan -- wherever your handheld finds a wireless signal, you can immediately check a date on the team schedule and see if it fits in with a business trip or any other upcoming plans.
That also is your shortcut to get MLB.com Mobile text alerts by team or player. At redsox.com, this visitor saw that the Top Stories began with "Beckett ruled out for Tokyo series," and among the choices beneath that headline was "Get Alerts." These alerts will send the info you want straight to your device. With the Player Alerts, you can get instant news and stats alerts on up to 25 players.
You don't have to look hard to find a baseball fan carrying a BlackBerry these days. They hold onto them like Chase Utley holding onto his Rawlings glove at second base -- practically fixed appendages for much of the time. As long as they are going to be that vital as a companion, they might as well be put to the best use for baseball season. Total team immersion has never been easier.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.