A List of Grievances for MLB.tv and MLB At Bat by Bradley Woodrum April 7, 2015 I pay anywhere from $100 to $150 every season for the ability to watch every Cubs and Rays game I can. In the olden days, I would have paid a cable company for that service. But I’m as up-to-date as Kansas City, so I haven’t paid for cable, actually, ever in my life. I love both of these things: MLB.tv and the MLB At Bat app for my Nexus 5. The former allowed me to watch my precious Devil Rays get whollapped while I was an intern in Hong Kong back in 2007. I’d wake up every morning, take the thirty minute bus ride to work, finish my day’s worth of work in 15 minutes, and then watch the previous night’s Devil Rays (which, at 9:30 in the morning had just finished) on my Dell Inspiron laptop (peace be upon it). Since then, MLB At Bat has allowed me to watch Cubs games on the bus or in a car trip (given I have enough signal). I watch until I get carsick, and then I watch a few more minutes. At Bat also lets me listen to games at work. No, curious officemates, I’m not actually listening to Hall and Oates as you suspect, but actually Vin Scully. Put that biz on repeat. But there are some problems. Some fixable problems. And some questions. As a loyal, paying customer, I demand answers. End the Blackouts. This one is obvious. Everyone hates the blackouts. They were designed back when stadiums were all built out of wood and the television was this snazzy and expensive device that was going to destroy radio and real life forever. Now that we’re blaming smart phones for destroying the television and real life forever, maybe we can lighten these blackout rules? End the Radio Delay. This one is less obvious, but equally outside of the purview of the people who run the actual coding behind MLB.tv and MLB At Bat. Still, it’s dumb as all get out and primed for the garbage heap. Sometimes, I am forced to listen to, say, an ESPN broadcast or the White Sox play-by-play team because the Rays aren’t broadcasting the game. Instead of muting my TV and listening to the fine commentary from WDAE, I have to listen to what amounts to a chlorine gas for my brain. It becomes very difficult to watch the game when I have to scream into my pillow after every Hawk Harrelson comment. AT BAT NEEDS A FAST FORWARD BUTTON. I am watching a Cubs game from last night. The Len Kasper gives a great intro, talks about the previous game, and then send it to commercial. Then my precious little phone has to stream five minutes of “COMMERCIAL BREAK IN PROGRESS”. How many hours have I wasted watching those shadows shift and move along that metallic backdrop? A “Back 30 Seconds” button is the easiest, most obvious feature for a mobile video streamer. Netflix has it. Hulu has it. And MLB.tv used to have it. And unlike Netflix or Hulu, MLB.tv has long empty spaces, so it needs a “Forward 30 Seconds” button too. Yeah, the condensed games are nice, but I want to hear Len’s insights; I want to see the graphics and get the reports on the opposing teams; I want to experience the whole game — preferably without the battery-draining wastelands that are the whitewashed commercial breaks. Well, at least this time the loading screen is showing the probable starters! Is MLB At Bat opening really slowly for anyone else? In the latest update, I find myself sitting in front of the little spinning loading icon for at least five minutes every time I open the app. I never had this issue with previous versions. If a game has just started, this can prove very frustrating. All I want is the PITCHf/x report on that last pitch. Please just finish loading! Why is Classic Gameday still the only way to look at previous at bats? I am thankful the developers have left Classic Gameday available to those of who care about history or posterity or what happened five seconds ago, but it would be nice if MLB At Bat or the newest in-browser Gameday actually had that basic, essential feature of the old Gameday. How am I supposed to tweet about the ridiculous Sam Fuld triple if the zone is already showing the next hitter? Want to see that first inning Sam Fuld triple? Too bad. Instead, feast your eyes on this, the final — and very meaningless — at bat of the game! Random Disconnections. I know others have to be suffering from this. I have had this problem for about five years, spanning two states, three cities, eight different residences, and at least four different internet service providers. (I honestly don’t remember it happening in China, so go figure.) I’m watching a replay of a game on MLB.tv, and then everything freezes. I have to quickly look at the progress bar and memorize my place in it because I know what’s about to happen: The game is about to start over at the beginning. It’s like as soon as my bandwidth gets choppy, MLB.tv pisses its pants and forgets its middle name. I think the problem correlates with MLB NexDef (I don’t remember having this problem before NexDef, even they’re even still using it) and iffy internet speed, but since I stream Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go and Amazon Prime without the shadow of a problem, I have to believe something at MLB.tv is just playing stupid. Oh, there’s the Fuld triple — squirrelled away in the Gameday designed during the Bush administration! DON’T SHOW ME THE SCOR– too late :(. Ah, the tedious, beautiful art of opening MLB.tv and not seeing the score of the replay you’re about to watch. I’ve tried squinting until my vision was too blurry to detect anything but shapes and colors. I’ve tried covering part of the screen with my hand and carefully navigating to the replays, sometimes by muscle memory alone. I’ve even asked others to start the replay for me so that I don’t have to risk seeing even a headline related to the game. This is no longer an issue with MLB.tv. This is specifically an At Bat problem. Do I have to make the Miami Marlins my favorite team just to be sure I won’t see any meaningful scores?! Why can’t I set my landing page to a score-free mode or a day-delayed mode? Or, better yet, just make my landing page the video feed selection. I can then navigate back to my team’s news feed if I’m still operating in normal earth time. This is all very whiny. And it’s pretty much a shimmering monument to First World Problems, but these are issues real enough to me. Partly because I write about baseball, and therefore have to consume a lot of baseball, and therefore use MLB.tv and MLB At Bat daily. But it’s partly because I’m a fan. So I’m hoping others out there will agree with me. All told, I love MLB.tv and At Bat. They bring baseball into the 21st century and have enabled my fandom, starting way back in 2007 when I was just a punk college kid sad about leaving behind his 10-inch dorm room TV. And I fully expect MLB will continue to improve these products. But a little complaining here and there can sometimes help.