Believe it or not, the M’s are in their first pennant race of the smartphone era. Back in 2003—the last time the M’s reached football season with a chance to make the playoffs—the fastest way to get the Mariners score was still to turn on the radio and wait for Dave Niehaus to tell you. Now? Not only can you check the score whenever you want, you can see highlights, get instant analysis, and interact with players.
Here are the best ways to use your phone during the pennant race:
Get the Score: The free app The Score will push alerts to your phone whenever the Mariners or their opponent score.
See the Highlights: For $2.99 a month, MLB’s At Bat app lets you listen to Mariner radio broadcasts, see highlights of scoring plays minutes after they happen, and watch 10-minute condensed games.
Join the Conversation: Baseball’s slow pace and simplistic design make it the perfect sport for discussion, dissection, and amateurish second-guessing—aka the purpose of Twitter. The single best Mariners follow is The Seattle Times’ @RyanDivish, the most insightful of the journalists who travel with the team. Other baseball writers worth following: the droll, delightful Bob Dutton of The News Tribune in Tacoma (@TNT_Mariners) and Greg Johns of MLB.com (@GregJohnsMLB), who usually has the best analysis of team transactions.
For in-game analysis and emotion, follow fan/writer/radio host Jason A. Churchill (@ProspectInsider). Either Scott Weber (@LookoutLanding) or Colin O’Keefe (@colinokeefe) of SBNation’s Lookout Landing blog usually live-tweet during each game.
Of course, Twitter also allows something impossible in 2003 without a clubhouse pass—direct interaction with the players. Follow Felix Hernandez (@RealKingFelix), RobinsonCano (@RobinsonCano) and Taijuan Walker (@tai_walker). The Mariners’ official Twitter account (@Mariners) is a nice mix of photos, links to positive stories about the team, and score updates. The M’s are also on Instagram, Pinterest, and even Snapchat.
Score Good Seats: Finally, if you decide to go to a game, check out the GameTime app, which debuted just last month. It offers last-minute deals on tickets and shows you a hi-res photo of the view you’ll get, plus there’s no printing—the app generates a QR code you can use at the gate.
Yep, there are many technologically advanced ways to use your smartphone—but don’t forget about the phone part. Some of my favorite memories from the M’s glory years involve calling friends after a win and reveling in the moment. So put some pals—especially out-of-town ones—on speed dial. Now you’re set. We don’t yet know if the Mariners are prepared for a return to the playoffs, but at least you will be. Hopefully by month’s end we’ll all be frantically Googling “Mariners playoff tickets.”