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Gameday returns bigger, better

MLB.com Gameday returns bigger, better

Just think how many Major League Baseball fans have grown accustomed to using MLB.com Gameday. Gameday is the omnipresent software app that is so often on your computer screen or even mobile phone during a season, and once again part of the fun is seeing what breakthrough enhancements are added for another Opening Day.

The whole goal with Gameday is to have the premier destination for following live baseball on the Internet, to incorporate user feedback we receive throughout the year on the Gameday blog, to let the imagination run a little wild like Jose Reyes legging out a triple. Like baseball, it should be a blast. Here's what's new in 2008:

First and foremost, MLB.com upgraded the Flash engine that runs Gameday to provide much faster and smoother performance than before. You will need to upgrade to Flash 9.0.115 if you have not already done so. It is a very quick update and well worth it.

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Once you have Gameday up and running, you will see that MLB.com has overhauled the design and layout to make it easier to read and easier to use. Gone are the tiny fonts and black background -- replaced by larger, darker fonts against a lighter background. It will be almost like a batter getting contacts and now able to pick up the spin of the ball better.

There is more to read this year, too. MLB.com has integrated Gameday with in-depth Game Previews, in-game Video Alerts and the MLB.com Daily Rewind Game Recaps and other game-specific video from right inside the application. In-game Video Alerts will showcase all home runs, great plays and lead changes after the seventh inning.

Video is not just for before and after the game, either. As you know, MLB.com is all about live baseball, so this season we will be providing exclusive in-game Video Alerts right in the Gameday window. Each game will feature about a dozen high-quality video highlights of top plays, each posted within minutes after the action occurs on the field.

But Gameday is not just about video. It always has been about providing the fastest and most detailed information about what is happening on the field. Last year, MLB.com ramped up the Pitch-f/x technology to provide pitch speed, trajectory and location data for about half of the games played around the league. This year, we will be providing that data for all games played in each Major League ballpark, starting with Sunday night's first game at Washington's new Nationals Park.

In addition to expanding this technology to include all games, MLB.com will be the first provider ever to offer real-time pitch identification (fastball, curveball . . . even knuckleballs) for every pitch thrown in every game. We have worked closely with several MLB clubs to develop this feature and believe it will provide an entirely new way to enjoy the game and appreciate the incredible ability of Major League pitchers.

Finally, later this season, MLB.com will introduce a fully functional 3D pitch environment with a new set of features that will present the pitch data like you never have seen before. You will have the ability to select the camera angle, zoom in and out, pan across the field, and isolate different pitches.

All of these changes were carefully planned to incorporate as much user feedback and requests as possible. Positive and negative comments all add up to a ton of constructive input, so that MLB.com Gameday is truly the people's live baseball app. All of that input has been taken into consideration. Look for many changes for the better as a result, and prepare for an old friend to return to your computer and mobile desktop.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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