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Ran accross this earlier today thought it was kind of interesting. Kind of like that SmarterChild thing except its Baseball.





That simple emoticon says it all, because millions of people who love AOL Instant Messenger as well as Major League Baseball now can simply send an IM to screen name "MLB" -- and be IM'd right back with continuously updated news, scores, stats, multimedia, games, polling and more from MLB.com.


Anyone with an Internet connection can download AOL Instant Messenger for free and then experience this rush. If you are among the masses who already use AIM regularly for work or play, simply add "MLB" to your Buddy List. Then just send an IM to "MLB" and you will receive a welcome message with simple instructions on how to proceed.


Tell "sk8terboy" or "arod13jeter2" that you will BRB because it will instantly become more fun than ever to send and receive instant messages from this MLB buddy. Whether you are using a mobile device or on a work or home computer, the world tends to stop when you receive the following message on your IM:


"Welcome. MLB.com is now providing baseball content and live voting via the AOL Instant Messenger service. Type main to get started. To read our privacy policy, type privacy anytime." Once you type the word "main" and send that IM, you are off and running like Dave Roberts. Then just select from nine choices that include the following, by simply typing the related number and sending the IM:


1. Alerts and live polls. Now you can participate in live polls and voting during postseason games. If your MLB.com friends decide they want to ask the fans' opinion about any baseball-related topic, then you and other users will be asked to participate. Submit your response right away, because the results will be automatically tallied and fans' responses will be posted. You also will be IM'd when there are major updates to the MLB.com buddy.


2. Scores. Select a day from MLB.com's list, and the scores are continuously updated and pushed right to you. Each club name is linked to that article page about the game, launching a browser window. So you can just check the scores or go beyond the scores to read the details.


3. Standings. Had this feature been launched in late September, you would have been scoreboard-watching in a brand-new way. Once this becomes a must-have in the next regular season, just remember to look up occasionally and say hello to people.


4. Schedules. For the rest of this postseason, this feature allows you to instantly check the start time of a big game. If you are looking ahead to next season, it will allow you to check your team's schedule and then buy tickets online. If you are traveling on business, you can quickly IM "MLB" to find out if there's a game in that city.


5. Headlines. From this postseason through the Hot Stove League and then into Spring Training and the 2005 regular season, MLB.com will provide continuously updated articles from its army of writers in every Major League outpost. IM your request and the news is pushed to you, instead of looking for it yourself.


6. Fantasy Games. MLB.com offers a number of ways to compete against other fans, with a chance to win some sweet prizes. IM this choice from the main menu and the fantasy menu is provided along with links to those games, such as the popular SimLeagues and Perfect Game Trivia.


7. MLB Multimedia. All of the exclusive, cutting-edge content from MLB.com will be right at your fingertips. Listen to live games with Gameday Audio, or watch them live on MLB.TV. Experience MLB.com's Digital Download Service when and where you want by downloading files of every 2004 postseason contest as well as classic games and top plays from this past season.


8. Team Info. Choose your division and then your team, pinch yourself, and then prepare to be delighted by any of the following team-specific content: News, schedule, roster, stats, video, history, ballpark, Fan Forum and Shop. It is all right there, starting with your basic IM that you use every day. Whether you want to find out the latest on your favorite player or buy his customized jersey, it's all right there.


9. Statistics. Look up Carlos Beltran's postseason stats, Barry Bonds' regular season numbers, historical stats and every mathematical marvel that matters to a baseball fan. Let's say you're at the office or a sports bar and need a quick answer for a statistical debate. Just IM "MLB" and choose 9 from the main menu and let your digits find the digits.


Go ahead. IM us, because it's time for some Buddyball.





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