Saturday, February 3, 2007

Something cool. Could be much cooler.

Here's an email I just sent to espn.com. I'll let you know if/how they respond.

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Hi –

Your Baseball Road Trip Planner is a great idea, and it could be a very cool tool. Unfortunately, it has some serious flaws that make it far less robust and useful than it could be.

Here are my suggestions. If implemented, the Planner would be vastly improved.

1) All professional leagues need to be included. When planning a road trip to an area, it’s important to see schedules for all teams in the area, including independent leagues.

2) The planner only shows one week at a time. This wouldn’t be a major problem if your week didn’t run Saturday through Friday . What calendar looks like that? If it ran Monday through Sunday, the important weekend days of Friday, Saturday and Sunday of a given week could all be seen on one screen. It would be great to see more than a week at a time. If the teams were on the horizontal axis, you could show the entire season on the vertical axis.

3) There is no "Go To" function – you have to click a link to advance one week at a time, rather than having a calendar or other method of advancing to a desired date. The Planner shows the current week (when there is no baseball now – why not start it in March?) If I want to look at a schedule today for the second week of July, I must click the link 22 times to get there.

4) Listed game times are in Eastern Time. If I’m planning a trip to California (or anywhere else not in the East), why would I want to see the time for another zone? Times listed should be local – this is a trip planner, after all.

Please seriously consider implementing these suggestions. I think they’d be relatively simple for a talented developer to figure out.

I’m a big fan of ESPN. The current planner does not reflect your usual level of excellence. With a little effort and thought, it could.

Thanks!
Douglas

©2007 Douglas T. Dinsmoor

1 Comments:

At March 6, 2007 at 8:08 PM, Anonymous Steve Scott said...

Douglas,
You bring up some good points. Some other flaws I saw included metro areas listed under "by city", instead of cities themselves. So, Oakland is swallowed up by San Francisco and Anaheim is swallowed up by LA. Same for minor league teams like San Jose. I'm sure not everybody in the world knows that these cities are in these metro areas. Also, there were no Canadian cities listed.

Dreaming up trips has been a hobby of mine, and I just love the logistics of it. Back in the 80's, I wrote to every team during the off season for a pocket schedule. My favorite is a "double header the hard way." That is, two games in one day in two different ballparks. I've done this about a dozen times, and my biggest trip was back in '86, 8 games in 5 days in 5 ballparks, including two such days. Sunday: double-header at Candlestick, Monday: Milwaukee, Tuesday: day game at Wrigley, night game at Comiskey, Wednesday: same, Thursday: 8am flight from Chicago, landing in Oakland at 10:30 right across the freeway for a 12:15 day game. Wow.

Sat Mar 03, 02:59:00 AM MST

 

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