If you're a Mariners' baseball fan with a Nintendo DS, there are a lot of exciting things coming your way this season. Today, Nintendo announced that they have teamed up with ESPN to bring some innovations to the Nintendo Fan Network, including up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ESPN and closed-captioning of PA announcements.
Via the Nintendo Fan Network, ESPN will deliver fans Mariners-related news, general sports news and headlines, fantasy sports news and updates, baseball columns from ESPN's leading columnists, and ESPN Zoom Game, a photo-matching game. This is all in addition to being able to chat with other DS-equipped baseball fans, check out player and team stats, and order a hot dog delivered to your seat.
If you're among the first 150 requesters at each home Mariner game, you get a free Nintendo DSi rental for in-game use during the first three months of the season. You can't be that with a baseball bat!
If you're wondering why the Mariners and not another, more worthy baseball team, it's because Nintendo owns a majority share in Seattle's baseball franchise. We can only hope the services spreads through the rest of the league. I know I'd be more likely to head out to see the Dodgers play if I could enhance the game with my DS.
Update: A little more info on Nintendo's service: First off: It's free. Just show up at the park with your machine and use the wi-fi, or rent one of the 150 available. Secondly, the fan network is still in its trial phase (although it's been around for a couple years), so there are no official plans to bring it to any other parks. But, as Zach Fountain, a director in the Nintendo group that developed the system, told The Seattle Times, "We've been approached by other teams with their interest, but we are definitely focused on getting this trial right...The insights we've garnered over the first two years and expect to get this year would not only transcend to other venues but outside of sports as well."