You think following MLB in the UK is tough?

I am not from the UK so English isn’t my first language. That being said if the person who is reading this is really into correcting other people’s grammar, sit back and have a laugh.

I live in Finland. That little country of about six million people sitting just next to lovely Russia and their kind leader Vladimir Putin. Baseball is actually our national sport except it’s not the baseball we all love. It is different and weird.

Pitchers toss the ball up in the air next to the batter. A home run is the same as triple in American baseball and more weird rules that I can tell you guys some other time. Now I am writing about how to watch Marlins baseball in Finland.

Last season (2019), I followed few British baseball fans on Twitter and they usually tweeted on Sundays that baseball was starting at UK friendly time which is 6pm (1pm EST). Well Finland is two hours further ahead!

Given that games last about three to four hour and the normal time for a Marlins’ game is between 4pm-7pm EST and I am father of an 18-month-old toddler (btw a huge Marlins fan), staying up late isn’t good option. So how to stay up until morning watching these games? Work only night shifts!

I work in a local hotel as a night shift, so American sports are on during my day time. Depending on shifts, I have between two and five nights a week at work. That’s between two and five Marlins games. Usually, games start around 2am, which means that I have been working about four hours and I have five more hours to go. So baseball fills up 50% of my time in work, and it’s brilliant.

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I make a pot of coffee, launch AtBat and Marlins fill up the reception in our hotel. Sometimes some customers come in for last call at lobby bar and they see that I am watching baseball

“Oh, Yankees playing?”
“No, Marlins” and they walk away.

Game can be boring; nothing will happen for two hours but then Brian Anderson lays down a moon shot, and story tells that the ball hasn’t even landed yet and I want to wake up everyone at the hotel just to know that “Brian came to town!” but I can’t. I just make silent celebrations because, well it’s 4am at a hotel.

Baseball gives the rush to stay up even when the team is losing, and well, Marlins lost over 100 games last year. Still, I get to see some of those maybe future stars, rant about them in Twitter, and when the sun comes up in the morning during midsummer after a Marlins win, it really is the best feeling.

Last season, I also watched at least one home game from every team and found out so many cool players and teams that I had previously ignored. I love Tim Anderson’s swag, Joey Gallo hitting bombs in Texas, Rays playing in that weird bubble, Blue Jays young guns, Chris Sale pitching just pure filth. Everything.

So what I am saying is that baseball has made my nights, even when I am working.

Tomi Korkeamaki is one of the new writers contributing at Bat Flips and Nerds. You can enjoy his Nordic takes and unique style throughout the season as he joins our Marlins team for 2020. You can follow Tomi on Twitter @TKorkeamaki

Make sure you subscribe to the Bat Flips and Nerds podcasts and follow us on Twitter @BatFlips_Nerds. News, views and interviews, all with a British twist.

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