Watching baseball in Singapore takes more commitment than you think.
Featured image courtesy of the writer
Baseball has an interesting place in Singapore – we hear about it a lot, and yet most of us know absolutely nothing about it. It’s in our favorite movies and TV shows, the logos of baseball teams adorn our caps and we often cite the World Series (contested by 29 teams from the United States and one from Canada) as proof that Americans think they’re the only part of the planet that matters.
One of the hurdles in following baseball (or any American sport) is the fact that our time zones just don’t align well; games take place early in the morning when most people are getting ready to go to work or school. Thanks to a little place called Boomarang Bistro & Bar, however, it’s become a lot easier to watch those MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL games.
Boomarang’s Boat Quay outlet is my destination on a Wednesday morning as Game 2 of the 2017 World Series takes place in Los Angeles. It’s just before 9am, and I’m making my way down Circular Road. Eating houses are being restocked and the grime of the night before is still being scraped off.
I arrive at Boomarang to see a half-dozen TV screens showing the game, but I don’t spot anyone decked out in baseball gear. I blame the New York Yankees for losing the week before; a few bandwagon fans might have made an appearance if they were playing. The two teams competing in the World Series this year are the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros – the former winless since 1988 and the latter without a win altogether in its 55-year history. LA currently leads the series 1-0 after winning Game 1.
I begin to think I’m the only baseball fan among a small collection of Raffles Place office workers having their breakfast, but at the top of the third inning, the Astros score the game’s first run courtesy of an Alex Bregman hit. I hear a muted cheer and a handful of claps and I turn to see a gent in an orange t-shirt – the Astros’ color.
Boomarang is a place that specializes in hearty breakfasts and good coffee – the responsible choice for a 9am visit – but I can’t resist the call of the gleaming, ice-clad row of beer taps. I order a pint of VB to go with my “Coolangatta” breakfast, certain that some kindred spirit over in Australia is doing the exact same thing.
An American expat stops by to pick up a takeaway coffee, but “to go” becomes “having here” as he realizes the game is on. He stays for the fourth inning, leaving somewhat disappointed as the Dodgers fail to score.
9.49am, bottom of the fifth inning; he really should have waited. The Dodgers are on the board with a Joc Pedersen home run. The scores are level as the gent in orange groans.
10.15am, bottom of the sixth inning; Dodgers take the lead! Corey Seager smashes a two-run homer to make the score 3-1. Conversations carry on as normal, particularly among a trio from the corporate crowd enjoying an extra-long breakfast, but the gent in orange winces, shakes his head and facepalms.
10.26am; casual onlookers have been popping in and out, one of them, a tourist perhaps, decides to stay on to watch. It begins to pour outside.
11am, top of the eighth inning; the Astros pull one back with a hit from Carlos Correia, but the gent in orange is silent, knowing that time is running out for his team. The Astros are retired with a runner stranded on base; they’re in trouble now.
11.17am, top of the ninth inning; the Astros level the score! Marwin Gonzalez hits a home run that seems to hang in the air forever before clearing the wall. 3-3, and the gent in orange claps and yells, “Yeah!”
11.33am, bottom of the ninth inning; with the Dodgers failing to score, we go to extra innings. An Australian patron moves to get a better view of the game.
11.37am, top of the tenth inning; his move is justified as the Astros retake the lead with a Jose Altuve home run! The gent in orange is silent, he probably doesn’t want to jinx things.
11.38am; he’s celebrating now! Carlos Correa makes it back-to-back home runs and the Astros lead 5-3 out of nowhere! The Aussie chap laughs, exhaling an expletive in disbelief.
11.51am, bottom of the tenth inning; the Dodgers pull one back with a Yasiel Puig home run. Worried murmurs from the gent in orange.
11:58am; the Dodgers have two batters out and the man at the plate, Logan Forsythe, is on a full count. Astros pitcher Ken Giles can’t get the third strike to win the game and walks Forsythe. The winning run for the Dodgers is at the plate in the form of Enrique “Kike” Hernandez.
12pm; wild pitch into the dirt from Ken Giles! Forsythe moves to second base.
12:02pm; it’s cost them! Hernandez hits a single and Forsythe heads for home, making it with inches to spare. It’s 5-5, and the winning run for the Dodgers is on second base. The Astros are facing defeat but they finally get the third out shortly after. We’re headed for an eleventh inning.
12:15pm, top of the eleventh inning; Astros lead yet again! George Springer sends a two-run homer into the stands. Astros are up 7-5.
12:31pm, bottom of the eleventh inning; Dodgers again find themselves one out away from losing but Charlie Culberson hits a home run! 7-6 to the Astros and the Aussie bursts into laughter once more. “We’re going to be here all day!” he says.
12:36pm; but it’s all over as Puig strikes out! Final score, 7-6. My final score, two pints of VB, one of Steinlager and a “middy” of Peroni. The Astros have leveled the World Series at 1-1 and the gent in orange departs, turning to the waitstaff and saying, relieved, “See you on Saturday.”
As it turned out, the faithful at Boomarang had witnessed something special; the incredible eight home runs scored in the game set a new record for the World Series (among other landmarks). History is always waiting to be made on baseball’s biggest stage – it’s been that way since 1903. See you on Saturday.
Morning beer not your thing? You can also catch the World Series on Fox Sports.
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