As I write this latest blog, I’m peering outside at the dawn of a new morning. The day is just getting started …. commuters are headed to work, kids are enjoying the second week of summer vacation and the security staff at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel is most certainly manning their doors and chasing away Yankees groupies.
Yeah, you wanna observe “fan obsession” up close and personal today? If so, just drive past that shiny, green hotel across from Harborplace anytime over the next four days and you’ll see it. From late last night through Thursday, you won’t be able to “swing a dead cat” without hitting someone wearing the famed “NY” garb, outside this these trendy digs.
I suppose it’s the closest Baltimore will get to paparazzi. I’ve witnessed this “walking and stalking” event for myself …. and I’m always amazed that some people get so caught up in being a fan. The thought of hanging outside a team’s hotel, for a mere glimpse, photo op or highly desired autograph still strikes me as ridiculous. Do these people work, or is this their form of summer vacation?
I recall discussing this topic with Casey Willett, a few weeks ago. We agreed this “traveling circus” probably follows the Yankees wherever they go. They certainly boast the most “star studded” roster in all of sports, but they’re just people. These guys breath the same polluted air we breath, and they eat the same food and pay taxes. And, just like us …. they’re all gonna die some day and get planted in the ground.
So, what’s the spirit of the madness? Does anyone have an answer to this? Why would people, who seem normal in any other respect, devote four days of their life to camping outside a downtown hotel in anticipation of a brief, personal encounter with Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter or Johnny Damon? From what I’ve seen, these guys are not very friendly to the awaiting “stalkers” when the confrontation occurs. A reasonable person would suggest that such a negative exchange would dissuade the fan from further devotions. Nah, they’re galvanized to it.
Over the next few days, the casual citizen may pass Roger Clemens and Andy Petitte in a downtown eatery. Chances are Joe Torre might be spotted in Little Italy. And, it wouldn’t be inconceivable to see Mike Mussina, Bobby Abreu or Hideki Matsui around the harbor. Will you approach them for a friendly autograph or leave them alone?
Regardless of your choice, I think you’re fine …. as long as you’re not lurking outside their hotel.