Don't get me wrong. I love New York. I love everything about New York, including the town's unmatched IQ (Incivility Quotient).
That's me. When the waiter throws the menu down on the table as if he were Michael Irvin spiking a football, I double the tip.
New York is an attitude town. I'm an attitude guy.
To sum up: I love New York; I just don't like seeing New York in Baltimore, where I actually live.
I especially don't like it when New Yorkers try to take over Camden Yards. Yesterday the paper said to expect an invasion of pinstripes and Yankee caps for the weekend series.
And the disturbing thing is, of course, that meant (so-called) Orioles fans had to be selling the tickets to the opposition. It's sort of like Francis Scott Key writing beer-hall tunes for the Brits.
Wouldn't this say something fundamental about us?
Even in the '90s, this brand of salesmanship seems like a questionable value judgment. Do the words "selling your soul" seem out of place here?
So, I went to the game expecting the worst. I have a New York friend who has moved to Baltimore and become a convert. He said he has one word for anyone who showed up in a Yankees caps: Gedadaheeyeh.
For those who don't speak Noo Yawkese, "gedadaheeyeh" translates loosely into "go home, you bleepin' moron."
Let's face it: New York just doesn't travel. A New Yorker in Baltimore is just another tourist looking for the fastest way to the Fells Point bars.
I looked for Yankees fans. I didn't find many.
What happened? Traffic tie-up on the Jersey Turnpike? Did they get mugged on the way over? (Yeah, we got muggers in our little town, too. Also other big-city amenities like 24-hour room service and a failing school system.)
Not that it should surprise anyone, but the I-95, Metroliner, East-Coast-teams-are-hip series has gotten personal. It would have gotten personal even if umpire Richie Garcia hadn't robbed the Orioles, setting off Oliver Stone-like conspiracy theories of umpires planting 12-year-olds throughout the stadium.
So, who wants to see Yankees fans up close after that?
During the regular season Yankee games at Camden Yards, the Yankees fans were out in force. Orioles officials vowed it would never happen again. As it happens, in a democracy, Orioles officials don't actually have complete control over ticket holders.
Maybe Peter Angelos found a way.
Even Angelos would admit that in New York, Yankees fans make perfect sense.
The rowdies in the bleachers are no different from the guy assaulting you on the street corner.
In Baltimore, it's another story. I mean, wearing Yankees caps in an Orioles town is like wearing Brooks Brothers at Woodstock.
I still want to know: Who would sell their tickets? I'm having some trouble grasping the concept. You have tickets to a playoff game, the first time the Orioles have made it this far in 13 years. You know how tough getting a ticket is. Hell, you can't get an Orioles ticket for a July midweek game against the Kansas City Royals.
So, you have this precious item, and, for a few measly bucks, you part with it.
What's next, selling children? (And, please, no jokes about 12-year-old Jeff Maier.)
I didn't want to believe it was true. Of course, I also want to believe that Elvis is alive, because I've never seen a guy in his 60s in a jumpsuit.
The thing is, New Yorkers have no problem finding money for the ticket. It costs them a hundred bucks to see a movie, if you include popcorn, cabfare and protection money for the usher.
I don't know who bought and sold how many tickets for the game last night. I know what it sounded like, though, coming from the sea of orange that was Camden Yards. And it was nothing like a Bronx cheer.
Pub Date: 10/12/96