SARASOTA, Fla. – The Orioles don’t have the problems the Yankees have. Last week, a fascinating article in The New York Times portrayed Derek Jeter as being unsympathetic to fans waiting for his autograph outside the team’s minor league complex.
Fans begin lining up in the middle of the night, hoping to get Jeter to stop and sign for them. The article estimates he stops only about 10 percent of the time. A guard orders the fans not to ask Jeter about his personal life, but just to wait silently.
On the day that Scott Cacciola staked Jeter out, he did stop and signed for about 10 fans before driving off.
Monday, Jeter stopped and signed for fans while answering reporters’ questions about the recovery from his broken left ankle and commented on the article. Jeter said that some of the fans who were allegedly disappointed were the same ones who’d been waiting for autographs for years.
This is the fourth year the Orioles have used Ed Smith Stadium for spring training, and while they’re certainly popular in Sarasota, there aren’t fans lining up at 12:45 a.m. for Matt Wieters’ autograph. As players arrive, there are usually a handful of fans by the entrance.
It’s decidedly low key here.
There won’t be any access to players today nor until Wednesday’s workout is over, but the media does get a chance to speak with Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter this afternoon. Perhaps there’ll be a Jair Jurrjens update. Even if Jurrjens reports, there won’t be a Jeter-like fan clamoring for him.