You might remember that Jeffrey Maier, the infamous Yankees fan who might have cost the Orioles a win in the 1996 American League Championship Series, was hoping to be selected in the amateur draft earlier this year. Well, it didn't quite happen the way he wanted, so now, at the Winter Meetings — a baseball convention so vital and important that it requires Capital Letters — Maier is like every other post-grad with a resume: He's trying to find himself a job.
For now, he's happy to toil as an intern in any baseball-operations department, so he will spend the next three days meeting as many people as he can. ... Whether it's costing someone a bigger playoff share or becoming the bane of every Baltimorean, Maier long ago got used to the look when meeting people. It's the initial stunned silence, followed by the raised eyebrows, punctuated by some sort of exclamation - sometimes laudatory, others of the seven-dirty-words variety.
He's got a sit-down with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, and Peter Gammons is trying to get him face-to-faces with a few other teams, too. After not getting drafted this year, Maier spent the summer scouting the Cape Cod League for Gammons. Here were kids he played with and against for years, and now he was on the flip side.
We love the idea of Gammons, amused by having Maier tagging along and writing little tidbits about various former Maier teammates, taking him under his wing and saying, "Hey, here's a room full of Orioles fans. Enjoy." And then tiptoeing away mischievously. It's good to have friends in high places. He's totally gonna run the Nationals someday.