It’s War! My Book Vs. Joe Torre’s!

As fate would have it, my book comes out on the very same day as Torre’s: February 3rd. His may be grabbing all the headlines. His may convey the gravitas befitting a Hall of Fame manager. His may have a #24 ranking on his Pre-Order page on Amazon (mine is #100,368). But hear this, people. In the words of Dylan Thomas, “I will not go gentle into the good night!”
Instead, I will draw bold distinctions between Torre’s book and mine, and we’ll just see who wins the Battle of the Books.
Or mine?
#1) Joe Torre’s book was written by Tom Verducci. My book was written by me.
Wouldn’t you rather read a book by an author who didn’t need to hire someone to tell her story?
#2) Torre’s book says Brian Cashman was mean to him. My book says Jean Afterman, Cashman’s assistant GM, was mean to me.
O.K., that one goes to Torre, because Cashman is higher up on the corporate ladder than Afterman. But the Yankees’ media relations director, Jason Zillo, was also mean to me, so that gives me the advantage in terms of being dissed. Do I hold a grudge against Zillo the way Torre is apparently holding a grudge against Cashman? No. In fact, in an effort to reach across the divide, I sent Zillo an advance copy of my book and thanked him for playing the villain of the story. I took the high road, in other words, unlike the former Yankees manager.
#3) Torre’s book reveals that A-Rod asked a clubhouse attendant to do personal favors for him. My book reveals that I asked a clubhouse attendant to do personal favors for me.
Well, he wasn’t a clubhouse attendant; he was an usher. Still, he did bring me a piece of paper so I could write down my phone number for the Yankee who wanted to ask me out when I was in high school. My anecdote is a first-hand account, while Torre’s is from the point of view of a mere bystander. No contest.
#4) Torre’s book claims that the players called A-Rod “A-Fraud.” My book refrains from name calling except when I was confronted by hostile Red Sox fans.
There was no reason for a man of Torre’s upstanding reputation to drop an A-Bomb on A-Rod.  It makes him look small, petty. The only person I really, truly disparage in my book is me.
#5) Torre’s book is about A-Rod’s “single white woman’s obsession” with Jeter. My book is about a “married white woman’s obsession” with the Yankees.
What does Joe’s remark even mean? That single white women are jealous and catty and somehow crazier than other women? Does he not have a clue that women make up 50% of baseball fans? My book isn’t the literary read of the century, but it doesn’t offend the hand that feeds it.
#6) Torre’s book is an inside story by an insider. My book is an inside story by an outsider.
What I’m trying to say is that Torre sat in the dugout day after day. I sat in the nosebleed section 95% of the time, which gave me a much broader perspective on the game. What does a manager know, anyway? It’s the fans that drive the engine. Derek Jeter said so in his speech at the Yankee Stadium finale.
#7) Torre’s book is deadly serious. My book has jokes.
In these bleak economic times, don’t we need to laugh? Even my husband thinks my book is funny, and most of the jokes are at his expense.
#8) Torre’s book will be promoted on publication day with an appearance on “Letterman.” My book will be promoted on publication day with an appearance at my dentist for a possible root canal.
If nothing else, people should choose my book over Torre’s for the sympathy vote alone.
#9) Torre’s book retails for $26.95 on Amazon. My book goes for $24.95 – a $2 savings!
See #6 about the bleak economic times. Enough said.
#10) Torre’s book is already being touted as a nationwide bestseller. My book was hailed as a bestseller months ago by Jimmy Curran of Baseball, The Yankees and Life.
Since Jimmy knows what he’s talking about, I think I’m in good shape.


  1. juliasrants

    Jane – a bit of advice your publisher might have missed – if you don’t bash Red Sox fans so often you might sell more books in New England. And with the number of colleges and universities and neighborhood book clubs that we have around here (Yes – I am trying to get my bookclub to read your book!) we are a very well read group of Baseball fans! I promise – I will read your book before I read Torre’s book!


  2. steve_t

    So both books are about the authors “divorcing” themselves from the Yankees? Heck, I did that back in 1991. I coulda been a bestseller! Jane, you couldn’t have picked a better season than magical (for us in Boston) 2007. Looking forward to your book. Torre can wait!

    Steve T.

  3. Elizabeth D

    I’m reading your book first, hands down. I haven’t pre-ordered a copy, but I plan on getting it the day it comes out. Hmm, maybe I should pre-order it.
    I’m interested in number three… did you really give your number to a Yankee? Did he really ask you out? Tell me more! I read excepts from your book on Amazon… well, there were two pages but I did get a laugh out of Carl f***ing Pavano, and much more (talking about Johnny Demon rather than Jimmy Choo, etc.).
    Your book will be promoted on publication day on MLBlogs, and I’ll be carrying it around with me at school to read during free periods (scratch that) class.

  4. Jane Heller

    I like the cover too, Jen. And that’s saying something because I haven’t always liked the art on my books. This one gives a sense of mischief, and there’s plenty of that in the story!

    You’re right, Steve. You should have written about your own divorce from the team. But it’s not too late. Memoirs are still a hot genre!

    Yes, Elizabeth, I really did give my number to a Yankee. Those scenes in the book are pretty funny, I must admit. I was about as clueless as it gets when it came to dating and made a really lame groupie. So embarrassing!

  5. PAUL

    I wouldn’t have sent Zillo a copy of the book; I would’ve delivered it to a part of his anatomy where he wouldn’t be able to read it without medical extraction (aka the jaws of life). Didn’t they realize that their behaviors were going to be documented and they would look, y’know, bad?
    As for ARod and Torre, I don’t think Torre likes prima donnas; Joe was big city when he played, the Sinatra of the baseball world as his career has advanced (I came up with that one on my own—-at least I thought of it without knowing if anyone else had used it); and he has no time for the self-pitying and whining that ARod is fond of. The main reason Torre batted ARod eighth in that playoff game in Detroit wasn’t because ARod was slumping, it was Torre saying, “I’m the manager, I’m sick of you, your whining and your excuses; so fine, you wanna whine? Okay, bat eighth and whine about that.” I think he was wrong to do it, but I understood why it was done.

  6. redbirdchatter

    I think it’s a good thing they are coming out the same day. It’s like when a new Twilight book comes out. Every book store has a display of Vampire books in a primo spot.
    With two Yankees books coming out the same day, how could the ‘Barnes and Nobles of the world’ help but do a Yankees display (except for maybe in Boston)? With the snappier cover, eyes will immediately be drawn to your book.

    It’s why they build car lots so close together.

  7. levelboss

    i agree with Kathy – it’s a nice thing that your book, Jane, comes out on the same day as that of Torre’s
    book stores tend to market related items together on some table or window front in the hopes that people will buy things with the same theme
    see that? Joe Torre’s gonna make you some extra bucks!

  8. Jane Heller

    Cob, I love the way you think! If only that would happen.

    Happy, the book is definitely from the fan’s perspective – a Yankee fan’s perspective, to be sure. But hopefully fans of other teams will be able to relate.

    Paul, in a strange way Jason Zillo and the Yankees did me a huge favor by denying me access. Instead of being on the inside and writing about that, I wrote about the fan’s experience. In the end, I think it worked out to my advantage. Torre is “the Sinatra of the baseball world.” Love it.

    You’re both right about the display thing, Kathy and Levelboss; it would be wonderful if my book sat up front with Torre’s. But the reality of the biz is that publishers pay to have books displayed on front tables. And in order to get that front-table space, publishers have to convince booksellers to order a certain number of copies. Which is a long-winded way of saying there’s no telling whether my book will be stocked by every store in the country. It’ll be heavily distributed in New York, but in many cities it may be a special order item. Thank goodness for amazon!

  9. Erin Kathleen

    I plan on reading your book instead of Torre’s. I don’t really care what went on in the Yankees’ clubhouse, and it just seems beneath someone like Joe Torre to write such petty stuff. Plus it’s not exactly a shocking revelation that the Yankees’ front office is full of backstabbers or that A-Rod is a diva.

    Your book, on the other hand, sounds like something most baseball fans can relate to. We all have a love/hate relationship with our teams, sometimes more hate than love.

    And I think the “single white woman” thing Torre was talking about was a reference to the film “Single White Female”, in which the main character has a roommate who develops an unhealthy obsession with her and A-Rod supposedly had an unhealthy obsession with Jeter.

  10. raysrenegade

    I will make you this promise.
    After I see you at your book signing, I will take a few days to read your book I will do a short review on about it so that the Rays faithful can also see that the Yankees are not all “Evil Empire” and personality frauds.

    The Tampa Bay blog market might not be a huge one, but I know of about 25 Rays officials and members of the Rays front office who poke their heads by the blog all the time. I can’t let the cat out of the bag, but I am being considered for something pretty good for a blog writer in the next few months.

    Something Torre also doesn’t have that you have…………fans like us who will stand behind what you say with a proud and straight back and take the hits as well as the strikeouts. You already are a best seller on here.

    Rays Renegade

  11. redstatebluestate

    Oh, Jane… you know you could’ve gone easier on yourself and just hired Tom Verducci to do all the talkin’. I understand where you’re coming from… but do you not have any love in your heart for the man who managed your team to four WS titles?


    Heck yeah your book comes in first! I mean, you could have hired us at the Respect Jeters Gangster blog to write your book, but then all you’d have is a crappily written book. So, the fact that you didn’t hire us alone makes you’re book a thousand times better.

  13. Jane Heller

    Erin, I hope fans of other teams will relate to my story. I hope Yankee fans will relate! Who knows?

    Thanks for your support, Sheena. (I suddenly feel like I’m running for office or something. Sorry about that!)

    Renegade, I’m really excited about the Rays position you’re hinting at. Whatever it is, I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll happen. You have great knowledge of the team and have been there right from the beginning. Let us know when you know and we’ll all celebrate with you! Really looking forward to seeing you in Tampa.

    I have a lot of love in my heart for Joe Torre, Jeff, and always will. I just read a review of his book in the NY Times by someone who actually dissected the whole book, not just the provocative snippets, and it sounds interesting. I think the confusion comes from the format that was used – it’s written in the third person as if it’s Verducci’s book, with quotes from Torre. Anyhow, I plan on getting a copy.

    LOL, Gangster. I could have hired you guys to write it. If only I’d been smarter.



    What? You’ve got a book coming out? When did you have time to write a book? Why haven’t you mentioned this before! And don’t worry about competition with Joe. Everybody knows the ending to his book. You had M. Night write your last chapter, right? el duque

  15. Jane Heller

    Thanks, Eric. There’s nothing in the book about the Dodgers though. Well, actually there is. Toward the end, when Torre and Mattingly are about to get their new jobs (Bowa too), I was pretty upset about them leaving.

    M. Night did write the last chapter, duque. It turns out that I see dead people and the last scene has me communing with the Mick.

  16. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Jane …

    Well, I go away for a few days and return home to all this Joe Torre book controversy … You made a great case in your above post on why everybody should buy your book over Joe Torre’s book !!! … I was especially [LOL] when I read #10 on your list !!! … Thanks for your confidence in me and my prediction that your book will be a nationwide bestseller !!! … I enthusiastically stand by my prediction, Jane, as well as, my prediction that your book will be on the top of the bestseller lists, and your blog will be on the top of the Fan MLBlogs Leader’s List, “at the same time”, “in the same week”, “in the near future” !!! … Some of the excerpts from Joe Torre’s book seem like interesting reading, though; and, I’m not really surprised or shocked by the quotes from the book that have been reported in the newspapers … I guess the only real surprise is: Why [other than money] would Torre write such a book? … Maybe, we will find out more when he goes on is book tour, hearing Torre in his interviews? … I still respect Joe Torre, and think he was truthful in what he had to say in the book, and will give him the benefit of the doubt until I actually read the 477 page book [every page can’t be negative about his Yankee days] !!! … But, this book will probably delay, even longer, Joe Torre’s “Special Day” at Yankee Stadium, and the Yankees retiring his #6 … Anyway, my suggestion and recommendation is that both these books should be purchased together, as they are both very important accounts of the New York Yankees told from different viewpoints that you, Jane, stated in #6 on your above list: “Torre’s book is an inside story by an insider”. And, your book, Jane, “is an inside story by an outsider” !!! … An outsider who is a true Yankees fan !!! … When the “Best Seller” Lists are released, I look forward to seeing: (1) “Confessions of a She-Fan” by Jane Heller; (2) “The Yankee Years” by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci … And, Jane, I think, all at “mlblogs/”, would also, agree !!! … Best Wishes, Jimmy [27NYY], “Baseball, The Yankees, and Life”

  17. Jane Heller

    Hope your mini-vacation was good, Jimmy. Welcome back. Your predictions always seem to come true, so I’m sticking with you. And, like you, I’ll be buying Torre’s book. Today’s review in the NY Times was very interesting, I thought. It certainly whet my appetite.

  18. jimmy27nyy

    Thanks, Jane …

    Yes, I had a nice few days away, and I’m happy to be back home and blogging again here at our great baseball community !!! … The Yankees re-signing of Andy Pettitte today [finally] is a move that I long hoped would happen … The starting rotation is now complete: CC, A.J, Wang, Joba, and Andy !!!!! … So, now, there is “still” one more move I really want the Yankees to make before spring training starts … And, that is the re-signing of Bobby Abreu !!! … Pettitte accepted way less than the $10 Million the Yankees first offered him [$5.5 Million + incentives that could reach $12 Million] … Abreu will also have to lower his sights, and agree to a one or two year deal with some team [maybe the Yankees?] … But, it is amazing, there seems to be very little interest in Bobby Abreu by “any team” !!! … Take care, Jane !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  19. rockymountainway

    Jane what you need is a viral rumor of some sort. Have your people contact Paris Hilton’s people and have her carry around a copy of your book and maybe leave it on a dresser in some “movie” of hers. Bamm there you are best seller in no time. I’m tellin ya.

  20. Jane Heller

    It’s puzzling that Abreu hasn’t signed with anybody, Jimmy. He’s such an RBI producer. But this is a tough FA market with a lot of good players still waiting for deals, as you know. I think the Yankees have more than enough outfielders/DHs, so I doubt we’ll be seeing him in the Bronx.

    A viral rumor. I’ll have to think of one, Tom. But I’d rather have someone other than Paris Hilton carrying my book around.

  21. scofid

    Hopefully, the cries for Joba to the pen don’t return now that the Yanks again have excess in the starting rotation!

  22. Jane Heller

    I have to admit I’ve been one of those people, ellwoodd. I hope Joba has a great season in the rotation, but if he needs to limit his innings I wouldn’t be unhappy seeing him setting up for Mo.


    Yay, Jane! I have pre-ordered both books and can’t wait–I’ll be reading yours first!
    Are you coming to Ithaca? Don’t come tomorrow as we are in the middle of a snow storm.

  24. Jane Heller

    Great, Janet. The bookselling and publishing industries thank you for your support! I’m not coming to Ithaca. I’m just doing local publicity here in CA and during spring training in FL. Then I’ll probably come to NYC in April. Stay warm and safe.

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