Day Two In Tampa (With Videos)

Another gorgeous day here in Yankeeville. No humidity. No bugs. Not even a stray alligator.

I met such great people at my signing at Barnes & Noble, including the one and only Rays Renegade, ladies and gentlemen! He’s my BFF for showing up.
He had to dash off to watch the Rays, but I’m very grateful that he took the time to support his fellow MLBlogger. If anyone else gets the chance to meet him, seize it. He’s a sweetheart.
We had lots of other interesting visitors – from the woman who wanted a signed book for her son’s school auction to the boy who roots for the Tampa Bay Lightning but bought a book for his baseball-loving mother.
And then we had this Yankee-fan-family from Binghampton, New York, who’d flown down to Tampa the night before.
And this enthusiastic she-fan who was one of the first in line…
And the mother and daughter who were both named Laura…
And this hardcore Yankee-ite from Woodstock, New York.
Her name is Eileen and I met her the day before at the ballpark. Here’s the video from that first chat. As you can see, she has only love for her Yanks, one in particular.
Toward the end of the signing, along came a Yankee fan/Tampa local, formerly from New York.
I had to pull out the Flip Video camera to record her Jeter story.
Before leaving the bookstore, I chatted up Nan, the community relations director at B&N.
It turned out that she had her own intel about The Captain.
She escorted me over to the store’s “endcap” where my book was, indeed, creating a Jeter sandwich.
My last interview at the store was with the woman at the B&N Cafe who has actually serviced served Jeter.
O.K. Now onto baseball. Friday’s game was the first night game of the season at Steinbrenner Field and there was much more electricity than the day before.
And with good reason: CC was in the house.
I know. He’s the size of a pinhead in that photo, but he was in total command during his two innings and was a pleasure to watch.
Other game notes….Angel Berroa has lobster claws for hands….Cody Ransom is more than competent at third base as A-Rod’s apparent replacement, although I wonder where A-Rod’s 150 RBIs will come from….Aceves bounced back nicely from his last outing…Shelley Duncan needs to stay in the minors forever (terrible play in right field)….Brett Gardner made a fabulous catch in center and my infatuation with him continues….Ramiro Pena, the kid playing shortstop while Jeter’s away, is impressive….Nick Swisher is growing on me; he threw lots of baseballs to the fans….Yankee fans in Tampa booed Sheffield just like they do in the Bronx….and, best of all, the Yanks beat the Tigers.
Oh. Indulge me one final fan encounter. Seated behind me was a woman wearing a zillion Yankee pins on her jacket. If the Yanks were the Army, she’d be a general. Take a look.
After the game, we were treated to a dazzling display of fireworks. The Steins know how to throw a party.


  1. crazy19canuck

    Congrats on the turn out! Hope it was fun! It looks like a lot of fun down there. Congrats again!


    Ms. Jane, you’ve outdone yerself again. On behalf of all, thank you for the show (and tell) — what an absolute blast, and how jealous & envious are we?! And a store where Jeet & the boys just drop by for a latte — are you kiddin’?! Have a fabulous Rest Of The Trip, though I don’t know how you top all you’ve done so far!! And safe travels home…


    Just ordered the book Jane, can’t wait to read it. Being shipped to the Owl and Turtle Book Shop in Camden, Maine where I reside.

    After reading Whitey and Duque for the last month, I’ve been itching to get it! When I finish reading it for the first time, I’d love to ship it to you to get it signed!

    Yankee Shamus

  4. letsgoyankees

    You say that you think he (A-Rod, of course) should and will have the surgery sooner rather than later. But the report I saw said a 75-80% chance he could play through his injury, with pain. I understand he most likely won’t be playing at 100%. But I’ll take a 75% A-Rod over even a 100% Codey Ransom. I’ve heard people say, “Let him have the surgery so we could have him for the postseason.” But who’s to say we make the postseason w/o A-Rod? If I have to, and hopefully this won’t happen, I’d rather make the playoffs and go throught the postseason w/o A-Rod than get A-Rod when we’re already out of it. If A-Rod can play, he should. I for one would appreciate his guts.

  5. letsgoyankees

    I am not trying to be combative. It’s just that, in our tough AL East, we may need A-Rod. Or we may do fine w/o him. But if he could gut it out, that’d be great.

  6. letsgoyankees

    I feel bad for Shelley Duncan. I used to love him, but now it seems as if he can’t play in the big leagues. Oh, well.. I, too am a HUGE Gardner fan!

  7. Jane Heller

    Thanks, Bern and Julia. Meeting Renegade was a highlight and I hope you both get to meet him too.

    Canuck, it’s great to be here. I wish I didn’t have to leave on Monday.

    Dave, I should just hang out at the cafe at B&N until I get Jeter to tell me his life story – or at least offer me tix to a game!

    Yankee Shamus, I didn’t know you lived in Camden. My husband’s family used to spend summers there. Really beautiful place. Would be thrilled to sign the book for you anytime.

    Everyone’s got a favorite player, Steve, and it’s fun hearing them explain why. Who’s yours, by the way?

    Letsgoyankees, I think A-Rod will have the surgery and that the Yankees will trade for a third baseman to platoon with Ransom during the period A-Rod is on the DL. Just my hunch. It’s not about guts; it’s about getting the job done. A third baseman who can’t charge a bunt or is a liability on the base paths is not going to get it done. I agree about Shelley. I don’t think he’s major league caliber.

    Wish I could have met you, Elizabeth, but one of these days….

    I’d love to do a she-fan documentary, Tom. Sign me up!

  8. districtboy

    Wow. I’m loving the fan interviews. I just subscribed to your YouTube channel (ignore the very odd name of my account). I know its awesome to have your book be above Derek Jeter’s, but what about having it be above Tim Kurkjian’s?! Now that’s cool. 😉


  9. redbirdchatter

    That is great! What a fun day! The last lady made me think of this crazy character on Boston Legal named Lincoln Meyer. He kept calling one of the lawyers, “Mr. Dirty Mouth”. We could call A-rod that…like he needs another nickname. Thanks for sharing. You must be exhausted!

  10. Lissi

    I like Joyce. She’s my fave. I might be her biggest fan.
    I am jealous you got to meet Rays Renegade. He’s so nice! I want to try to go to a Rays/Indians game sometime so maybe I will see him then.
    All of your interviews were great. I still don’t like Derek Jeter. I can’t explain it. He just bothers me. Maybe he isn’t a bad person I just can’t bring myself to like him. I have issues.
    It looks like you’re having fun!

  11. raysrenegade

    Lady Jane,

    Sorry it took me a bit to answer back, but got a few things here in Florida that have zapped some precious time lately. I enjoyed chatting with you, and might have noticed I get a little embarrassed when I talk about myself.

    It was just fantastic to meet you and your husband, and I am so glad that Alphonso took you to such an awesome place in Tampa. The city as a million styles to choose from, and he hit the jackpot on the first pull.

    I am looking forward to opening the book here this week and reading the real adventures of our favorite Yankee fan. thank you again for the kind comments, I am just not used to them sometimes.

    Rays Renegade

  12. scofid

    The videos are terrific, and there’s definitely a ‘Jeter is a great guy’ theme that runs through them. A-Rod trashed as usual. It looks like you’ve been having a great time in Tampa. Too bad the Yanks haven’t put up more W’s during your trip, but hopefully, they’ll come once the Yanks move up north to the Bronx. Enjoy!


  13. Jane Heller

    So you’re the one who subscribed to my videos, Aaron! Now I’d better get my act together and do a better job.

    I am exhausted, Kathy, which is why I’m a day behind with my posts. We’re getting to sleep much later than at home. But today’s my last full day here and I’m sad already.

    Joyce was a hoot, Melissa. But somehow I’m going to have to convince you to like Jeter. Not love him. Just like him a little. He’s really not that bad.

    The pleasure was mine, Renegade. I’m the envy of everyone on this blog because I got to meet you!

    Thanks, Scott. More to come in a few minutes. I’m getting a slow start today.

  14. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Jane …

    Some final thoughts on your Tampa trip …

    I really enjoyed watching all your videos, and I’m happy that you had such a wonderful time in Florida !!! … You brought a little bit of Spring Training from the Yankees winter and spring home, to our mlblogging community here at mlblogs/ !!! … Also, it looks like you had a lot of fun, and a nice turnout, including Rays Renegade, at your book signings [and, dinner with John Sterling] !!! ……. I wish I could have been in Tampa to meet you, and watch a few Yankee games !!!
    Thanks, Jane, for sharing your trip with us; and “best wishes” to you and your husband Michael, for giving us all a nice look at Spring Training in Tampa, Florida !!!
    Jane, take care, and have a geat day !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  15. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Jane …

    I was just looking back at the pictures, again, and I would have to say, it’s pretty “awesome” that the encap in the Tampa “B&N” had your book in two of the seven display spots — one more display than Derek Jeter had on the encap !!! Very nice !!!
    Take care, Jane !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  16. Jane Heller

    Jimmy, I was thrilled to meet Rays Renegade. I only wish you could have joined us. And yes, the store’s display with my book together with Jeter’s put a big smile on my face!

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