The Yankees And I Are Going Through A Rough Patch

At first I wasn’t going to air our dirty laundry. Relationships go through ups and downs, and my relationship with the Yankees is no different. I figured our little “I said/they said” would remain private and, eventually, be resolved.

But hurt feelings have a way of simmering until they erupt.
And mine have erupted.
Here’s the back story. When my book was published in February, I received a flood of mail from people who shared their own frustrating tales of dealing with the Yankees’ front office – from the Florida radio station vice president who was denied a press pass to a spring training game to the bestselling sportswriter who was banned from Yankee Stadium for life for bringing his son into the clubhouse. I chuckled at their hassles, since I knew firsthand how difficult the Yankees can be. The course of true love doesn’t always run smooth.
Fast forward to last week. My publisher designed a tasteful full-page ad for my book that was to run in the Yankees’ Opening Day commemorative program. The idea, of course, was to reach other Yankee fans.
As you can see, the ad featured a shot of the book cover along with quotes of praise, including one from John Sterling, the “legendary voice of the Yankees.”
The marketing company for the Opening Day program loved the ad and sent it on to the Yankees for rubber stamping.
There was just one problem: The Yankees wouldn’t approve the ad.
According to the marketing person, the Yankees said: “We know about her and her book, and it’s too controversial.” 
I was stunned. I’m too controversial? My book is too controversial? Did the Yankees mistake me for Selena Roberts?
Or did they somehow confuse me with another author at whom they’re miffed?
While my book does have enough salty language to make a sailor blush, it’s hardly “controversial,” unless you count the night I begged my husband to follow A-Rod into a restaurant men’s room so I’d have a funny anecdote to write about.
When I told a friend what had happened, she said sarcastically, “So the Yankees blackballed their #1 fan. Good PR on their part.”
She wasn’t kidding. Here’s the Page Six item that ran in today’s NY Post.


March 27, 2009 —

THE Yankees are snubbing one of their biggest fans. Novelist Jane Heller‘s latest, “Confessions of a She-Fan,” chronicles the time she spent traveling the country with her husband, watching the transformation of the 2007 squad from the doldrums to a wild-card playoff berth. The book earned praise from play-by-play manJohn Sterling, but the Yankees wouldn’t run an ad for it in their Opening Day program because they deemed it too “controversial.” “It’s sad to have the Yankees so mad at a fan who writes about how much she loves her team,” Heller said. A rep for the Yankees declined to comment.

And then came this from the Subway Squawkers blog.

Are the She-Fan’s ‘Confessions’ too much for Yankeeland to handle?

Shocker! Best-selling author – and friend of the SquawkersJane Heller – has been deemed “too controversial” by the Yan

Here’s the story. Jane, whose book “Confessions of a She-Fan” I’ve highly touted in this blog, was all set to buy a full-page advertisement for her book in the Yankees’ Opening Day program. In the ad, she had blurbs from three people: Peter Golenbock, John Sterling, and…wait for it…yours truly! (I was quoted describing the book as “passionate, funny, smart, and sassy.”)

Anyhow, I was very excited for Jane that she had this ad. And I, of course, was excited for myself, that the Squawkers were going to be mentioned in the same breath as the Yankees – or at least the same program!

So much for that. Jane’s ad was rejected by the Yanks this week.

When asked why they refused to approve it, some knucklehead in their front office explained, “We know who she is and we know about her book and it’s too controversial. We don’t want it in the publication.”

What the heck? (I actually said stronger words than that when I heard about this, but I try to keep the blog PG-rated!)

It’s not like Heller is Selena Roberts here. Readers of “Confessions” know that not only is the book a love letter to the Yanks, but that John Sterling, the Voice of the Yankees, is very helpful to Jane’s journey in the book. So why in the world could somebody who has that Sterling seal of approval be deemed too controversial for the Yanks? It makes no sense.

Given all the problems the Yankees have had in selling their luxury boxes in the new stadium, you would think they would be happy to take Jane’s money for her ad. Not to mention that her book would be of interest to Yankee fans.

C’mon, Yanks, free the She-Fan’s ad! 

What do you think? Leave us a comment!

Andrew Fletcher of Scott Proctor’s Arm posted on his blog, too.

FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2009

‘Controversial’ Jane Heller denied advertisement

Friend of Scott Proctor’s Arm Jane Heller recently wrote a book entitled “Confessions of a She-Fan.” (I urge you all to buy it.)

Via Lisa Swan over at Subway Squawkers comes the news that Jane wanted to advertise her book in the Yankees’ Opening Day program. It was set to have quotes from John Sterling, Peter Golenback and Swan herself. No big deal, right? Wrong.

Turns out the Yankees think she’s “too controversial” so they “don’t want it in the publication.”

Page Six caught wind of it and quoted Heller as saying: “It’s sad to have the Yankees so mad at a fan who writes about how much she loves her team.”

This infuriates me. Sorry that you have to go through this, Jane!

A few minutes ago I heard from a company that’s producing another commemorative publication that will be a tribute to the new Yankee Stadium.
“I read about what happened and wanted to offer you an ad in our program,” he said. “We partner with USA Today and our publication is sold wherever the newspaper is sold. We used to do the Yankees Opening Day program, but they were too difficult to deal with.”
He told me a truly hilarious story about an office furniture company in the New York area. This company designed an ad for the Yankees program showing a row of seats at the Stadium, one of which had a type of office chair super-imposed on it. George Steinbrenn
er wouldn’t approve the ad because he thought the office chair was too wide and would insinuate that Yankee fans were fat.
Sigh. You can’t make these things up.
Do I still love the Yankees? With all my heart. No divorce. Not even a trial separation. You don’t have to love a team’s front office to love the team. 
What I also love is the overwhelming support I’ve gotten from readers, bloggers, acquaintances I haven’t heard from in years, you name it. As for the #1 ranking here at MLBlogs, I honestly don’t think of us as competitors and am just grateful people are stopping by. Thanks, everybody.
Meanwhile, there’s a game tonight against the Reds. CC will be on the mound. Go Yankees!


  1. flairforthedramatic

    Wow, the Yankee organization seems colder than I thought. Turning down you.. how dare they? Lol.. Seriously, since WHEN have they been worried much about controversy? After all they’ve been hit with, they’re worried about a book by a devoted fan? Insane in the membrane I tell ya. 😉
    – V [ ]

  2. rrrt

    Controversial?? What parts, exactly? I didn’t even think the language was all that salty, either. Maybe it’s that evil Jason Zillo getting revenge on the way you made him out to be the villain (even though he was). Maybe they didn’t want Yankee fans portrayed as hating the Red Sox (ooh, there’s a news flash!). Crazy stuff.
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

  3. juliasrants

    You know Jane, Red Sox Nation is much nicer! I’d always be willing to sponsor you for membership! I’ll have to disagree with Sue though, for a sports book, the language was salty – and this is coming for the girl who read and LOVED Generation Kill! Who knows, the Yankees seem to walk to their own beat. Good luck!


  4. Erin Kathleen

    “You don’t have to love a team’s front office to love the team” Ugh, don’t I know it! I think it sucks that the Yankees seem to be going to such lengths to alienate their biggest (and now apparently most famous) fan. It’s kind of ironic that the front office is creating so much controversy by refusing to promote a book that they find controversial.Oh, well, at least this way you’ll get all kinds of free publicity for your book :)-Erin

  5. scofid

    That’s very disappointing news! You have made good representation of us as Yankee fans. We are the people who are willing to pay up to $2,625 (well, not me personally) for a ticket. I have my copy of the book and it’s great. I think it was the single great undertaking by a non-Yankees player or manager, and there’s certainly nothing that I’d push into the controversial category. Hopefully, they’ll come to their senses. Cash, what were ya thinkin’?



    I just had this same revelation about the Yankees front office today! I love the team and what they represent, but I hate who represents them at the upper reaches of management. My theory is that the company has been in one family for too long and things have become too familiar. New blood is never infused to any department in the organization, and it breeds incompetence. The Yankees need to loosen the grip and give in a bit to the open source society we are now living in. if they don’t, they are well on their way to isolating their top fans, and once they leave, it is like a house of cards…

  7. Jane Heller

    V, they worry about controversy all the time – and then create it. Even someone close to the organization told me he thought it was “absurd” that they wouldn’t approve the ad.

    Thanks, Paige. I try to be a loyal soldier!

    It could be any or all of those things, Sue. We’ll never know.

    Nutballgazette, I still think they’re a class organization. They just really need to loosen/lighten up.

    I appreciate your willingness to sponsor me, Julia. If I ever change stripes, I’ll let you know.

    I agree, Melissa. “Ridiculous” is a good word for it.

    Exactly right, Erin. That’s what always happens with the Yankees. They end up doing the very thing they were trying to avoid.

    I can’t hang this on Cashman, Scott. He’s too busy to bother with my little book. But clearly management didn’t care for it. I’m glad I have you in my corner though.

    I hope that doesn’t happen, Ross. I know a lot of fans are feeling disenfranchised these days, but as soon as the new Stadium lights up and the Yanks win their first game, all will be right with the world. I do agree that new blood in the front office wouldn’t be a bad thing – somebody who’s less like a sheriff and more like a human being.

  8. Jane Heller

    But they won’t, Bern. And it’s their publication, so they have a right to dictate content. It’s just that I’m a fan!

    I wish you didn’t hate the team, Jonnnnn. They’re my guys and always will be.

  9. Orangebird

    Couple things
    1. If the Orioles can actually get someone to follow the team around and then write a book about it Pete Angelous would be doing cart wheels. Hey if I get enough money I wouldn’t mind doing it! That would be preety dang awesome!! ( note the use of interjections)
    2. I didn’t except the F-Bomb at all, it was a humorus surprise
    3. The whole entire Yankees front office appear to be a bunch of $chmucks.


    Too controversial? Are they confusing the book with an X-rated film? Nowhere else can you find such unabashed and uncensored love for something than there. Did they read the book? Apparently not, because if they did, they would realize that it is the greatest advertisement for being a Yankee fan ever. How sad and stupid that front office is. What’s really sad for me personally is to realize that though the team itself has changed over the years, the front office is still as stupid as ever. Who do they think buys all those T-shirts, hats, publications, and (tah-dah!) high priced tickets? It’s FANS, over 4 million of us last year. And still they continue to disrespect us. Fools!

    She-fan in Syracuse

  11. heartruss

    Jane, I have not read your book but I plan to as soon as I can find it. I wonder if you have to just praise the Yankees profusedly to make your book not too controversial. I am obviously not a Yankees fan but I too wonder about front office politics. Congratulations on your success.

  12. letsgoyankees

    This is a joke. You run a blog where you, more or less, WORSHIP the Yankees. You have a shrine to Mariano Rivera in your home (never said it, but I have my suspicions). You paid good money to fly down to Florida early this Spring just to see the Yankees lose in a couple of ST games, and you were STILL nice about it! The Yankee fron office is full of idiots, but like you, I’m a fan of the team, not the front office. Still, the fact that they won’t put this book in their program is a joke. The knucklehead who made the comment about your “controversial” publication should be ashamed of himself.


    Jane, thanks for the shout-out! It was so cool to see my name in the same ad as John Sterling and Peter Golenbock! That was so kind of you.

    And good luck with the USA Today one – I have their commemorative one on the old Yankee Stadium.

    Look at it this way – maybe you can talk about the book as the story the Yankees’ front office thinks is too “controversial”!


  14. PAUL

    The book is a friggin’ comedy!!!!! Good grief!!!!
    There comes a time in everyone’s life that they must cut the cord. No one’s asking you to become a Red Sox fan, but there’s plenty of room in the gallery for the Metropolitans. How much more are you gonna take?

  15. Jane Heller

    Orangebird, you should approach the O’s about writing a book about their season (rumor has it you just won a writing contest, so we know you have the chops!). And yes, some organizations would be thrilled to have books of this type written about them. The Yankees, however, are suspicious of things/people they can’t control.

    Beautifully put, She-Fan in Syracuse. (I went to college in Rochester, btw. Loved it except for all the snow.) I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you.

    I appreciate the support from a Dodgers fan, Russ. I don’t think you have to praise the Yankees in a book (well, yeah, you probably do) so much as have their permission/cooperation to write it. They don’t like surprises, which is why I sent the media relations director a copy when the book first came off press. I wanted to thank him for being a good sport. Guess that wasn’t such a hot idea.

    Yes, Letsgoyankees, I do worship the Yanks. Too bad they didn’t get that part.

    Lisa, you’ve been a big booster of the book from Day 1, so I’m especially sorry the ad didn’t make it into the program. I wanted your blog to get some exposure too. You and Jon do a GREAT job with Subway Squawkers.

    So you think I should cross over to the Metropolitans, Paul? Sounds tempting, but I could never leave the pinstripes behind.

  16. scofid

    Jane, I was just picking on Cashman. I knew that he wouldn’t have been the one to make a decision. He’s one of the few front office execs that I admire greatly. Try as I can, I just can’t bring myself to like the profile of the article in today’s NY Times, Randy Levine. Perhaps he singlehandedly brought the new stadium to the Bronx, but for some reason, but I just not impressed. Maybe he’s too abrasive, I don’t know. I just can’t put my finger on it…


  17. Jane Heller

    Thanks for pointing out the article, Scott. I just went and read it. Levine is unabashedly abrasive, no question. I wouldn’t want him yelling at me, that’s for sure! But – and I don’t want to spoil the ending of my book if you haven’t gotten there yet – he did help me along the way and was the only one in the organization who did. On a lighter note, how about CC and Mo last night? Great job against the Reds!

  18. Kaybee

    Oh man, that’s terrible! I know how I would feel if the Padres rejected something that I wrote, so this must feel really bad! They should totally run the ad! That’s crazy! But these front offices…I hated the Padres front office all offseason because of all the stupid moves they made (like the Trevor situation), but I still love the team. Sigh.

  19. Jane Heller

    Yes, it’s maddening, Kaybee, and I know you’ve had your own “issues” with the Padres. But we just keep rooting for our teams, so I guess we’re stuck with them!

  20. raysrenegade

    I can see you called “controversial” only because you were honest enough to think a multi-billion dollar conglomerate would not fear you and your honest muses of the adventure.
    I can see them saying “controversial” because they themselves might be out-of-touch with the pinstriped one who cherish their stadium.
    I can see them maybe even say “controversial” because you had the courage and the passion to want to celebrate the opening of the new stadium with an ad that actually supports, not demeans the team and their journey.
    If you are “controversial”, then all of us on MLBlogs need to watch our backs for the guys in the clean white coats because we are all “fanatics” about this sport we all love.
    Just keep doing that thing that you do… well!

    Rays Renegade

  21. levelboss

    Jane Heller, controversial??? at least you’re not getting the slack that Keith Olbermann’s been getting, lol

  22. Jane Heller

    No, Renegade! Don’t let them bring the men in the white coats! I promise to be good! (Well, I’ll try.)

    Thanks, Aaron. Fans are the engine, I agree, and we feel strongly about our teams, in whatever form that takes.

    Keith Olbermann is in the business of being controversial, Levelboss. I’m not!

  23. diamonddiva

    Wow, Jane…I came here to congratulate you on your #1 ranking, and then I saw this blog entry. First of all, congratulations on that #1 ranking…and I’m so sorry to hear that the Yankees PR people, or the front office, or whoever is behind this slap in the face, is/are being such poop-heads about that ad. Controversial?! Come on! I loved your book, and I saw nothing controversial about it. Confessions of a She-Fan is hardly The Yankee Years, and you are a long way from Joe Torre or Tom Verducci. The Subway Squawkers blogger is right — there’s no question that the book is a love letter to the Yankees. It takes a truly devoted fan to travel around the country to attend all of those games and write a book about the experience…why else would you have done so otherwise? I’m pleased to see that the other publication has offered you an ad in their program.

  24. redbirdchatter

    That is unreal. My sweet little saintly mom read your book this week. I did warn her that you were a New York girl who occasionally uses colorful language for effect. She said that she’s read a lot of books and could probably handle it. Although, now that I think if it, I actually heard her drop a rare cuss word this week. So, maybe your book is controversial. : )
    Mom is not a she-fan, so I did not know how the book would read for someone who is really not into baseball. But, she really enjoyed it. The baseball was mostly lost on her, but the humor kept her turning the pages. She thinks you are hilarious and Michael is an absolute doll. I told her I would pass that along.

  25. heartruss

    Jane, thank you for your post on my blog. I feel quite honored since you are my blog idol. I am a Newbie at it obviously. Thank you also for your headsup on my Dodgers. I also think we have a good chance at the Division Championship. I hope for a long season. Thank you again.

  26. rabruzzese

    Tough break. I guess the Yankees are just really sensitive to books these days. All of this sympathy for you is pretty good exposure. It’s making me want to go out and buy a copy now when I was just going to wait for it to come to the Strand.


    I’m certainly in the minority here….but why do you think the Yankees are obligated to include your ad in THEIR publication? I’m sure they have their reasons – you said so yourself that it includes a lot of bad language. Perhaps they don’t want young Yankee fans getting exposed to it?
    I get it…you’re a huge fan. I’m a huge fan too. Granted, I don’t have a book to promote, but if I did have a book to promote, I certainly wouldn’t act like it’s my God-given right to have an ad in someone else’s publication. And besides, they’re actually doing you a favor because the story has picked up steam and it’s given your book tons more pub than if they had just let your ad in. Millions of people read The Post (sad, but true) while the new stadium will only have 52,325 on Opening Day….some of whom won’t buy the Program.

    That said, I do look forward to reading your book, and wish you the best of luck with sales!!!

  28. Jane Heller

    Josh, I had no idea that Deadspin picked up the story until your comment! Thanks for letting me know. I’m so glad you liked the book.

    I’m not sure if the other publication will be running the ad, Shelley. (They’re way more expensive.). But it was nice to know there are other ways to reach the fans. And I did intend for the book to be a love letter to the Yanks, as well as a way to examine my own fandom.

    Thanks, Emma. You’d probably get a laugh out of the book, given what a diehard Dodgers fan you are.

    Kathy, I love that your sweet little saintly mom liked the non-baseball parts of the book! I will pass along her comments to Michael, who is my hero in real life as well as in the book.

    My pleasure, Russ. I hope you’re enjoying MLBlogs so far. As for the Dodgers, I was just with a big Dodgers fan this afternoon and she is CONVINCED they will get to the WS this year!

    Is the Strand still in business, Rob? I thought I read that it went under. Tough times in bookselling and publishing these days, so you never know who’s next. But I hope you have fun with the book if you do read it.

    Mkhill, I didn’t think the Yankees were obligated to run the ad. Let me be clear about that. The Opening Day program is, indeed, their publication, and all ads are subject to their approval. I was just very surprised that they didn’t approve mine, especially after their marketing company said they loved it. The book was meant to be lighthearted and comical, and most fans seem to relate to it. That said, the Yankees are entitled to reject the ad, just as I’m entitled to feel disappointed.


    Jane, the Yankees should be honored to have you as their she-fan and ashamed of their behavior. I thought the book was absolutely terrific – once I started to read it, I couldn’t put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed it and parts of it just made me laugh out loud. I’m glad my son Andrew commented on this in his blog – it was more than controversial – it was an injustice to you. PS – hope all is well with your husband as the book was as much about the both of you as well as the Yankees!


  30. Jane Heller

    Mike, you’re very kind to praise the book in such glowing terms. (It’s great to “meet” Andrew’s dad, too!) I’m so glad it made you laugh. Michael is doing well, thanks. I’ll be sure to pass along your words to him.

  31. Jane Heller

    But if I went over to the Mets, I’d be in the same league as the Cardinals, Jeff. Which means I’d have to root against your team. Wouldn’t you rather have me saying nice things about Albert?

  32. danny76

    Controversial? just wants to make me go grab a copy as well. congrats on your upcoming projects, I’m sure you’ll do a great job in keeping us informed. good luck.

  33. Jane Heller

    Thanks, Danny. It makes me want to grab someone’s neck! I just hope people will find their way to the book even without the ad.


    Looks like the Yankees have a mess to clear in the clubhouse. I have never been in any tussle with the front office or anything else hence I can’t be of any help when it comes to condemning the bad services they offer. If worst things are taking place in the clubhouse, then somebody should clean the dirty laundry. – Jordan

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