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.
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!
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!