I know, I know. It’s only May. So what?

I still don’t like losing – May or no May. In fact, this is practically my anniversary of the article I wrote in the New York Times announcing I was divorcing the Yankees after they lost a series to the Mets.


To Love and to Cherish for All Eternity, or Not

Published: May 27, 2007

I am no stranger to divorce. I am a two-time loser, having severed my unions with both the man I married when I was too young to know better and the man I wed when I was too work-obsessed to pay attention.

But I honestly thought I was over that particular brand of heartbreak — the accusations, the recriminations, the tears, the lonely nights, the division of property. I was determined not to put myself through another breakup, and yet I do not see any other way out. My current relationship has unraveled.

I gave it everything I have. I am sick and tired of the “I trieds” and the “What do you expect me to dos?” I’ve been begging for answers and all I have gotten are platitudes. Enough is enough.

And so I am divorcing the New York Yankees — all 25 men on the active roster, in addition to the manager, the coaches and the general manager. Oh, and the trainer, too. And, of course, the owner and all his baseball people.

The grounds for the divorce will be mental cruelty. I mean, I made a commitment to these guys, emotional and financial, and they betrayed and humiliated me by allowing the Red Sox — the Red Sox! — to run away with the division. When I think how I defended the Yankees to their legions of detractors, it hurts. It really hurts.

I was so loyal, so trusting, so willing to shell out $165 so I could buy Major League Baseball’s Extra Innings package and watch all the games from my house in California. And yet look at how they treated me. I will tell you how they treated me — as if I were a Kansas City Royals fan.

Yeah, I know. There have been injuries. A sore back. A cracked fingernail. A bone spur. A hammy. Please. I am not stupid. If a guy does not want to show up for me, he should simply say so and stop making excuses.

And yeah, there have been disruptions in routine. But again. A rainout is no reason to act all out of sorts and say, “I guess I just didn’t have good stuff.”

When, exactly, did I fall out of love with the Yankees? (To clarify: I will always love them, but I am no longer in love with them. There is too much anger, too much baggage between us now.)

Maybe it was when Cashman started spending a fortune to acquire pitchers who suddenly could not pitch, at least not in pinstripes. Vázquez. Loaiza. Contreras. Weaver. Wright. Pavano. Every time one of these guys would take the mound (or consult a surgeon), my heart would crack a little more. I kept wanting to slap Cashman, to make him feel the pain I was feeling, to strike back against what I perceived to be his abusive behavior toward me.

And do not get me started on how he breached my faith by overpaying for Clemens, a man who forced me to care about him only to leave me for Houston. It is still too raw.

Or maybe the love died when Zimmer quit and Torre had to make managerial decisions on his own. There were all those nights when Joe would call for Tanyon Sturtze in relief — so many nights that he turned that poor guy’s arm into a pretzel, the way he is doing now with Scott Proctor. There were also the nights when he would pull Mussina or Wang or whichever starter was actually pitching brilliantly and efficiently in favor of a reliever who would blow the game. (See Sturtze.)

And then there was his flip-flopping: “I won’t use Mo in the eighth”; “I have to use Mo in the eighth.” Those mixed messages can really get to a person in love. We all need to know where we stand, don’t we?

But my passion — that mad, crazy, dizzying feeling — really petered out as a result of the team’s collective offensive slump. (No, this is not about you, Jeter, although I have not forgiven you for not sticking up for A-Rod last year; and Jorge, you are not to blame, given your smoldering-hot bat.)

When I first fell in love with the Yankees, players knew how to bunt. They knew how to get runners over and get ’em in. They knew how to make productive outs. And — here is the biggie — they knew how to hit consistently and in the clutch.

Watching the current lineup flail at the ball was what finally made me decide to take action. I will pack up my Yankees T-shirts and caps and anything else I own with the interlocking N and Y and donate them to charity. I will stop checking the scores hourly. I will no longer dream about what might have been.

The truth is, I have already started to look elsewhere for satisfaction and companionship, which is how you really know a relationship is over. I have been watching the Devil Rayslately, and let me tell you: They do for me what the Yankees could not. They entertain me. They make me laugh. They put me in a good mood. They run and hit and they are young and cute. They do not win often, but they are fun!

Do you know how refreshing that is? How liberating? I am feeling frisky and free and unburdened now that I am with the Rays. (That is our little pet name.) It is not quite love. Not yet. But I am open to it.

As for the Yankees, if they suddenly start winning and somehow become not only the American League champions this season but the World Series champions, I will take that as a sign that they want me back and I will give them serious consideration. But as of right now, we are over. I am not that into them anymore.

Jane Heller is the author of 13 novels. The latest is “Some Nerve.” She lives in Sant
a Barbara, Calif., but grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y., worshiping at the cathedral in the Bronx.

The article led to my She-Fan book, which led to this blog. Fortunately, I came to my senses and got back together with the Yankees for better or worse. Still, watching tonight’s game made me remember the “worse.” Poor Yanks. They looked like this.
Sure, they teased us with yet another late-inning comeback, but it was too little too late and the series was lost. Santana was great and CC was horrible and the offense continues not to be clutch. I really expected Girardi to shuffle the lineup, just to shake things up, but no. So here’s what I think needs to happen to get the boys back on track.
1) AJ should shove a whipped cream towel in every player’s face, just to remind them what come-from-behind wins feel like.
2) Their traveling secretary should arrange for oxygen masks to be available during the entire charter flight to Minny.
3) On the plane they should be forced to watch nothing but this.
Any other ideas? Besides hiring a faith healer to work on everybody who’s injured?


  1. travelingbballbabes

    How about they go back to smiling, laughing, and having fun instead of being miserable man like Mr. Badger in the Wind in the Willows? They play so much better when they’re having fun so I suggest they play a game. Clearly my all-time favorite choice of Twister is completely out of the question as they are all more fragile than an egg! How about a friendly round of Disney Scene it? I assure you that it’s a wonderful time.

  2. mikeeff

    I remember the night i read this as clear as a bell. laughing my *** off and wondering who this deliciously funny lady was… so glad to have made your acquaintance. you bring a smile to all of us every day- no matter how bleak the game has been. thank you!

  3. Jane Heller

    Thanks, Mike. As I was trying to come up with a post for tonight, I suddenly remembered it was about this time in ’07 when “the divorce” happened. But I’m sticking with them this time around.

    I’d love to see them smiling and laughing again, Serena. But when you’re not winning, there’s not much to smile about. Twister would be fantastic if not for the injury risk. Disney Scene It? Why not? Couldn’t hurt.

    Aw, Mike. So we “met” back in 2007 when you first read the piece? Little did we know we’d become blog/twitter buddies. I’m so glad the Yankees’ troubles brought us together! LOL.

  4. seindsfeld@aol.com

    I’ll blame Lost today. The reason the Yanks decided to get out every single time they had men on. Someone would hit a double, then a walk, then bases loaded and the next three guys would say, “Hey wait, I wonder if Locke will turn into Darth Vader and go back in time with Doc and Marty and the Island will be swirled with a tornado so they can all land in Kansas.” I’m sorry, I can’t read your article yet, I tried, but it’s too depressing, and I’m upset enough. My idea is to send Cashman on an estranged island and at the trade deadline undo everything he did. We want Matsui back, hey, give the Angels a whole new section of seats. We want Damon back, hey, the city of Detroit needs money, we have it. We want Melky back, hey, Atlanta can have Chan Ho and can pretend they won the World Series in 1999, we have enough. Also, here’s some inspiring music, in case they read your blog. 😛

  5. juliet93

    LOL! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve screamed “I just can’t DO this anymore!” at the television, then flung the remote aside in disgust. But, of course, I’m back for the very next game. I agree competely that they’ve *got* to find a way to lighten the mood in the clubhouse – they all seem to be thinking waaaay too much. I think Girardi needs to take them all out to play like he did in spring training -just get them all away from the park for a while and let them chill and have a good time. They all need to get out of their own heads for a while (especially my poor, pitiful adorable Tex!)

  6. mel.tmottbg@gmail.com

    Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

    Good to read that article again, but scary to see all the comparisons. The Rays are still fun and the Yankees are flat. And the Rays should give you a percentage for using your little “pet name.” ; – )

    It’s becoming difficult to watch. People think Yankee fans are spoiled by winning, but it’s not the losing that is hard to watch. (Well, it is part of it!) The hard thing is the lack of spark, the flatness. A team that plays hard and looks alive and the players have some life to them is still good to watch. These Stepford Yanks are not.


  7. Jane Heller

    It’s funny about “Lost,” seindsfeld. I don’t watch it so the finale wasn’t a big deal to me. But during the game, everybody on Twitter was switching over to it, so when the game was finally, mercifully over, I turned on the show, which was just starting out here in CA, and watched the finale. So they all died? Kind of? But we reunited? I needed something much more uplifting after watching the Yankees!

    I guess we all have the same or similar reaction when the Yanks lose, juliet93. We say, “That’s it. I’m not wasting my time on this.” Then we come right back for the next game. It’s just part of the ups and downs of a season. We’ll be laughing at ourselves when they’re in the playoffs in October. And yes, your poor, pitiful Tex needs to take a break and relax. He even said he’s not going to take as many swings in batting practice. I forgot that switch hitters have to practice from both sides, so he’s been doing double duty. He needs to just chill!

    Isn’t it weird, Melissa, how history is sort of repeating itself in that article? The Yankees are flat and the Rays are scampering around the bases like they’re 14. They’re playing with a heaviness that’s hard to understand. Is it the pile up of injuries? The pressure of trying to repeat as champions? The loss of an “up” clubhouse guy like Damon? Or simply a little rough patch? Don’t know, but I do like your “Stepford Yankees” nickname. LOL. We must always find humor in these moments!

  8. dschaub@gpo.gov

    Oh, hello there…
    Haven’t been around much lately. A long, hard, stressful, exhausting week…not to MENTION the Yanks! And it still ain’t over yet…Minnesota?…can’t even bear to look any further in the schedule…
    Thanx for re-posting your Original Article — great to read again — hope it kick-starts this new group too…
    You know, I wanted to do something musical, but was too burned out/discouraged…and then, it hit me — sometimes, a song is just right, with no Silly Dave rewrites…
    Case in point? Ol’ Blue Eyes. Today’s Bombers never knew him, but he did an apropos tune when I was still a teenage punk…cue the organ…hit it, Frank…
    “That’s life…
    That’s what all the people say…
    You’re ridin’ high in April,
    Shot down in May…
    But I know I’m gonna change my tune…
    When I’m back on top, back on top in June…”

    And saay, didn’t that guy sing some OTHER song too…you know, something about New York?

  9. James Buxton

    I love your article Jane. It tells all the things I’m feeling right now. You are a great writer (I’m still waiting for Confessions The Movie…) you have a natural talent for nicknames Melissa, simply adorable.
    May will be over soon, June is always better than May (besides it’s my birthday) and I demand a win.

  10. Jane Heller

    Glad someone was happy, Paul. And I did make lemonade out of the lemon that was early 2007, so I shouldn’t complain. But I will anyway. 🙂

    Thanks, James. I’m working on the second draft of the She-Fan screenplay now. Let’s hope. The Yankees MUST win on your birthday in June. They won on mine so you should get the same treatment

  11. Cisco

    First time I’ve read that article, nice work.

    Luckily the Yankees get a day off and get to rest. First time in a while, atleast a week I believe. Hopefully Target field will be better on the Yankees than Citi Field was. Looking forward to seeing the DH hit again…


  12. ladyjane303

    At the risk of repeating what many of you have already said, I need a day off from baseball; the Yankees need a day off from baseball; and Tex needs to be reminded that it’s ALMOST JUNE!!!! Enjoyed re-reading the article that started it all, Jane, but too bad it bears reprinting right now. I have hopes that we’ll turn this around very quickly.

  13. Jane Heller

    Glad your stressful week is over, Dave. Same goes for the Yanks. And the song? Absolutely perfect. Who knew the lyrics would so aptly describe the current situation in the Bronx? Thanks for thinking of it.

    I think we could all use a day off, Rob – Yankees and their fans. I’m looking forward to seeing Target Field tomorrow night. The Yanks did well at the Metrodome, but it wasn’t exactly a pleasant place to play a game. Now they’ll be outdoors, with real grass and no weird roof. What a concept!

    I think there must be a team psychologist on staff, Cat. Don’t all teams have them now? But mostly I think they just need to rest and regroup. Can’t wait to see you too!!!!

  14. dasha02

    you are right a lost is a lost… it wasnt a happy week.. watching the vid makes me wonder are they going to let us be that happy this year??? better get back on track..

    for weeks like this my gramps used to say to me it’s a long season 162 games…

  15. Jane Heller

    I wish the article didn’t need repeating too, ladyjane. It struck me as I was thinking of what to write for this post that it was the Mets series in May of ’07 that put me over the edge and provoked the “divorce.” But the Yanks were in worse shape that year – in last place for a bit – so this is just a bad patch. And I have to believe Tex will heat up one of these days!

    Your gramps was right, dasha02. It’s a very long season and a lot can and does happen over the course of it. I’m sure we’ll see lots of ups and downs before we’re done. I just want everyone to get and stay healthy.

  16. stonebutch99

    As a 2010 Astros fan, a divorce from the owner would be nice. Fat chance of that happening, but I’m positive he is the reason we are in this position. In front of every owner like Drayton McLane is a GM that’s paid to take the bullet. When problems keep repeating themselves in any business, you start at the bottom, then work your way straight to the top. “Hello Mr. McLane…could you please exit stage right.”


  17. thomasox

    Sister Jane,
    After reading your divorce memoir above, I have to tell you how I happy I am that you didn’t accept the engagement ring from the Rays. You saved yourself from an abusive marriage with a man who doesn’t know how to dress, changes his name for reasons no one really understands(did he become an FBI informant on a mob investigation?), and finally, you refused a man who likes the sounds of cacophonous cowbells, not to mention he doesn’t know how to keep a nice lawn. Have you seen his grass lately???
    Always by your side,
    your brother Thomasox

  18. crzblue2

    And that is why Jane is our number MLB Blogger! I enjoyed re-reading your article Jane! I separated from my beloved Dodgers and baseball once but the love just came back stronger than before so I guess I was never over them.
    Love the Old Blue Eye’s song dschaub!
    Thomasox, haha, you are funny. I like cowbells, simply because it was Brooklyn Dodger players who gave another she-fan (Hilda Chester) her cowbell.

  19. Jane Heller

    You could divorce the Astros, Austin. We’d be happy to have you come over to the Yankees. But I have a feeling you’d never really leave your ‘Stros. Breaking up is hard to do.

    Is that who the faith healer is, Jeff? I had no idea! Anyhow, not to worry. I haven’t gone over to “that” dark side.

    You cracked me up with that comment, Brother Thomasox. I was tempted by the Rays and my initial attraction wasn’t wrong, given how well they’re doing this season too, but I prefer real grass and no cowboys.

    You separated from the Dodgers, Emma? I can’t believe that! Well, obviously your love did come back stronger than ever and you guys are living in domestic bliss. LOL.

  20. junojen

    Jane, Jane, Jane… we’ve all been there. I must admit, the Rays look very interesting even now in 2010 for all the same points you made back in 2007. (GREAT article BTW. LOL!)
    I sat here in NH with my dad watching the NYYs and Mets last night just pining away for Jason Bay. I wish the Red Sox had never broken up with him.
    Just FYI — did you see we beat Scary Harry Halladay and the Phillies yesterday? Now we play the Rays — it’s not too late to tune in, Jane!


  21. crzblue2

    yeah Jane, I left them during a strike and free agency (long time ago) but I had also gone back to school and working fulltime (plus a man in my life who was not a baseball fan) so I had little time but after I separated from the then love of my life, someone invited me back to a game and then another, then the love bug was back so I started buying single tickets, then mini packages then back to being a season ticket holder.

  22. Jane Heller

    Jen, while I was watching the entire series against the Mets, I kept wondering why the Red Sox ever let Bay go. He kills the Yankees! I did read you beat Halladay and I should have hopped over to your blog to congratulate you. My bad. I may just tune into your series against the Rays. Should be a good one.

    I understand, Emma. Sometimes life takes us away from our teams. There’s kind of an ebb and flow to being a fan. And the strike was the perfect time for a separation. It tested all of us!

  23. jihnyyanks@cs.com

    Jane, I read your book but, I never read your original article. Very good! I’m glad that you returned to the Yankees. I am a teacher in Queens so, today I had to put up with the Met fan comments! My answer was, “Well, I guess now your team has moved up to 2nd to last place!” What is happening?!?! I feel like I have to do something. Maybe I should go back to playing Yankees scabble with my kids before the game. We have to get the momentum back! Thanks for always writing your blog. – Jill

  24. Jane Heller

    Oh, Jill. I can only imagine the remarks you had to put up with today at school. Good answer though. If playing Yankees Scrabble with your kids before each game is lucky for our team, then please keep doing it! We need all the help we can get! Thanks for always reading. I enjoy your comments.

  25. bgalaxy@verizon.net

    thank you for the video. that was all i needed today to get the smile back on my face so i think that the yankees should watch it over and over. in all moments of pain this year, we just need to visualize pie in face and cano to tex to end #27. i went to sleep last night so i avoided most of the pain.
    as a therapist i offer my services to the yankees any time. i do play and art therapy with kids so for the less mature yankees that will work. i think swisher for one would love that. for the more mature, the core four for example, i can do regular talk therapy. but i don’t think they need a therapist. i think they need health, good pitching and bullpen. ok i think the bullpen and tex actually do need therapy. hopefully minnesota bring mental and physical healing for the team and us crazy fans.

  26. Jane Heller

    Barbara, if I had the power I would fly you to Minnesota right now and have you work with whichever Yankees would cooperate. I know you could get them rolling again, whether through art therapy or just plain talking. Ballplayers are just kids at heart.

    You’re speechless, Mike? That’s got to be a first!

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