Tagged: Confessions of a She-Fan

For My Final Post Here…

…I thought I’d bring on Husband Michael for his thoughts about the 2011 Yankees. I recently upgraded my She-Fan Cam from the Flip Mino to the Ultra, so Michael is its first victim. He was about to head outside to put some burgers on the grill for dinner, but I snagged him before he got away.
(Dinner was delicious, btw. Michael may or may not be much of a forecaster when it comes to the Yanks, but he does make a mean burger.)
Now, onto the business of my move from MLBlogs and the info regarding where to find me from here on out. You have choices.
You can access the “Confessions” blog via the drop-down menu on my newly redesigned web site at:
Or you can go directly to “Confessions” with this URL:
And for those who may be interested in the “Mainly Jane” blog, which will cover lots of non-baseball topics, you’ll find it, too, on the home page of the web site or more directly at:
As I’ve said in previous posts, it’s been a blast writing here and being part of this community. To those who won’t be following me to my new home, I wish you the very best. To those who’ve been kind enough to list “Confessions” on your blogroll, I hope you’ll update the link. And to those who plan on hanging out with me at janeheller.com, I’ll see you soon!
Thanks for reading and xxoo to all.

I Have Some News

I’m moving. Well, to be more precise, this blog is moving. I’ve had a tremendous time here at MLBlogs but I’ve decided to bring “Confessions” over to my web site, which will have a new look and feature the launch of another blog called “Mainly Jane” (its content will cover non-baseball-related stuff like books, the writing process, movies, recipes, you name it).
It’s hard for me to believe that I only started the “Confessions” blog because a publicist at Rodale told me to. They were about to publish my “She-Fan” book and the publicist wanted me to get out and promote it. “Sign up at MLBlogs and make some baseball friends,” she said. “And be sure you post a lot.”
I honestly didn’t know what she was talking about. I may have even said, “What’s a blog?” 
But I did sign up here, and once I started writing about the Yankees I couldn’t stop. And I did make baseball friends – so many. I jumped up and down the first time somebody left a comment. I couldn’t believe anybody would want to read what I had to say. In the early days I “met” other MLBloggers like Jeff, Paul, Renegade, Elizabeth, Jenn, Sue, Cat and Emma, and then the non-MLBloggers/Yankee fans joined the party: Melissa, Diane, Dave, Peggy, Barbara, Harold, ladyjane, dj, medicap, Freya, John, Wendy, Ellen, Antonella, Nadine and all the gang. (I know I’m leaving people out and I’m very sorry; my brain is fried tonight.)
I’ll post the new location/address/url for “Confessions” as soon as Kristen, my web guru, gives me the all clear that we’re live over there. We’re shooting for Friday, but tech things can go awry so I’ll be more specific about a day as we get closer.
I realize I’ll lose some readers; it goes with the territory when you move. But I hope most will follow me over to the new place and continue to provide us with an entertaining dialogue. I promise it’ll be fun, especially once the season kicks off.
In the meantime, unless something happens in Yankeeville I’m going to do Nostalgia Posts each night until the move – my favorite entries from the archives, plus commentary. It’ll be interesting to take a look back and see what’s happened since that inaugural post in August 2008.

Day 3 of “Operation Cliff Lee Countdown”

Before we get to Cliffy, raise your hand if you watched the Jeter press conference today?
Here’s what jumped out at me about the presser, which I watched on the MLB Network at 11:30 California time.
#1. Jeter was the only one who came dressed for the occasion. Loved the suit, the shirt, the tie. Good job by Jeet on his wardrobe choices, but why did all the other guys have to look like schlubs?
#2. Jeter was emotional (for him) when he got up to speak – and not in a good way. You could tell how angry he was at the Yankees for making the negotiations public. He said as much, but there was also a chilliness to his words. I’m sure it’ll all be fine, but I’m glad he was honest about his feelings.
#3. Nobody on the dais but Girardi and Jeter spoke. Couldn’t Hal have said a few words on behalf of ownership? Seriously?
#4. Cashman kept glancing at his phone while Jeter was talking. I found it annoying. Granted, he’s in the middle of the winter meetings and Cliff Lee’s future is hanging in the balance, but still. Show a little respect, dude.
Speaking of Lee, supposedly there are a couple of teams actually willing to give him a 7 year deal (maybe or maybe not including those free-spending Nationals). Will the Yankees make him an offer already or must we gnaw on our fingernails for the foreseeable future?
Nail Biting.jpg
Hopefully, my Operation Cliff Lee Countdown will speed things along. For tonight’s video, I picked a recap of Game 3 of the ALCS against the Rangers – a game we lost, obviously – during which Doug Mientkiewicz (if you’ve read my She-Fan book you know why I have a special affection for the former Yankees first baseman) waxes poetic about Lee. Take a look.
Here are some of Mientkiewicz’s quotes about Cliffy that especially caught my attention:
“He’s about to make a lot of money.”
“He’s dominated the best lineups in baseball and he’s making it look easy.”
“I don’t see how anybody can beat him.”
“He’s not afraid of contact.”
We need you, Cliffy. We do. Please don’t sign anywhere else. I’m asking you nicely.

Will There Be Any Yankees Bargains on Black Friday?

I know it’s only Monday night, but I’m thinking ahead to all the shopping people will be doing and wondering if the Yankees will be among the busy customers. With news that Mo’s camp has finally emerged to state their intentions, maybe he and the Yanks will make a deal. And maybe the Jeter thing will be resolved. And maybe Cliff Lee will have eaten so much turkey that he’ll be in a triptophan fog and will sign with us without realizing it.
Aside from those three, here’s what I’d like to pick up on Black Friday: a treadmill. I’ve been thinking about getting one for a long time and maybe Friday’s the day to score a sale. Someone on Twitter told me that ProForm is the brand to look for, but if anyone else knows about the machines please shout. I don’t have much room, so I need one that folds up.
Tonight I was the guest on a local TV show called “Literary Gumbo.”
It’s a half-hour of chat about writing and publishing, and the host is Fred Klein, who spent many years at Bantam Books as head of marketing. The producer played the intro music and Fred did his welcome thing to the camera, and then the two of us started talking….and talking. He was supposed to be watching this digital timer next to his chair so he’d know when to wrap up, but somebody forgot to set it before the taping started and we kept going. I can’t wait to see the interview because it’s got to have the most abrupt ending in the history of television. Some authors aren’t fond of having to answer questions on camera, but I’m the opposite. When you’ve been sitting home alone in front of the computer all day writing, it feels like recess to go out and talk about your work to someone who’s actually interested. What a concept! Besides, Fred spent the last 10 minutes asking me about “Confessions of a She-Fan.” What could be more fun?

Post Yanksgiving Odds and Ends

I don’t know about anyone else, but I spent Black Friday not going shopping. I’m just not into getting stampeded.
Sitting in my inbox were a few interesting photos. Mike, a frequent commenter, sent me this one of Hilda Chester, who just may have been the original she-fan.
Hilda rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers – and that’s putting it mildly. After reading this excerpt from Peter Goldenbock’s oral history of the Dodgers, I’m thinking Hilda was even more obsessed with her team than I am with mine.
Melissa, another friend of the blog, sent me a pic her brother took at their Thanksgiving. Apparently, her father had saved newspaper clippings about the Yanks and arranged them in the frame of an old mirror.
melissa's dad's mural1.jpg
The headline “Gehrig stricken with infantile paralysis” really stands out, doesn’t it? I guess that’s what everybody thought poor Lou had – at least for awhile.
Mary Ann, the trash talker from my Thanksgiving, took time out from saying mean things about the Yankees to send this pic she snapped of me, my husband, and Robert, the Yankee fan.
I’m posting it because I’d like someone to tell me why my eyes are so scary in every single picture somebody takes of me. I once asked an eye doctor about this and he said, “It’s your pupils. They don’t contract.” Fine. But why must they make me look like a she demon?
Speaking of “She Demons,” which was a cheesy horror movie from the 1950s, it’s how I came up with the term “she-fan.” You can hear me talking about that – as well as how I became a Yankee fan, the connection between the Mantle and Jeter eras, the journey that led me to write the “Confessions of a She-Fan” book and more – on a podcast hosted by Joe Magennis and just posted on “Baseballisms,” his terrific site. Here’s the link. Even if you’re not interested in hearing me ramble, you should sign up for Joe’s e-book that’s about to come out. It consists of real time Tweets from people on Twitter who were watching the World Series – fans reacting to the action with 140-character responses. It should be entertaining and bring back all the excitement of the Series, which, as we know, had a very happy ending.

Happy Anniversary to Me

OK, it’s a little weird to give yourself a cake, but how can I not celebrate? What’s the occasion? The one year anniversary of this blog! I can’t believe I’ve been at it so long.
Last August, the Yankees were on their way to missing the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. Things weren’t going so well. But my publisher said, “Your Yankees book is coming out in February. Start a blog so you’ll make baseball friends.” It felt like a parent saying, “Go play outside and meet other kids.”
I’d written 13 novels, but I had no idea what a blog was, much less how to write one. So I just starting posting daily musings about Yankees games, about my conversations with my Yankee-fan husband, and about my run-ins with non-Yankee fans at holiday gatherings (like this entry, for instance). I even wrote about the wildfires here in Santa Barbara and what it was like to watch baseball while under an evacuation threat. There was always something new to write about, even in the off-season.
Then my “Confessions of a She-Fan” book came out, and I wrote about my publication parties and various signings, including one at spring training in Tampa. I had discovered a new toy by then – the Flip Video camcorder – and began conducting interviews with other fans via the newly christened “She-Fan Cam.”
There were so many ways to entertain with this blog, I discovered. Sometimes I’d get so caught up in my posts that I’d forget to get dressed.
Thanks to Mark Newman, our MLBlogosphere guru, for all the technical help. Thanks to Vanessa of Flair for the Dramatic for being my first MLBlogger friend. (Good luck at college, V!) Thanks to Jeff and Allen of Red State Blue State, the top dogs at MLBlogs, for throwing a few readers my way. And thanks to the Yankee fans who’ve made this blog a destination; you have great taste in baseball teams. 🙂
As for the Yankees’ 7-2 series loss against the Rangers, was that game frustrating or what? The starter for Texas, Nippert, walked seven batters and yet the Yanks couldn’t find a way to score more than a couple of runs. Come on! And AJ looked like he would be lights out – we were all saying on Twitter that he had no-hitter stuff – but gave up a homer to Kinsler in the fourth. Coke was atrocious. And Robertson served another one up to Kinsler. But it’s on to the White Sox this weekend and a chance to pad our lead in the division. Let’s step it up, Yankees, and take it to the pale hose!

Meet Me At Stan’s!

Just a little programming note…

I’ll be signing copies of “She-Fan” at the one and only Stan’s Bar across from the old Yankee Stadium!
When? Wednesday, June 17th, 3:30-5:30 p.m. – before the Yanks-Nats game.
How? The Bay Plaza Barnes & Noble in the Bronx will be on hand to sell books.
Why? Because I’m going to the game that night, so why not meet and greet before the first pitch?
Stan’s is an institution among Yankee fans and those visiting the Stadium, and the event should be a lot of fun. Stop by and say hello and spread the word!

Calling All Night Owls

For anyone in Canada – that’s you, Canuck! – I’ll be on the radio live tonight on a show called “Holder Tonight” hosted by Peter Anthony Holder. It airs on CJAD in Montreal and CFRB in Toronto, and will be available via streaming audio on both web sites. Oh, did I mention that my segment won’t start until 1:30 am?

Stay awake and listen! That’s what Red Bull is for!

Book Party/Beer Tasting/Great Time

What a turnout! What a blast! So many people came to my book signing to talk about baseball – fans of all shapes, ages and team allegiances – and Hollister Brewing Company treated everyone to delicious food, as well as their special microbrews.

The festivities kicked off with an appearance by actor Tab Hunter, who starred in the 1958 movie musical “Damn Yankees” and is, therefore, a Yankee by proxy.
Tab told the crowd that a remake is in the works starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the Yankee and Jim Carrey as the Devil. He was so nice to take the time to hang out with me for a little while and get his copy of the book signed.
Tab Hunter and Jane #3A8BB2.jpg
(Hard to believe he’s nearly 80 years old, right? He’s still gorgeous. My party outfit, by the way, was a Cooperstown replica shirt with the number 23 on the back – my “dress up” Yankees jersey commemorating Donnie Baseball.)
Other local luminaries included legendary jazz composer/saxophonist Charles Lloyd (if you haven’t listened to his latest CD, “Rabo de Nube,” you should) and Gayle Lynds, bestselling author of Ludlum-type espionage thrillers.
Also on hand was Bill Pintard, head coach of the Independent League Champion Santa Barbara Foresters. Bill was a scout in the Yankees organization for years but now scouts for the Angels.
He told me he’d just come back from Cuba, where the Foresters played the Cuban National Team. I said, “Oh, I’d love to go to Cuba. Any chance I could tag along the next time the Foresters travel there?” He said, “Sure. Might be a good book in that.” No “might” about it. I’m so there.
A few people made short speeches, including me, and people listened politely (i.e. nobody threw the book at me).
And then the signing and beer tasting got underway.
I signed for a Phillies fan who was basking in the glow of the ’08 World Series.
I signed for an Indians fan and his wife who bought copies of the book to send to family members in Cleveland.
I signed for a group of she-fans who brought friends and stayed until the bitter end.
I signed for my web master, the Red Sox fan, who drove over two hours with her boyfriend to show her support.
(Here I am swiping her cap and then experiencing a sharp pain in my brain. We decided it’s impossible to be a Yankee fan and a Red Sox fan simultaneously.)
And I signed for lots of Yankee fans who had wonderful stories to share. One of them came to buy a book for a friend in need.
“He lost his house in the wildfire,” the man explained, referring to the Tea Fire, which destroyed over 200 homes in November. “Worst of all, he lost all his Yankees memorabilia. I thought your book might cheer him up.”
That was the best moment of the party by far – the idea that my book would help a fire victim to start a new Yankees collection. A small thing, maybe. But it didn’t feel that way.

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.