Music has a way of bringing you back – back to the time when that particular piece was first heard by you, and who you were at that time and where you were then. It’s one of the things that I enjoy the most about hearing an older song – letting your mind do the Wayback Machine thing.
Driving into work today, I heard “Pulling Mussels From A Shell” on the radio and my thoughts began to drift back to another time and place for me. It was the early fall of 1980, and I’m in Barry’s Records on 23rd Street in Manhattan, buying Squeeze’s Argybargy (back in the day of 33⅓ LP vinyl records!). And, I began to recall the days that followed where I played that record over and over again until I had all the lyrics of the songs therein were burned into my brain.
And, as these memories bubbled up to the of top my present consciousness, I began to think about the Yankees of 1980. They were a very good and interesting team – Rick Cerone and his “10″ Jeans. Bobby Brown. Tom Underwood – who looked like he was only five feet tall on the mound. Luis Tiant. Even fun part-time contributors like Eric Soderholm, Gaylord Perry, Doug Bird and Dennis Werth.
The Yankees of 1980-81 were the team that followed the Yankees championship teams of 1977 and 1978. Much like the present Yankees team is a very good and interesting team – following the Yankees championship teams of 1996-2000. However, the Yankees teams that followed the 1980-81 teams were not so good. No one wanted to come to play in New York those days. And, for the dozen years that followed 1981, the Yankees failed to make the post-season.
Are we about to see that trend again in Yankeeland? I hope not.
The key will be the Yankees farm system. If the Yankees can produce their own needed parts, they will not have to rely on getting help elsewhere. And, I think that Brian Cashman and crew realize this now.
Hopefully, some time around my 68th birthday in 2030, when I hear Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends” on the radio or somewhere, I’ll then be able to think about how Cashman and the farm plan saved the Yankees back when I was in my early 40′s when I was doing a blog on the Yankees.