Monday, April 2, 2012


(In Photo: Al Leiter, left, and Mike Pagliarulo)
Not too long ago, at my day job, I was having a conversation with an intern. She was about 20 years old and somehow the conversation turned to music. In the course of this conversation it came out that she had never heard of Kurt Cobain or Nirvana. Immediately, 2 things popped in
my mind:
  1. I feel old.
  2. I’ve turned into my parents for saying things like “back in my day…” or “you kids these days….”
But I digress; this conversation got me thinking back to the late 80's and early ‘90s of Yankee baseball. In those days, the Yankees were AWFUL. I remember going to games with my dad, buying an $8 upper deck ticket and moving to the 3rd base boxes in the 2nd inning because the Stadium was empty. Watch Yankeeography or YouTube Don Mattingly clips – check out all the empty seats.Now, you kids who grew up becoming fans of the Yankees in 1994, 1995 and 1996... that's when the Yankees started getting definitely missed the dark day. I’m sure some of your first memories were making the playoffs in ‘95, or winning the World Series in ‘96. Your biggest disappointments are watching the 2001 team lose Game 7 of the World Series to the Diamondbacks or choking to the Red Sox in 2004... I still have nightmares about that one.

Me? I remember some pretty horrendous years before 1996. How about watching George Steinbrenner trade away all of our young prospects in the late 80’s for over-the-hill veterans? Anyone remember Mariners star Jay Buhner? He was a Yankee; traded for Ken Phelps. How’d that work out?(In Photo: Doug Drabek)
Doug Drabek had a decent career with the Pirates but he had potential with the Yankees before that. That's OK, we traded him away for Pat Clements, Cecilio Guante, and Rick Rhoden. Terrific move that turned out to be.

This one was my favorite from the early 80's: Fred McGriff for Dale Murray. McGriff who went on to be a 5 time All-Star and Murray was 3-6 over his 3 year stint with the Yanks. This went on year after year.

When the Yanks were bounced from the playoffs last year, I heard many complaining and deciding that change was needed. You kids don’t know about change and losing. Try being a Pirates fan, or read about the Yankees when they finished in 5th place in 1988 or 7th place in 1990...and change happened... that's losing.

Finally, my message is this: Enjoy these good times, but don’t forget the bad times. Take heed when taking shots at Mets fans. Why? Because you never know when the dark days may return...let's hope they never do.

--Lem Allen, BYB Contributor

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