It’s that time of year where we gather around the table with family and friends, dig in to the savory and sweet, and eat until the earlier to occur of nausea or tryptophan coma. But we do it all in the name of giving thanks. We do it so we can spend one late afternoon/early evening a year surrounded by people we love, arguing over topics we shouldn’t discuss, and hopefully taking a moment to look back on the year that was, appreciating all that we have.

For many, 2017 has been a dismal year. For Americans, it has been a time of rancor and anger, disappointment and disillusionment, of promises made and ultimately broken. No matter which side of the political spectrum you sit, this has not been our country’s finest moment. But 2018 is just around the corner, which means brighter days may lie ahead. If nothing else, pitchers and catchers report a mere 82 days from Thanksgiving, so we all have that to look forward to.

*As I look back on a jam-packed, baseball-filled 2017, I cannot help but be thankful for Buster Olney, who makes my morning drive that much easier, every day^; for Ben Lindbergh, Jeff Sullivan, and Michael Baumann, whose writing makes me jealous, and whose podcasts make my morning runs considerably less arduous.

I am thankful for Jayson Stark, whose keen observations make me feel like less of a baseball obsessive. For Tim Kurkjian, the ultimate “baseball nerd”, and his ability to find beauty in the mundane.

For Bob Nightengale, Derrick Goold, and Alex Speier (whose daily blog keeps me abreast of Red Sox goings-on from a continent away). I am thankful for Jon Heyman, Andy McCullough (for his wicked sense of humor), and Sam Mellinger (for his touching stories, read this). Who isn’t thankful for Ken Rosenthal, his writing, reporting, and his bow ties?

I am especially thankful for Jessica Mendoza for being (a) fantastic at her job and (b) an inspiration and a role model for my daughters and for girls all across the world. For Joe Posnanski for finding the best nuggets in every story (read this). For Super 70s Sports, for having the Twitterverse’s best feed. I am thankful for Keith Law for providing insight on players not yet on our radar, but who will be populating our fantasy leagues for years to come.

I am incredibly thankful for mlb.com and the At Bat app, which utilizes more of my cellular data than anything else from April through October. I could not be more thankful to the front office friends and acquaintances, from the Majors, to the Minors, to the Independent leagues, who have facilitated my writing by allowing me access to places and people I never thought possible. I am thankful for people like Rob Neyer and Sam Miller who have given more of their time than I felt comfortable asking for, and who always offer sage advice.

I am grateful to the many (?) readers who take the time out of their busy days to, at best read, and at worst skim, my musings. I am thankful for The Fields of Green and Banished to the Pen for agreeing to publish said musings. And I am thankful for the friends who are astonished at how much I write – including the friend who thought I would never write more than five articles.

None of my writing would be possible without my incredibly supportive wife and loving kids, who indulge my fantasy of being a beat writer; who encourage me to hop on planes and catch games I have no business attending; for allowing me to sit in the press box while they roam the stadium; for not complaining when I spend a few hours on the weekend banging out 800 words on some obscure topic that may only be interesting to me; for being my biggest fans. I am most thankful for them.

Anyway, as we carve that big bird and stuff ourselves with stuffing, as we take stock on what we are thankful for, I just wanted you all to know what and who I would be thinking about.

PLAY BALL!!

 

*If you click on these links, and read/follow these writers, I promise you that your baseball vocabulary will grow larger, your baseball knowledge will become wider, and your overall baseball experience will become richer.

^If you listen to the Baseball Tonight podcast, this makes considerably more sense.

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