More Than Just Thankful For Baseball

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It’s that time of year where most of us look back fondly on what is good in our life and how lucky we really are. The more and more I threw this idea around in my head today, I kept coming back to all the joy baseball gives me. With that in mind, here is what I am thankful for this holiday season, at least where baseball is concerned.

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  • I am thankful that ‘The best Farm System in Baseball’ eventually did pan out for Kansas City, as players like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez all turned out to be All-Stars and quality big leaguers.
  • I am thankful that Lorenzo Cain stepped up his game in 2015, proving there is more to him than just one of the best gloves in baseball.
  • I am thankful that when Mike Trout is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, I can say I remember when he was a rookie and we had no idea that what we were seeing was greatness.
  • I am thankful that the extra round of playoffs in baseball has worked and has made it even more exciting than it was before.
  • I am thankful that Matt Harvey realized an innings limit didn’t matter in the playoffs…and that he was stubborn enough to convince his manager to keep him in for the 9th inning in Game 5 of the World Series.
  • Speaking of the Mets, I am thankful that my favorite team only has to face the Mets young arms in one series next year. They are the real deal.
  • I am thankful that baseball has a crop of young superstars(Trout, McCutchen, Stanton, etc.) that they can be proud of and should be promoting as to why they are great for the game.
  • By the way, I am thankful that a baseball town like Pittsburgh can tout a talent like McCutchen and add him to a legacy of true stars that deserve to be looked at like stars, much like Roberto Clemente before him.
  • I am thankful that we get to see a historic season like Bryce Harper this year…then remember he is only 23!

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  • I am thankful for a baseball world where Bartolo Colon is still a thing…and gives everyone great material on a monthly basis.
  • I am thankful for a sport where you can argue for years about possible Hall of Fame players and still change someone’s mind after a ‘deeper look at the numbers’.
  • I am thankful my son loves the Hot Stove League as much as I do.
  • I am thankful that baseball has gone from a game where ‘experience is king’ to a game where now ‘youth is king’.

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  • I am thankful for Rusty Kuntz’s flowing mane…damn!
  • I am thankful that we now live in a world where phrases like ‘exit velocity’ and ‘efficient route’ are part of the lexicon.
  • I am thankful for bat flips.
  • I am thankful predictions mean nothing in baseball; it’s why you play the games.

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  • I am thankful that certain ballplayers can make my hair look suave…thanks, John Jaso!
  • I am thankful that I can watch a different baseball game everyday and learn something new, even 30+ years after I first started watching the game.
  • I am thankful that the history of the game is still woven into the fabric of today’s game.
  • I am thankful that my son thinks I would be a better analyst than Harold Reynolds.
  • I am thankful for the Royals defense.
  • I am thankful that I got to watch Brett, Saberhagen, Jackson, Wilson, McRae and White in my youth. Those players made me fall head over heels for baseball.
  • I am thankful that I am not the only person who believes Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.
  • I also am thankful for the push the last couple years for Tim Raines and Edgar Martinez for their deserved spot in Cooperstown.
  • I am thankful I still remember Oddible McDowell,  Razor Shines and Danny Darwin.

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  • I am thankful that Ken Griffey, Jr. still smiles.
  • I am thankful to have witnessed the transformation of Wade Davis from human to cyborg.
  • I am thankful that I have been given the chance over the last 4 years to do things around this sport that I never imagined possible.
  • I am thankful that I waited out all the bad years of Kansas City baseball. It has made these last two years even more joyful than I can ever put in words.
  • I am thankful that I was wrong about Dayton Moore and Ned Yost.
  • I am thankful for all the late comebacks by the Kansas City Royals.
  • I am thankful for Lorenzo Cain’s running.
  • I am thankful for Alex Gordon’s clutch slugging.
  • I am thankful for Eric Hosmer’s daring baserunning skills.
  • I am thankful for a lockdown Kansas City bullpen.
  • I am thankful to call ‘my Royals’ the World Champs. I honesty wondered if I would ever see that again in my lifetime.
  • and I am thankful that the people in my life who I care most about not only support my love of baseball, but they share in the love. They make all of this even better than if I was just enjoying it on my own.
  • Oh…almost forgot. I am thankful for Jonny Gomes mic skills. His speech will never get old.

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Honestly, I could go on and on. I love this game and there are so many little bits of information or plays that remind of the nuances of this game that spark my love. Let’s all be thankful that baseball is still flourishing and despite some of the things we would fix with the game, for the most part it is as good as it was when we first got hooked. Thank you, baseball. Thank you for being you.

Random Thoughts

For today, I thought i would take a look at a few things going on around baseball. It will be pretty random, to say the least, but this way I can cover a lot of different subjects. With that said, here we go with some random thoughts.

  • Terry Francona was named Manager of the Cleveland Indians earlier today. Great grab by Cleveland, and with the shape of the American League Central being very weak, it is conceivable that Francona could get this team back into contention in 2013. The sad thing for us Royals fans is that Terry could have been at least considered for the manager’s position, but instead we are stuck with Neddaniel Yost. I’ve made it pretty well known of my dislike for Mr. Yost(Yosty, if you are close to him)and would like nothing else than to see him get the ol’ heave ho out the door. Unfortunately, Dayton Moore either has been hypnotized by Yosty’s charm, or Neddy has black mail on him and Frenchy in a lover’s embrace. I really don’t want to wrap my head around the thought that Dayton thinks he is a good manager. I mean, it can’t be that, right? Anyway, Francona sounds like he wanted to go to a team that would have been a challenge(if the Royals aren’t a challenge, I don’t know what is) and he will get that with Cleveland. With the move, it makes the central a lot more interesting and might even bump KC down a level. Great move by the Indians and I can only hope this will wake the Royals up to what could happen if they actually went out and hired a good manager.
  • “Are you talkin’ to me? Are you talkin’ to me?”
  • It became official this weekend: Mitch Maier is no longer in the Royals organization. To be honest, I’m shocked that he was even still with Kansas City, as the Royals had designated him for assignment over the summer and he had the chance to escape then. Instead, he took his assignment to Omaha and finished out the year playing for the Storm Chasers. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Maier would be a perfect fit for a National League team. Maier can play any position in the outfield, and fill in at Third Base or Catcher if needed. Hell, if you need a mop up guy in the bullpen, Mitch is your man. He can pinch hit off the bench, as he is solid with the bat, and has good enough speed that using him as a pinch runner isn’t a bad idea either. Just thinking about this makes me think Yost dropped the ball with Maier. Sure, he wasn’t ever going to be a starter with the Royals, but Neddy could have used him a whole lot more than he did. In fact, there were times I wondered if Mitch was even still on the team the last two years. If you are on Ned Yost’s bench, you probably won’t see much playing time, unless you are a Getzy or a Frenchy. Hopefully Maier latches on with a team that will use him and appreciate the value of a true fourth outfielder.

  • If you caught any of the Giants/Reds game last night, one of the highlights(for me at least) was seeing Tim Lincecum go out and pitch…well, like Tim Lincecum used to pitch. Lincecum came in out of the bullpen and looked like the Tim of old, pitching like a man pissed off that he was left out of the rotation in the NLDS. Lincecum has had a rough season in 2012, as his velocity dipped and he became a normal pitcher for once. It was nice to see him rediscover some of his velocity, and even when he was struggling, Tim gave a damn about his performance. I remember watching a rough outing of his earlier in the season, and you could tell it angered him that he wasn’t pitching well. He showed that he was ready to try and get his team get back into the game last night, even pumping his fist after a strikeout. Lincecum has too much talent to not come back and show everyone what he can do. Hopefully last night was the beginning of that.
Uh-oh…Madden got a hold of the teleprompter!
  • Alright, everyone has had their say on the ‘Infield Fly Heard Round the World’. So here is mine. At first, I hated the call and thought it was horrible. I had a change of heart though after seeing the exact rulebook wording of the infield fly rule. What the umpire did was correct in holding up how the wording goes. Harold Reynolds of MLB Network did a great job of explaining it. Check out the link: Harold Reynolds explains Infield Fly Rule . Alright, now that you are back, here is the problem I have, and it’s with the wording. First, how you can have an infield fly rule in Left Field just seems preposterous. I mean, a little bit on the grass is fine. But halfway in the outfield?? That just takes away from what the rule is supposed to stop from happening, which is the infielder drop the ball and then try to get a sneaky double play. Also, the Umpire called it really late. Yes, I get that he waited for Kozma to get planted, but that should have been a sign that it shouldn’t be an infield fly. Either way, maybe there should be some talk about restructuring the rule to where something like this could never happen again. Sam Holbrook followed the play correctly, and followed the rulebook. It’s too bad that with the way the rule is stated that it makes it so controversial.

So there you go, some random thoughts. I have a feeling there will be more of these with the playoffs going on. Oh, and since I haven’t yet, here are my playoff predictions. Orioles and Tigers win their division series, while in the NL I’m thinking Cardinals and Reds. After that, expect a Baltimore/Cincinnati World Series with the Reds being World Champs. Or I could be wrong and way off. Actually, I’m probably way off. But if I’m right, expect me to brag. Maybe more than I should. Go O’s!

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