Thursday, November 25, 2010

25 Reasons To Be Thankful

By The Common Man

It’s an old, hackneyed gimmick, but TCM’s going to use it anyway. Here’s what The Common Man is thankful for this holiday season:

1) Above all else, for the game itself. What better way to spend your free time than at a ballpark? Or watching on TV? Or reading about? What a glorious pastime for us.

2) That despite the deaths of Dave Niehaus and Ernie Harwell, we still have the mellow, melodic tones of Vin Scully to connect us to baseball’s glorious past. Tune in for every Dodger game you can, people, for this man is a national treasure and one of the truly great human beings ever connected to the game. Also, Jon Miller’s a hell of a play-by-play guy, who’s going back to what he does best.

3) For another year of Royals and Pirates jokes. Admit it, these basically write themselves. Someday, the Royals, at least, are going to claw their way back to respectability, and TCM is going to have to find someone else to mock. The Indians, probably.

4) For the swings of Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer, which are poetry to watch.

5) Likewise, the speed of Carl Crawford and Brett Gardner.

6) The right arm of Roy Halladay and the left arm of Cliff Lee. Forever in peace may they wave.

7) For radar guns that go above 105 MPH so we can truly appreciate Ardolis Chapman, who may just be the fastest pitcher of all time.

8) For responsible medical care for Justin Morneau, Jason Bay, David Wright, and other players who suffer from concussions. No one’s career and life should be put in jeopardy so that their team can win a ballgame. Get well soon, boys.

9) For Dr. James Andrews, who repairs the great pitchers and gets them back on the field so we can marvel at them.

10) For the Molinas. Because that’s hilarious.

11) For Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson, with whom a ballgame could never get boring.

12) For each day we get closer to expanded umpire oversight and review, and to solving the scourge of shattered bats.

13) For tremendous sites like, which pump out story after story with incredibly insightful analysis.

14) For Rob Neyer and Aaron Gleeman, who served as early models for how smart baseball analysis could be done on the Internet.

15) For the SweetSpot Network, which has allowed Bill and TCM to connect with dozens of other excellent bloggers, and helped us reach more eyes.

16) For Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby, and other pioneers who made this game stronger and more fair.

17) That Stan Musial (who just turned 90), Willie Mays, Bob Feller, and Hank Aaron are all still with us and can tell their stories.

18) For the ludicrous contract demands of Derek Jeter. That’s even funnier than the Molinas.

19) For the knuckleball, and those who throw it.

20) For Bull Durham, which TCM just decided to watch tonight.

21) For all of the new ways we have to learn about the game, Pitch F/X, fielding metrics, heatmaps, and WAR.

22) For mustaches both awesome and ridiculous.

23) For T-Ball, which TCM can’t wait for The Boy to start in the Spring.

24) For just 2 months and 17 days before pitchers and catchers report.

25) And, of course, for you readers. Thank you for making The Platoon Advantage an unqualified success. Tell your friends, your neighbors, your neighbors’ friends and your friends’ neighbors all about us and The SweetSpot Network. Please check back often. Please follow Bill and TCM on Twitter and on Facebook. And please keep the comments coming. We have done and continue to do this strictly as amateurs, in our spare time, because we want to reach fellow fans and talk baseball. It’s especially gratifying to know when you’re paying attention. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your loved ones. See you on Monday!

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