Here in America, Thanksgiving is tomorrow. It's that time of year where we all give thanks for what we're appreciative of having in our lives, and then proceed to eat a truckload of food. Typical American gluttony...but anyway, it's one of the major holidays here, and it falls criminally under the radar due to it being sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas.
Various MLB fanbases across the league have a lot to be thankful for, some more than others. What exactly does each team's fanbase have to be thankful for, though? Let's run them down.
Arizona Diamondbacks: D-Backs fans should be thankful that their franchise has a cornerstone in Justin Upton, and that teams across the league are hesitant to deal a young shortstop as the center of a package for Upton. Having him in Arizona for the long haul can only be a positive thing for the franchise.
Atlanta Braves: Braves fans should be thankful that they had the privilege to see a number of legendary careers come to an end in recent years. In the last four seasons, the Braves have retired the numbers of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Bobby Cox, and John Smoltz, with Chipper Jones' number joining them on the Turner Field marquee sometime next summer.
Baltimore Orioles: Orioles fans should be thankful that they actually have hope going into the 2013 season after making the playoffs in 2012. It's been a long time since the Orioles fanbase has been excited about something on the field, and seeing Camden Yards rocking this October was a pretty awesome sight.
Boston Red Sox: Red Sox fans should be thankful for two things. Number one is that the Curse of the Bambino is officially dead and buried, and number two is that Bobby Valentine showed up in town after the curse ended so that his disastrous one year tenure in Boston can't be attributed to that. Could you imagine the hysteria among the mainstream media if Valentine had a season like 2012 if the 2004 and 2007 World Championships hadn't been won?
Chicago Cubs: Cubs fans should be thankful (as difficult as that may seem) for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer rebuilding the Cubs franchise and loading up the farm system with some top notch talent. The next couple seasons will be difficult for the Cubs, but there's light on the horizon.
Chicago White Sox: White Sox fans should be thankful that every ugly move Kenny Williams made prior to 2012 seemingly reversed course this season, with Alex Rios, Adam Dunn, and Jake Peavy all having great years as Chicago fell just short of a playoff berth. If they can repeat their 2012 seasons in 2013, the Sox will be right there in the AL Central once again.
Cincinnati Reds: Reds fans should be thankful that Dusty Baker hasn't killed Johnny Cueto or Aroldis Chapman quite yet. The pair is one of the best starter/closer pairings in the league, and both remained healthy in 2012 with the arm-killing Baker running the team.
Cleveland Indians: Indians fans should be thankful that they are at least trying to rebuild and move away from the Grady Sizemore/Travis Hafner centered team. But with rumors of Justin Masterson, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Chris Perez all getting traded, 2013 might be yet another painful year in the life of an Indians fan.
Colorado Rockies: Rockies fans should be thankful that the organization has gotten rid of Jim Tracy and removed some power from Dan O'Dowd, letting the team at least try to go in a new direction with the fantastic duo of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki signed long-term.
Detroit Tigers: Tigers fans should be thankful that the last two AL MVPs wear the olde English D, and that both Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander will be Tigers for the foreseeable future. The team still remains on the brink of a World Championship after a sweep at the hands of the Giants last month, but they're primed for a title.
Houston Astros: Astros fans should be thankful that they really can't get any worse in 2013 after GM Jeff Luhnow took some C4 to the team, dumping every veteran with a large contract and starting from the ground up. Houston's farm system has taken strides, and while they're probably not going to win 60 games in the AL West in 2013, they at least are nurturing a solid foundation.
Kansas City Royals: Royals fans should be thankful that the team has an offensive core that is among the best in baseball with Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez, and Alex Gordon all looking like varying degrees of franchise centerpieces. Now, if only some of their young pitching panned out...
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Angels fans should be thankful that the best player in baseball will be playing his home games in Anaheim for the next five seasons. Mike Trout had one of the greatest seasons in baseball history in 2012, and the scary thing is that he might be getting even better.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Dodgers fans should be thankful that Frank McCourt is nothing but a memory at this point, and that the team can spend money with nearly no limitations. However, I'm not sure handing Ned Colletti a blank check is going to be something that will work out in the long run.
Miami Marlins: Marlins fans should be thankful that Giancarlo Stanton wasn't traded. After the complete disgrace that was 2012, the team undid every bit of good faith they showed their fanbase last winter, and they'll likely be a 90 loss team once again...but at least the exciting Stanton remains on the team.
Milwaukee Brewers: Brewers fans should be thankful that Ryan Braun isn't going to be leaving Wisconsin any time soon. After seeing CC Sabathia and Prince Fielder depart as free agents in the past few seasons, and Zack Greinke get traded before he could walk, the Brewers needed a boost, and knowing that Braun will be with the team for years to come is enough to make even the most heated Brewers fan content.
Minnesota Twins: Twins fans should be thankful that Joe Mauer's career isn't completely done after an injury-plagued 2011. Mauer bounced back impressively this past season, and Minnesota fans can breathe a little easier knowing that his contract might not end up being a total sunk cost.
New York Mets: Mets fans should be thankful that the team hasn't traded David Wright and RA Dickey quite yet. Wright has been the face of the franchise for years, and keeping him a Met for the rest of his career would be a huge coup for Sandy Alderson and company. Meanwhile, Dickey is the reigning NL Cy Young winner, and despite his age, trading him just weeks or months after winning the award would cause a lot of discord in Flushing.
New York Yankees: Yankees fans should be thankful that it looks like the team will be spending their money smarter starting this offseason. In the past, New York would throw money around like it was no one's business, but due to owner Hal Steinbrenner's desire to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshhold for the 2014 season, the Yankees aren't handing out nine figure contracts like candy anymore. That's a good move for the future of the franchise.
Oakland Athletics: A's fans should be thankful that Billy Beane remains as the genius running the pirate ship, and that his trades of Andrew Bailey and Gio Gonzalez last winter provided the team with many players who helped the team win the AL West in 2012. I almost think that Beane would be less effective if he had a nine figure payroll to play with.
Philadelphia Phillies: Phillies fans should be thankful that Citizens Bank Park is a cash cow since being opened nearly a decade ago, and that the financial boon the park has been allows the team to compete with the highest payroll clubs in the league on a monetary basis. Unfortunately, that doesn't necessarily mean that Ruben Amaro spends the money wisely all of the time.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Pirates fans should be thankful that Andrew McCutchen isn't going anywhere. The last potentially elite franchise player the team had was Barry Bonds, and he walked away from Pittsburgh the moment he hit free agency. McCutchen won't be walking away after signing a long-term extension this past spring, and the fans of Pittsburgh finally have a player they know they can fall in love with.
San Diego Padres: Padres fans should be thankful that they have a young team heading in the right direction that played very well in the second half. San Diego also has a pretty solid farm system, meaning that success might not be right around the corner, but it's getting close.
San Francisco Giants: Giants fans should be thankful that they've become a powerhouse in the National League, winning two out of the last three World Series. The 2012 MVP and batting champion is a Giant, and they have a two-time Cy Young winner in the rotation that could be reinvented as a dominant reliever. If you're a Giants fan, life is pretty good right now.
St Louis Cardinals: Cardinals fans should be thankful that despite losing Albert Pujols last winter, the team persevered and made the playoffs once again in 2012. In the post-Pujols era, Yadier Molina is the face of the franchise, and the Cardinals haven't skipped a beat without Pujols manning first base.
Seattle Mariners: Mariners fans should be thankful that one of the best, most exciting pitchers in baseball is a Mariner. Felix Hernandez threw a perfect game this summer, and he's going to lead a potentially great Mariners rotation into 2013. This could be a team that makes strides next season if the offense shows up.
Tampa Bay Rays: Rays fans should be thankful that despite their payroll constraints, the team continues to compete every year. The Rays fell three games short of the playoffs in 2012 despite Evan Longoria missing half of the season and Carlos Pena providing them with absolutely nothing at first base. With a fully healthy Longoria and a player who doesn't resemble a corpse at first base in 2013, the Rays will once again be one of the elite teams in the American League, despite losing BJ Upton to free agency and potentially trading a starting pitcher or two.
Texas Rangers: Rangers fans should be thankful that despite Josh Hamilton's impending free agency departure, the team still looks great for 2013 with Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, and Yu Darvish continuing to take on key roles. However, the AL West is looking like one of the best divisions in baseball yet again, and the Rangers are going to need production from more than just those three.
Toronto Blue Jays: Despite Canadian Thanksgiving taking place in October instead of in November, Blue Jays fans should be thankful that Alex Anthopolous is going all-in for 2013 after acquiring Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buerhle from the Marlins, and signing Melky Cabrera. Add those guys to the current Jays core of Brett Lawrie, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Brandon Morrow, and you've got yourself a championship-caliber roster.
Washington Nationals: Nationals fans should be thankful that their team is still extremely young, and that nothing that happened in 2012 looks like a mirage. With one of the best rotations in baseball and one of the best all-around players in 20-year old NL Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper, this team looks poised to run the NL East for the next few years.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
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