Tomorrow most of us will gather around tables filled with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and some sort of weird amalgamation of bread and spices that has been stuffed into the innards of a bird. We will eat too much, watch a few minutes of the Dallas Cowboys failing to tackle anyone, then fall asleep in a deep slumber. Before all of this though, we should take the time to give thanks.
As a Royals fan, I am thankful for:
- Alex Gordon. He has gone from being a shaky, disappointing third baseman, to an All-Star, Gold Glove-winning leftfielder. He has become one of our best and most dependable hitters, and one of the more likeable guys on the team. And he's signed for a few more years. Enjoy him.
- Good defense. Boy it sure beats watching bad defense. Kerry Robinson! Never forget! It really is a treat to get to watch Lorenzo Cain glide around the outfield, to see Alcides Escobar come up with grounders no one has any business getting to, or watching Sal Perez gun down the foolish baserunner who tries to swipe a base. Give the Royals credit, after years of stressing defense, they finally put a good defensive club out there.
- Big Game James. We've had so many faux aces come through here. Scott Elarton once started opening day. SCOTT ELARTON! We enjoyed the Zack Greinke era, but Greinke for all his foibles, was always hard to love, like a cat that did not want to be petted. James embraces his "ace" role, and wears his emotions on his sleeve. He is as dependable as a front-of-the-rotation pitcher gets, and while the price to get him was steep, at the very least, we got a very good player.
- Billy Butler. While his days in Kansas City may be coming to an end, it has been a treat to watch the "professional hitter" ply his trade in Kansas City. In a lineup full of hackers, Billy is the calm presence that is able to watch bad pitches go by. While he has seemed to have been singled out by many Royals fans in the "Mike Sweeney Memorial Scapegoat" role for not fulfilling their desires of what he cannot be, we should be thankful for what he is. A damn good hitter.
- 86-76. Yea, its not a championship. Its not the end. But it sure the heck beats 100 losses. This was one of the most thrilling Royals season of my lifetime. We had meaningful Royals baseball in the last week of the season. That was really impossible to fathom seven years ago. Say what you will about Dayton Moore, but given a long amount of time, he did produce a pretty competitive ballclub.
- Kauffman Stadium. Yes, its not where I would ideally put a baseball stadium, but she is still a beaut after 40 years of baseball. And despite other cities where they are already demolishing 20 year old stadiums, or asking for renovations to five year old stadiums, the Truman Sports Complex has withstood the test of time. Its the perfect place to host a World Series. Let's make that happen.
- Royals Review. There are days when the sunny optimism of Facebook and the Kansas Star comments page just wear me down. Fortunately, there is a place I can turn to for objective, realistic, negativity. Thanks for providing a home for my snark. In all sincerity, I am grateful for the community we have all built together here and I hope you all have a terrific Thanksgiving weekend.
What are you thankful for?