(Ed. note: We couldn’t find a baseball Thanksgiving photo so our old pals Charlie Brown and Snoopy are filling in)
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there on the internets who are taking a break from your family celebrations and parade/football watching! Hopefully the soundtrack at your home is full of good cheer and laughter and not the typical family fighting that always seems to ensue.
This time of year is always one for reflection on how thankful we are for the things that enrich our lives on a daily basis, the stuff that most of take for granted every day except on the day where we’re reminded that we’ve got it pretty darned good. Of course we here at The Outside Corner are no different. This year has brought us any number of reasons to feel good about ourselves, from the birth of the site earlier this year to a steadily growing audience and the talented staff we have working hard every day to put out some of the best baseball content on the web.
So without further ado, here is what we are thankful for this Thanksgiving in no particular order.
The ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement — Owners and players have learned their lesson from the 1994 strike and the current NBA lockout apparently. This Thanksgiving, we’re thankful that MLB’s millionaires and billionaires came together like the Native Americans and the Pilgrims did centuries ago and settled their differences. At least for the next five years, we will have uninterrupted baseball and that’s something sports fans everywhere can raise a glass to. Presumably there was turkey involved. I’m hoping.
An extra Wild Card round in 2012 — As a baseball fan, this is like Christmas come early. Any time there’s a tiebreaker game to determine who gets to go to the playoffs at the end of the season, it’s easily one of the highlights of the year. The winner moves on, the loser goes home and baseball fans win regardless of who your favorite team is. The terms of the new CBA mean we’re going to have not one but TWO one-game playoffs at the end of the season with the addition of a second Wild Card. Say what you will about Bud Selig but his decision to introduce and subsequently expand the Wild Card format has done more to stimulate interest in the game than just about anything. Now, more teams have more to play for in the second half of the season because no manager in his right mind wants to get stuck playing in the 163rd game. Everyone’s going to be battling it out to the very end either to squeak in to the extra Wild Card spot or so that they can guarantee that they’ll be good enough to earn a first-round bye. Brilliant move, Mr. Selig and for that we are thankful.
Nyjer Morgan, aka Tony Plush — Regardless of whether or not you’re a Brewers fan, chances are you’ve got an opinion of baseball’s wildest wild card, Nyjer Morgan, aka Tony Plush, Tony Clutch, Tony Gumbel and Tony Hush. The eccentric Brewers outfielder plays the game with the reckless abandon of a child who just consumed a Pop Rocks and Pixie Sticks smoothie, going all out all the time and seemingly loving every minute of it. His post-game interviews are must-see TV as well with his patented “AAAAAAAAH, GOTTA GO!” earning him a place in the hearts of sports highlight producers everywhere. His Twitter account, @therealtplush, is unfiltered, unapologetic and wildly entertaining even if you’re a Cardinals fans. This Thanksgiving, we raise our gravy boat to you, Mr. Morgan.
Bloguin’s partnership with Fox Sports and Yardbarker — Earlier this month our fearless CEO Ben Koo announced that our blogs would be syndicated on Fox Sports and the Yardbarker network. The partnership has been mutually beneficial since the get-go. Fox Sports and Yardbarker get to provide their readers with all of the high-quality sports content our writers produce on a daily basis. As Joe and I will tell you, our audience has expanded by leaps and bounds over the course of the past month as well. We’re seeing more traffic on this site and other Bloguin sites from all around the world. For that, we are thankful this Thanksgiving.
The return of the retro — If nothing else, baseball is going to be a lot better looking this season (with the exception of the Marlins) with multiple teams looking to their past for inspiration in their present look on the field. The Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets among others have gone back to the future with their new looks. The result won’t necessarily mean better baseball but at the very least it’ll mean better looking baseball. That’s an aesthetic improvement that everyone from the hardcore to the casual fan can appreciate.
Our ever-expanding audience — Last but not least we are thankful for you, the people who read what we write every day. Thank you for your support of this site. Joe and I along with our staff have a number of exciting things in the works moving forward that will (hopefully) keep you entertained and coming back for more each day. Now go stuff your gullets and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!