Ten Things That I’m Thankful For This Thanksgiving
It’s been ingrained in our heads ever since we were little kids: on Thanksgiving, you take a step back and do a little reflecting upon what you’re thankful for. We all do it, and as much as it’s overdone, it’s also important. So, while I didn’t get to finish this post in time to actually post it yesterday, I still wanted to finish and post it, since it’s the concept that’s much more vital than the timeliness. The Dynasty Guru’s regularly scheduled programming will continue tomorrow, but for today, here are ten things that I am thankful for this year – in absolutely no particular order.
MLB Extra Innings and MLB At Bat: I’ll start off with a no brainer. I don’t want to sound like a commercial, but I can watch almost every game of the season for less than dollar per day. I can listen to Vin Scully from my couch in New Jersey. I can flip from game to game to check out players who I want to get a closer look at for either a post or my own research. The stats are great, but actually watching the games is where you can draw the most information from. On top of that, the At Bat app allows me to follow along pitch-by-pitch no matter where I am, listen to any game on the radio and watch highlights which get uploaded so quickly it feels like it’s in real-time. If you love baseball like I do, this stuff is mandatory.
PSE&G: There’s been no shortage of bad publicity about power companies over the past month here on the east coast, but yesterday something pretty amazing happened. I have a furnace that is legally old enough to drink, and awoke on Thanksgiving morning to find that it had mysteriously stopped. Because it’s so old, we have the worry free guarantee on it – so we called at 8am to see what they’d be able to do (not expecting much since it’s Thanksgiving). They scheduled us from 12-4pm that day, the repairman came at 1pm, the busted motor on our furnace was replaced by 2:15pm and we were on our way out the door to our regularly scheduled holiday activities at 2:30pm. It’s things like this which don’t get attention, but PSE&G saved our Thanksgiving.
Mike Trout: Not only was the NJ native the most exciting player in baseball to watch this season, but he almost single-handedly led my team to a second consecutive championship in my most important league. And to think, that I only got him on my team because another owner outbid me for Bryce Harper by a single dollar. So really, I should be thanking both Trout and that owner for bidding that extra dollar on Harper – they go hand-in-hand. But regardless of why, I continued my tradition in this league of using a small portion of my winnings to buy a jersey of my team’s MVP. Now Trout will hang in the rafters (of my closet) alongside my 2011 MVP, Ryan Braun.
My Family: As some of you who follow me on Twitter may know (or may not know, I keep my tweets mostly baseball-related), I am extremely blessed to have a wife and a daughter who are literally the greatest people ever. I would not be able to do any of the writing that I do on this site or at Fake Teams without the support I get from them. Of course my daughter is 2 years old, so I can still get her to support me on almost anything at this point, but my wife does so truly of her own volition. As she often likes to say, it is my lot in life to be surrounded by beautiful women – and that is really all a guy can ask for.
The Guys at Fake Teams: It’s one thing to just write about something you love, but to write alongside other people who you both get along with and whose work you respect is something which is less common. The passion that this group has for baseball in both the pure fan perspective and the analytical perspective is a lot of fun to be a part of, and it shows through in the product on the site.
Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs: It’s nearly impossible for most baseball writers to do what they do without the reference materials provided by these two statistical powerhouses. When I’m writing about nearly anyone, I will sit on my computer with the same five tabs constantly open: my e-mail, Twitter, my post that I’m working on, that player’s FG page and that player’s B-Ref page. To say they are essential is understating the matter.
Marc Normandin: Now, I had been reading Marc’s stuff ever since I finally bit the bullet and subscribed to Baseball Prospectus back in 2009, and he became one of the opinions I valued higher than most as far as fantasy analysis goes. So when I saw he was looking for additional writers at Roto Hardball in 2011, I sent him some clips from my old site because I figured it was worth a shot. He not only brought me on board, but when the site went under in early 2012, he brought me with him over to Fake Teams. If Marc never gave me that initial opportunity, none of what’s happened since then would have been possible.
Online Shopping: I don’t like going to stores. Actually, I don’t like going to stores for reasons other than purchasing food – that I enjoy. But for everything else (clothes, games, electronics), I strongly prefer to avoid the first-hand shopping experience, especially during the holidays. So when I can buy 80-90% of my holiday presents online and on sale, it makes me very happy. In fact, I bought that Mike Trout jersey I told you about earlier at MLB.com last night during their Thanksgiving night sale for only $60.
The Apps That Help Manage My Teams: I am usually juggling a lot of things at once, between my family, my day job, my writing, my fantasy teams and other real-life obligations. Without being able to quickly check my lineups, trade offers, ongoing minor league drafts and player news on my phone, I’d be two steps behind everyone else. From my ProBoards app, which helps me manage my dynasty leagues in the off-season, to the Yahoo/CBS/ESPN fantasy apps (yes I play on all three sites) to the apps I get my news from, being able to do all of it on-the-go is an incredible thing. Especially when you also played fantasy in the stone age (the dreaded pre-internet days).
You: I’ve been writing about all kinds of fantasy baseball for a few years now, and it is some of the most fun I have doing anything. Some of that is just from being a complete baseball nerd, but a great deal comes from you. Whether it’s through e-mail, Twitter or the comments on my site, I have been blessed to start to develop a community of fellow baseball enthusiasts who are both knowledgeable and extremely supportive of my work. Seriously, it’s the interaction with all of you that makes this so much more special to me. This is now the 50th post I’ve written since I started this site in August and I’ve gotten more responses and page views than I ever thought possible. You all drive me to create better and more comprehensive content for this site, and for that, I am forever thankful.
Hope everyone has a fantastic holiday weekend.