Your dedicated TGP staff would like to wish all of you fine readers a very happy Thanksgiving. Eat your fill of your favorite Thanksgiving dish, watch the parade and then some football, plan your Black Friday shopping route, and most of all: give thanks. Here's what your TGP staff members are thankful for this year, both Phillies-wise and in life.
1) I'm thankful for the greatest sport, baseball.
2) I'm thankful for the Phillies, my home team. They do a lot of things I don't like, but I'll love them always.
3) I'm thankful for this website, where I get to share what I love and don't like about the Phillies. And about baseball merchandise, the MLB Twitter account, and many other baseball related things.
4) I'm very thankful for all of you who read and comment every day. You make this site a wonderful place to be, you give it character and life, and you challenge us to be better.
5) I'm so thankful for all of my amazing writers. They are each fabulous, incredible, talented, and a million other superlatives. Without them, this site is nothing, and I'm grateful every day that they spend their precious spare moments writing for The Good Phight. So thank you to: John Stolnis, schmenkman, Joecatz, David S. Cohen, Phrozen, dajafi, Ben Horrow, JKlugh, 88Lindros88, Wet Luzinski, Jaypoozle, DanyS, Cormican, RememberthePhitans, philsandthrills, our fearless leader emeritus Peter Lyons, and to my faithful, invaluable deputy and second-in-command, Trev223.
6) And I'm thankful for this:
1) That the Phillies are at least a big market team willing to spend money. Despite the fact they won't go over the luxury tax, they're not the $75 million payroll munchkin of the old days.
2) Despite all his faults, at least we have an aggressive GM willing to spend money to try and put a winner on the field.
3) Citizens Bank Park is beautiful, and tickets should be easier to get now. I'm still holding out hope we're going to see Phillies tickets inside Phillies Phranks once again, but that may be a pipe dream now.
4) We have a good radio duo in Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen. Oh how I wish they'd move over to TV.
5) Chase Utley is still here. Yeah, I think they should have traded him, but I'm still really glad he's here.
6) Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are fun to watch pitch and should continue to be awesome.
7) That Darren Daulton is recovering from brain surgery.
8) That the Phillies actually signed a big-time international guy in Miguel Gonzalez. He should be a very interesting guy to watch this year.
9) The promising third base duo of Cody Asche and Mikael Franco. Only one of these guys will probably be Phillies long-term, but it'll be exciting to see which one.
10) That the Phils finally signed a pitching coach. It would have been embarrassing to go into spring training without one.
11) For MLB.TV, so that I can actually watch all the Phillies game from my home base of northern Virginia.
12) For my 2008 World Series video, which I will probably watch about 50 times instead of the actual games this year.
13) Mostly, for The Good Phight, which just provides the best darn commentary on the Phillies on the intergoogles.
1) Baseball. Whatever level, College, Minor League, USA Baseball, MLB. There are few better ways to spend a day.
2) Maikel Franco
3) I'd also echo the TGP sentiment that John beat me to. Not because of the writers and analysis but because of the community. Our readers are seriously smart.
4) The 2014 Draft - and I don't mean that in a sarcastic way. I really loved looking at all the potential picks last year at 16 and writing them up and scouting some of the local talent. I really look forward to doing that again in 2014 with an even better pick
5) ...and because I'm a bit of an optimist I'll say the 2015 draft when I get to scout for late First Round picks instead.
1) The memories of 2008, and for that matter the entirety of the 2007-11 run. We experienced a thrilling stretch of baseball in which our team was in the middle of everything. For those of us who lived through the '80s and '90s, this was an amazing period that will keep us warm for a long time to come.
2) The great moments the game routinely produces even when the larger story of the team is less than thrilling. Just off the top of my head I can think of Frandsen's walkoff against the Royals in the first home series of last season, Mayberry's game-tying and game-winning late homers, Hamels throttling the Braves...
1) That my daughter (bragbragbragbrag) will, due to new intelligence about babies' brains not taking well to TV early on, have to listen to her first Phillies game on the radio. This is good because it is: a) How God Intended We Hear The Game, and b) much better to hear Franzke and LA than Wheels and TMac. Frankly, I don't want her disillusioned too early.
2) I'm thankful that this team always has some sort of late season magic in their bones. 2013 was an abberation here, but that improbable run in 2012 (that sadly ended without success) was some of the most fun baseball I've ever watched. And hell, the last day swing between pick 11 and 7 in 2013 was even fun.
3) That fantasy baseball gives me a way to appreciate prospect growth at the same guttural level as does real life fandom, but with the various superstar prospects of other teams. Because in the end, prospect porn is epiphenomenal to the games we see; prospects are important and fascinating, but their fetishization can be just as fun outside of the Phillies' org.
4) JP Crawford is super fun, and Roman Quinn will reportedly be back by midseason. I defy you to find a negative in having two fun SS prospects in the pipeline.
5) I actually look forward to whatever middling Quad-A pitching prospect heats up this summer and convinces the WIP crowd that he's the next Greg Maddux. I always like when a prospect gets helium, and I also always like when the WIP crowd is proven wrong.
6) Having something to write about other than how irritated I am with offseason takes.
David S. Cohen
1) Liz for running an amazing ship and being a laugh-out-loud writer.
2) dajafi for being one of the most talented writers I have the pleasure of knowing/reading and for getting TGP started way back when.
3) Cormican for knowing the Phillies farm system so I don't have to.
4) John Stolnis for coming on board and writing more in his first month than many of us write in a year.
5) Joecatz for his inventive and insightful imagination about how the Phillies should be run. If he were our GM, following this team would be an absolute thrill.
6) schmenkman for being the king of numbers and, despite what the numbers say, of optimism as well.
7) Jaypoozle for following the minor league games so I don't have to.
8) Wet Luzinski for his insane creativity, his Veteran Clubhouse Presence, his poetry, and generally for keeping us left-brainers in check.
9) 88Lindros88 for educating me and the world on probably the most important Phillies news in a long time, the Comcast deal.
10) Phrozen for being so passionate about the Phillies that he follows and blogs about them from Alaska.
11) Trev223 for keeping FJM alive and infusing the blog with a philosophical edge.
12) DanyS for choosing TGP over Pitchfork.
13) Ben Horrow for bringing his BtBS expertise to TGP.
14) RtP for being the Garrison Keillor of TGP.
15) Whole Camels for getting us to where we are today and for playoff tickets.
16) JKlugh for being the recap master and standing up for LGBT kids.
17) philsandthrills for mastering the TGP Twitter account.
1) That the Eagles have, in fact, won more recently than the Phillies.
2) That my wife is onboard with another Spring Training jaunt in March.
3) That I'm part of this awesome group.
4) That the Phillies are who they are, because, frankly, they could be a whole hell of a lot worse.
1) The fact that blogs like TGP exist and I'm lucky enough to be apart of the community
2) Chase Utley (enough said)
3) There's always a next season
4) The slow yet constant push towards mainstream understanding of more advanced metrics that do a better job of describing actions on the field, even if the Phillies sorely lack in that department
5) Citizens Bank Park, especially sitting in the outfield
6) The ability to publish my thoughts, intelligent and crazy, on baseball and the Phillies without any outside interference of any kind.
1) I'm thankful that TGP finds a space for my decidedly offbeat content and genuinely appreciates and encourages others like me to chime in from all sides of the baseball brain. Plus, it's cool to meet people in person you've never seen and yet have an instant bond, and do stuff like go to games and drink whiskey.
2) For CBP's nods to democracy: the standing-room only railings that surround the infield; the concourse that allows you to easily circumnavigate the field while looking at the game. I don't know why I feel so strongly about this, but I just want to demolish every other place that doesn't let you do this.
3) For the new-media commentariat. When I was growing up the only things that were vaguely offbeat about baseball coverage were Jayson Stark's Sunday Inquirer column, Bill James, Jim Bouton, Earl Weaver, John Updike and Leonard Koppett. Now there's something wonderful out there all the time.
4) That Pat Burrell has not beaten me to a pulp. Yet.
1) I have two more weeks of grad school left. Amazingly, shockingly, I'll officially be an MBA in June.
2) Being welcomed into TGP fold with a bunch of fellow nuts.
3) Baseball and baseball. Nothing better than sitting on the porch with a beer and listening to baseball in the summer. Whether or not the Phillies are good.
1) Cole Hamels' mustache and circle band-aid.
2) Cliff Lee's whatever
3) Dom Brown's Bondsian (without the walks) month and a half. I also admit that I love his twitter trolling of Eagles fans.
4) Ben Revere's Single Ladies
5) Chase Utley's being The Man.
6) Jimmy Rollins' smile.
1) TGP as an entity. This is a place where I can turn Charlie Manuel's firing into a scene from Good Will Hunting and write thousands upon thousands of words on a pet topic and have it reach thousands of eyeballs, including writers for major publications! And that happens because everyone here is exceptionally talented.
2) The comment section. Unlike almost every other comment section on the internet, the comment sections of TGP have some of the best dialogue around. They're a great place to flesh out ideas for stories, or to debate the merits of position or opinion. They're also well programmed such that we can easily follow threads, add images, links and such, much more easily than is possible at a lot of other sites.
3) The TGP bloglord e-mail thread. The conversations there are great, and the people are even greater. Not only are they all exceptionally talented, as I said a moment ago, but they're all exceptional people, which I find even more important. Kudos to you all.
1) Baseball. I love baseball. Just sitting at a game, watching baseball is a very good time. The weather, the pace of the game, the food; everything about watching a baseball game can be a pleasure in and of itself. If the team is good, all the better, but when they're not, it's still baseball, and it's still better than most other activities you do with your clothes on, as they say (I assume they really like showers?)
2) Friends & family. I'm close with most of my extended family, and one of the things we do as a family is go to baseball games. It's a great way to spend a few hours with grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. The closeness and the ample downtime of a ballgame allow for conversation and camaraderie that typically doesn't occur when everyone's at home, going about their typical days.
Phillies and Baseball:
1) Cole Hamels.
2) Cholly, Cole, Cliff, Chooch, Chase, and Cody for all their "C"s.
3) Dom, Darin, Jake, Freddy, and Jon P. being young and interesting in a way that does not get me arrested.
4) Section 212.
5) A modern, safe interstate highway system that takes me straight to the door of CBP.
7) TGP for understanding and encouraging things from my TS Eliot post from way back to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner to the Rise and Fall of the Phanatic.
8) Math. I never knew I liked it. Seriously, the approach to baseball here is ruthlessly logical and evidence based. Mostly. It makes you think better.
9) The commentariat at TGP for being frightening, freaky, and fun. Whole Camels in particular for enlightening me about the literary history of metal dildos.
10) SB Nation for giving us toys to play with and not bugging us too much.
1) Health, including that of my family.
2) Reasonable prosperity, permitting me to indulge in my baseball fetish as opposed to killing my neighbors for food.
3) My family, including a reasonably tolerant spouse and two kids who enjoy doing baseballing things with me. Also my now-dead grandmother and grandfather (on the other side) who go with me to every game.
4) The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as sea floor spreading.
5) Large expanses of green, mostly wilderness. And trees.
6) Pennsylvania, generally, and the ridges and valleys section particularly.
7) Rural culture of those aforementioned coves, valleys, and hollows.
8) Friends, both real and make-believe, who tolerate me without even getting paid for it.
9) The rule of law.
10) Gifford Pinchot.
1) A neat, increasingly desolate ballpark to bike down to all summer long.
2) A return to the very small likelihood that they will run out of hot dogs on dollar dog night.
3) Thus nullifying the need to barrel through innocent families on the way to concessions.
4) Young players, who do exist, and wear Phillies uniforms: Ben Revere's catches, Dom Brown's home runs, Freddy Galvis' daredevil stops, Cody Asche's Twitter handle being "cody_smasche," that all my teary-eyed memories of the past seven years are available online at any time to prevent from living in reality 100% of the time.
5) The Phillies not currently asking his for $___ billion to construct a _______ or move to _______.
6) That no one on Twitter is immune to blocking.
7) That dream I have where Chase Utley pulls the Phillies to a 2009 World Series trophy by his teeth; that other one where Ryan Howard knocks the last pitch over the wall in 2010 and Brian Wilson cries himself to sleep every night until his wife leaves him; that other dream where Howard puts a screaming line drive through Chris Carpenter's torso in 2011; that my dreams have finally stopped being solely about Phillies infielders.
8) A long, cold winter to think about what the Phillies could do before they ruin any optimism by doing what they're going to do.
If you are so inclined, please leave what you're thankful for in the comments today. Be safe, eat hearty, and go Phillies.