Happy Thanksgiving, Puckett’s Pond readers.
Like all of you, I have much to be Thankful for today, including my loving wife, first-rate family and friends, and the fact that I live in a country where I can eat a giant turkey and mashed potatoes and watch football all day. But this column isn’t about those things. It’s about baseball. So here are the things I’m thankful for with regards to baseball.
- First and foremost, I am thankful for all of you who read this website, whether you read once in a while or every day. Our readership has been growing by leaps and bounds during the last couple months. I promise we’ll always strive to create insightful and/or entertaining commentary as long as you continue to read it. And, hey, if you tell your Twins fan friends about this site, I’ll be thankful for that, too.
- I’m thankful that Terry Ryan is back to magically fix everything that is wrong with the Twins. I sent that same observation to Call to the Pen. Check out their list of the things that all 30 teams are thankful for.
- I’m thankful that the Texas Rangers prevented a potentially big mistake for the Twins. I was mentally congratulating them for letting Joe Nathan leave instead of paying him $7 million per year, but those congratulations were premature. According to MLBTR, Minnesota offered Nathan almost as much money as Texas did. That sort of tarnishes my first observation about Terry Ryan, but I’ll let this one pass for now.
- I’m thankful that the Twins moved quickly to sign Ryan Doumit and Jamey Carroll. They aren’t glamorous players, but they are sensible solutions to two of the team’s biggest needs. For a neutral take on the Doumit signing, take a look at Joe Soriano’s article last week from Call to the Pen.
- I’m thankful for all the years of entertainment that the Twins have provided, including the years we spent watching players who have long since retired. So I really hope the Veterans Committee will give Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat some serious consideration. And it’s long past time for the Twins to Retire Jim Kaat’s Number 36!
- I’m thankful for modern medicine, and I hope that it can work some magic on the Twins next year. I’m especially hopeful that Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Denard Span can come back next year and make us forget about 2011.
- I’m thankful that, as bad as the 2011 Twins were, they were not nearly as dysfunctional as the Vikings! Say what you will about the Twins, but at least none of their players get arrested for violent crimes. Of course, I’m a Vikings fan, too, so my level of thankfulness drops a little for that one.
- I’m thankful that baseball signed a new collective bargaining agreement. Because the football lockout was annoying, and the NBA ordeal is a greed-induced game of chicken that is going to cost billions of dollars for everyone involved. I feel sorry for the stadium workers, merchandisers, non-player NBA personnel, restaurant and bar owners, and pretty much everyone who is going to suffer this year because a handful of rich idiots want to squeeze more money out of each other. I’m thankful that baseball learned the lessons of the 1994 strike, even if no other American professional sport did.
- Continuing on about the Collective Bargaining Agreement, I’m thankful that it seems to be favorable for the Twins. If Matt Capps leaves, they get a free draft pick even without having to offer arbitration. The new draft pick bonus limits will help, too, because they’ll prevent greedy agents like Scott Boras from extorting money from the Twins when they sign the #2 overall pick next year. Predictably, Boras hates the new agreement, but nobody cares what he thinks!