Giving Thanks

The past couple of Thanksgivings I did a post in which I ran down the teams, one by one, and noted what they had to be thankful for. I don’t have that kind of snark in me this year. Probably because I’m so damn preoccupied with those things I am thankful for.

This time last year I had been laid off — but wasn’t yet gone — from my last law firm and I was unsure of what the new year held for me and my family. Things worked out alright, of course. After a 47-day vacation to begin the year I started at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and everything worked out OK. There are people who had and are having way, way worse times of it than I had, but during that uncertain time I was constantly made aware of how many good friends I have and how great my family truly is.

This time last year I was also winding down the original Blogspot ShysterBall and getting ready to jump over here to THT. As I sit here today, just under a year from the switch, I can’t believe I ever blogged anywhere else. The THT folks — from Studes on down — have been unbelievably welcoming and supportive, and the THT readership has been beyond outstanding. Having so many smart people reading the blog has made me keenly aware of what I don’t know, and knowing what you don’t know is the key to learning and improving. B.S. is easy. Thank you all for not allowing me shovel it more than I already do.

So here we are at another Thanksgiving; my favorite holiday and the time of year when I traditionally take stock of where I am in the universe. In four short days I will again begin something new. I’m not going to lie to you: I’m nervous. Nervous that I don’t have the chops to do what I do now in six to ten posts in a given day across sixteen or twenty or more posts over at NBC. Nervous that the readership won’t get or appreciate Hitchhiker’s Guide or “2001” or “Miller’s Crossing” or World War I references. Nervous that the need to generate traffic and buzz and all of that stuff will cause me to shovel more B.S. than I already do and become some sort of Walter Winchell caricature. Wait — I like Walter Winchell; he had pizazz. I’m actually nervous that I’ll become some sort of Perez Hilton for baseball or something. I doubt I will, but stranger things have happened. How about you all just follow me over and keep me honest, OK?

But enough about me. As you gather with family and friends today take a few moments and think about how profoundly wonderful it is that we have people who love us and people we love. It’s a nasty world. I tend to have a pessimistic view of human nature. For that reason, I am encouraged whenever I see people caring for one another in even the smallest of ways. Like it’s a triumph over hate and want and death and entropy and all of that terrible stuff that stalks us all, whether we know it or not. Yeah, that sounds like a downer, but when you view human kindness as a virtue instead of a given you’re rarely disappointed.

OK, I’m going off the rails here. For now let me cut things short and wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.

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  1. Mark Runsvold said...

    If you begin every post (or at least every day) with “Mr. & Mrs. North America and all the ships at sea, let’s go to press,” my esteem for your work will grow immensely. And it’s already pretty high!

    Your blog has been a go-to for me since I first discovered it (via this guy on ESPN—Nier? Nayer? Nigher?), and I can’t say that about many others. Thanks for the good work and for not being a hand-wringing, histrionic ninny like so many who write about baseball. I remember all the times you’ve mentioned wanting to write about the game for a living, and I’m thankful you finally get to do that.

  2. Ryne said...

    Today seems as good a day as any to say thanks for the wonderful blog. It’s one of the few things I make a point of reading everyday. And anybody that ever tires of Hitchhiker’s Guide references isn’t worth blogging for…

  3. Jack Marshall said...

    Have a great Thanksgiving, Craig. I’m genuinely thankful for your high-quality, clever, provocative work. I need a baseball blog to hang out with—-I’m stuck with no live baseball fans to talk with here—- and the last blog I tried turned out to be run by Truthers, and worse, Manny Ramirez worshippers. Had to flee for my damn life.

  4. YankeesfanLen said...

    This post really made my day and the sun isn’t even up. Particularly love the artwork from ‘07, it makes me channel my inner Harry Carey.

    Allowing us to participate in the daily diversions at ShysterBall has been your gift to us, as well as the ensuing comraderie we have developed.  Guess we can keep our monikers over at the Blue Network to partially separate the wheat from the chaff, though I could still jump in with EvilEpirE2010 or comeondude.

    So, Thanks for the Memories, see you in the funny papers, see you if you don’t see me first, and Happy Thanksgiving, God Bless Us Every One.

  5. fordprefect said...

    Craig, you must be kidding, life without baseball blog references to h2g2, 2001 &c would not be worth living, thanks for being here, I truly appreciate what you’re doing!

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