The things-to-be-thankful list is long and fabulous this year.

It's too simple to say, "I'm thankful for baseball."

Baseball gives us another way to connect. Young219 and Ms. Baseball-219 are always up for a trip to Target Field. And that the Baseballettes are casual but enthusiastic followers is even more evidence that their mother has raised them right. We have a team to root for from which we're expecting better. But it's a team whose success make fans of many other teams jealous. How often can you sing "Go, Cubs, Go" at Wrigley Field when, in the big picture, the Cubs are going nowhere? And the Pirates? I don't recognize the pain when a Pittsburgh fans calls XM/Sirius and says he thinks his team can reach the .500 mark this season. (It's been 1992 since that happened and they're 390 games under .500 since then.) Happy, happy, joy, joy. You can make that unfortunate list longer without trying too hard.

Lots of us have BaseballCentric families -- or baseball tolerant ones at the least -- and I think, however biased I am, that baseball crosses generations in a way that makes it different from most sports. I see that in college football too, but we wouldn't know much about that in Minnesota anymore. I met an art professor this year whose passion for the game comes in part from her father, who was an obscure pitcher for the Twins. I continue to meet people who have a story of their bright, shining moment that made them fans forever. I was at Target Field for this:

And I'm especially thankful for the big and smart and funny and cranky and emotional and excitable and far-flung family that reads and participates in this blog. If you read the comments, you know some of their names. If you read my emails, you'd know about a bunch more of them.

We'll continue to get after it and write our tails off in 2011, right?

Great holidays to you all!



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Speed, uncertainty, pitching (and a photo)

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Your call, Carl Pavano