I’m thankful that Jacoby Ellsbury finished second in the A.L. MVP voting.  Well deserved.  Nobody’s yapping anymore about him and where he rehabs.  He shut everyone up.  I’ve always liked him and now he takes his rightful place among the elite players in baseball.  If you are to believe the balloting and in this case I do, Ells was the best position player in the American League in 2011.  I’m thankful he finished second, but I would’ve much preferred a first place finish.  I am not among those who believe that pitchers should be eligible for the award.

     I’m thankful that it is still 3 months before pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers for Spring Training.  Not ready.  Not yet.

     I’m thankful that the fiasco that was the September of 2011 is fading into the sunset.  Sure the guys will have to answer questions throughout the Spring and into the season.  Serves them right.  Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.  When you look at what’s going on at places like Penn State, a little chicken and beer doesn’t seem so bad.

     I am thankful for the Theo Epstein/Terry Francona years.  Yeah, it’s been 4 years since the Sox won the World Series, but it beats the heck out of 86 years.  Both guys left town on down notes, but they could go down as the best GM/Manager combo in Boston history.

     I’m thankful for the Jonathan Papelbon era in Boston.  It wasn’t always a sure thing, but it usually was.  It also was pretty exciting.  I will miss Pap staring down a batter and watching him blow it by him.  I will also miss the fist pump that invariably follows.  I hope all the people who said “let him go” are prepared for life after him.  Other than Mariano Rivera (gulp), Pap was the closest thing to a sure thing there is.

     I am thankful for the New England Patriots.  They make the winter much more tolerable.  They ease the sting of the Celtics not being around.  The NBA is making the mistake of a lifetime.  Fans are going to realize they can get along quite nicely without the millionaires in the baggy shorts.  Throw in the Bruins and College Basketball and you’re all set.

     I am thankful that there are three NFL games on Turkey Day.  Three is better than two.  It’s three more hours you don’t have to make idle chatter with relatives.

     I am thankful for the 2011 season we enjoyed with the PawSox.  20 games over .500 is pretty good.  I’ll take that every time.  Woulda been a little more thankful if the big boys hadn’t raided the cupboard as the postseason began.  I’m also grateful to the PawSox fans who come out to McCoy every night, or listen on the radio and internet.  I’m thankful for the relationships I have with our players, staff and their families.  The feedback via e-mail or snail mail is always appreciated.

     Last but not least, I am thankful for my family and friends.  They may be a crazy bunch, but you couldn’t ask for a more supportive group.  I am thankful that my mother thinks that I am better than Bob Costas.  (She’s been saying it for so many years, I think she really believes it)  I bow to the great Costas, one of my broadcasting heroes, by the way.  I’ll be really thankful if she decides not to make carrots and turnips on Thursday.

     Happy Thanksgiving, and save me a leg!


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