Happy Thanksgiving! Before you stuff yourselves with turkey and settle down for the Niners-Ravens game (in my case, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade), take a little time to give thanks for the San Francisco Giants.
Here are ten reasons to boost your appreciation this offseason:
1. Their 2011 season. Looking back, it’s easy to focus on the injuries, setbacks, and missed opportunities—say, not defending their World Champion title. Still, we had The Franchise. Pablo Sandoval hit for the cycle. Brandon Belt made the Opening Day roster. The team went on an eight-game hitting spree in September, ending on a 12-run win in Colorado that shocked some of us into thinking they might be contenders after all.
2. Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez are on the mend. According to CSN Bay Area’s Rael Enteen, Posey is ahead of schedule, while Sanchez is planning to start throwing in December. Here’s to a healthy 2012 season!
3. Brian Stow is also on the road to recovery. He wrote his name and continues to improve in therapy sessions. Check out the family website for current updates. With any luck, we’ll see him throwing out that first pitch on April 13!
4. New CEO Larry Baer has officially been approved by owners as of November 17. From Andrew Baggarly’s notes, it looks as if the switch in management won’t affect much—which is a good thing, assuming you’re also thankful for the increase in season ticket prices and pursuit of veteran players.
5. As far as we know, the Giants are not planning a major overhaul of their uniforms, colors, or logo. Remember these?
6. Operation Panda 2012 is underway. Follow @KFP48 for an obscene amount of photos documenting his progress so far. It’s safe to say the Panda of 2012 will be even more toned and ready for next season, especially after his Lasik eye surgery last week.
7. Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford flourished in this year’s Arizona Fall League. Both players made the 2011 AFL Top Prospects Team, which bodes well for Crawford’s chances to make that Opening Day roster. Panik, along with pitchers Stephen Harrold, Austin Fleet, Ryan Bradley, and Seth Rosin, is under consideration to start 2012 with the San Jose Giants.
8. The Giants missed the boat on Willie Bloomquist. This is still such good news that I can almost excuse the fact that they were part of the bidding war at all.
9. Single game tickets go on sale this Friday at 10am. I know you’ve all been dying to secure tickets for the Brian Wilson Gnome giveaway. The fact that it’s a giveaway in the first place is reason enough to give thanks.
10. Opening Day at AT&T Park is only 140 days away!
Wondering what the rest of MLB has to be thankful for this year? Swing by Call to the Pen and find out!