Happy Thanksgiving to all

As I park in front of the TV and prepare to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, some things off the top of my head that I am thankful for this year:

– Having had the opportunity to cover a World Series champion club (and a first-class organization) from Day 1 of Spring Training through the final float on the Canyon of Heroes. Trust me, February through November is a long time to be grinding it out day after day, and it was a lot of work at times. But in a few decades I’ll be able to say I was there for all of it. That’s pretty cool.

– The new Yankee Stadium. A terrific place to work and call an office. Jason Zillo and his staff left no stone unturned in helping us do our jobs better. Extra credits for the super-comfortable chairs, the dedicated stairwell and elevator to the clubhouse level, and the improved dining room. Thank you. I’m also thankful to share the beat with people that I consider not only co-workers, but friends.

– You. Let’s face facts, we wouldn’t be here if someone wasn’t reading MLB.com. The readers are the ones that drive the ship and it is a pleasure to try to capture what is going on with your favorite team every day. I’m also thankful to be part of a terrific team of reporters here, who embrace the ideas of sharing to make us all a stronger network.

– New York City. All of it. Especially being able to get my dry cleaning, laundry, a bagel and a cup of Starbucks coffee all on the same block. I’m even thankful for the MTA and that Woodlawn-bound 4 train (when it’s on time). Every day is a new adventure and I almost always see something I haven’t seen before. Also, the available billiards tables and Golden Tee machines on Second Avenue.

– Marriott points and Continental SkyMiles. The more the merrier. When you spend about half of your year living out of a suitcase, it’s nice to have something to show for it. The travel of this job, without which I might not have seen anything out of the Eastern time zone. When you don’t get to the stadium until 2:30 p.m. for a night game, you can carve out some time to experience: Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, Rush Street in Chicago, Arthur Bryant’s barbecue in Kansas City, playing Wiffle ball on the shores of Clearwater Beach, Fla., Capelli’s barber shop in Seattle, Newbury Street in Boston, Faidley’s in Baltimore, the Kennedy museum in Dallas, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Oh, and I’m especially grateful for being able to fall asleep on planes before takeoff.

– Phil Coke, for honoring my plea not to dump two bottles of beer down the back of my shirt after Game 6 of the World Series.

– Having “followers” on Twitter. OK, I’ll admit that I didn’t ‘get’ Twitter when Jordan Bastian told me about it in Spring Training. Why would anyone want to read 140 characters from me? But it’s developed into a useful work tool and it’s nice to build a rapport with some of you out there in real time. Thanks for being interested.

– The fact that I could shake off years of ballplaying rust and still lace up my spikes for four doubleheaders in four days to live a dream that I will be telling people about for years. I know, I know. I haven’t shut up about Fantasy Camp yet. Accompanying that, the health that allowed me to take part, as well as Julie Kremer and her staff for extending the invitation.

– Our servicemen and women, stationed here and abroad, keeping our country safe so that we can enjoy this holiday and many more.

– And of course, having a wonderful family and terrific friends. I can smell something wafting in here from the kitchen. If you need me, I’ll be getting ready for a long day of watching football and resolving to hit the gym hard after Mom’s pumpkin pie clears the table. Hope all of your Thanksgiving holidays are special ones.

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