It's Thanksgiving Day, a time to reflect on what we're grateful for in this world. Here on the Texas Rangers blog on ESPN Dallas, we're thankful for all of you.
This blog doesn't happen and isn't worth the time and effort without the fans. And Rangers fans are passionate and supportive. You are smart baseball fans that care about every aspect of the team. That's obvious in your comments, questions and interest level.
A few things to be thankful for today if you're a Rangers fan (I'm sure I'm forgetting plenty, so feel free to add in the comment section):
* Yu Darvish. We've talked at length the last year about the Rangers' ace and I was one who wrote about his lack of success in close games and how he needs to go to that next level. But I wrote that because I believe that Darvish is capable of winning multiple Cy Young Awards. He has the stuff to be a tremendous pitcher for a long time. He's just not there yet. Be thankful he's in a Rangers uniform.
* Multiple options. The Rangers are a fortunate team in that they have resources to stay contenders for a long time. They've got an ownership group willing to spend money, a front office that is one of the best in the game and a minor-league system that allows them to compete with any team on the trade front. Most teams can't say that.
* Ron Washington. I know some of you don't like Washington's in-game strategy, but take a look around and ask yourself how many managers have the type of clubhouse the Rangers have now? How many clubs have teams that play as hard as the Rangers? The manager deserves credit for that.
* Adrian Beltre. He's one of the best defensive third baseman in the league and a leader in the Rangers clubhouse. He's fun to watch on a nightly basis and part of the heart of this club.
* Ian Kinsler. Yep, I know many of you were critical of Kinsler. But the bottom line is that he helped this team and was a key contributor during the best years in franchise history.
* Starting rotation. How many teams can claim to have their five scheduled starters for 2014 under contract for at least the next few seasons? If you throw Alexi Ogando into that mix, you're talking about a rotation that should stay intact for a while, barring injuries. Martin Perez was the latest starter to join Darvish, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison in long-term deals.
* Prince Fielder. The Rangers needed a big bat and got one in the 29-year-old left-handed hitter. They had to give up Kinsler and spend some money to do it. But the club has a power-hitter for the middle of the lineup, something the offense sorely needed.
* David Murphy. He's now in Cleveland, but he was an integral part of the team and clubhouse as the team went from the bottom of the AL West to the top. And from a media perspective, he was always available and willing to give fans a sense of the mood of the team.
What are you thankful for as a Rangers fan?