COMMENTARY | Thanksgiving is a time when families gather 'round the dinner table, eat a great mean, and air all of the grievances they have with one another and share their general disappointment with other family members.
Wait, no, that's Festivus.
Thanksgiving is a time for people to be thankful for what they have, and that includes sports fans. Fans of the San Francisco Giants may not think they have a lot to be thankful for after how 2013 played out, but that's not the case.
Here are a few examples of what Giants fans can think about as they carve into a turkey this Thursday:
Madison Bumgarner's contract: Check out Bumgarner's guaranteed salaries over the next four seasons: $3.75 million, $6.75 million, $9.75 million, and $11.5 million, followed by two team options for $12 million each. Bumgarner will be a Giant through at least 2019 at an incredibly reasonable rate, much less than what he'd receive if he hit the open market. Consider this: Over the next four years, Bumgarner will make less than Jason Vargas will with the Royals. And if Bumgarner continues to progress, he'll be anchoring the Giants' rotation as the biggest bargain in baseball.
AT&T Park: This one almost goes without saying, but every so often something comes up to remind you that the Giants play in arguably the best ballpark in baseball -- like, say, the fact that Major League Baseball was thinking about making the Oakland A's play their home games at AT&T, as I recently wrote about. Giants fans should be thankful that they don't have to worry about their team relocating, and that they get to watch games in a modern day baseball cathedral.
Buster Posey: He's healthy, he's signed long-term, and he's the face of the franchise. Teams could do a lot worse than having Buster Posey as their best player. Getting to watch him play every day is reason enough to be thankful.
Two World Series championships in four years: OK, it sounded better when it was two in THREE years, but still. Some fans go their entire lives without seeing their team win a championship, and for a while it certainly felt like Giants fans would fall into that category. The fact that they've given their fans two titles to celebrate in such a short amount of time is a great achievement. Also, wearing either a 2010 or the 2012 World Series champs T-shirt to Thanksgiving dinner is highly encouraged.
The Giants are spending money: After the disappointment of last season, the worst thing the Giants could do was take the thrifty route this winter and not improve their team. So far, they haven't disappointed. They've spent big to retain Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum and Javier Lopez, plus they opened their wallet to add Tim Hudson to the rotation. And they're not done spending, since they still have another starting pitcher and (hopefully) a left fielder to add. It's nice to see a team recognize its inefficiencies and not be afraid of spending money to try and fix them.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Spring training is just a few months away -- one more thing for which to be thankful.
Dave Tobener is thankful for family, friends, and baseball. His writing has appeared on sites such as Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Sports Big League Stew. Follow him on Twitter @gggiants.
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