While this is a different Thanksgiving than any of us hoped for, we at Amazin’ Avenue are still thankful for many things. In addition to the Mets-related items below, we are also very thankful for you, our readers, commenters, and community. Please be safe today, and every day, and Let’s Go Mets.
I am thankful that Marcus Stroman will be back in a Mets uniform in 2021. It was obviously his collectively-bargained right to opt out of the 2020 season and I do not blame him for doing so whatsoever. But something was missing from the team without him last season – both from a baseball perspective and from a team chemistry perspective. He not only delivers solid results on the mound (which the Mets could have desperately used last year), he’s a fun player to root for and always brings an energy to the field that is infectious. He’s active and thoughtful on social media as well and takes the time to engage with fans. The Mets’ rotation would certainly be in pretty rough shape without him and it’s great that a need on the pitching staff was filled so quickly into the offseason. And, thanks to new ownership, we can celebrate how thankful we are for Marcus Stroman without having to worry about his acceptance of the qualifying offer breaking the bank for the team. I loved watching Stroman pitch in 2019 and I can’t wait to watch him again in 2021. I’m really considering buying a Stroman shirsey as well because I love that he wears 0. Stroman’s attitude, his aesthetic, his pitching – I’m on board with all of it. As a fellow short person, #HDMH.
This might sound strange considering we don’t have a large enough sample size to determine whether he manages well or not, but I was very thankful for Luis Rojas this year. Rojas presented a calming force from a position that hasn’t had much stability in my lifetime. Even though he wasn’t the organization’s first choice to manage the team in 2020, his eventual hiring made perfect sense to just about everyone he was going to work with, and a lot of players even showed excitement at the potential of working with him. He always maintained a positive attitude, spoke well of people in pressers, and seems to enjoy his work and the people he works with greatly. And though this may seem like a small thing, I noticed very few instances where he had his mask off around other people, demonstrating a basic courtesy and responsibility that many in the sport refused to take on this year. I like Luis Rojas quite a bit for things that have little to do with baseball, and while I sincerely hope he can prove his worth next season, I’m at least thankful for the role he played in guiding the team this season.
There are obvious things to be thankful for in regards to the Mets this year. I mean, the Wilpons are gone! Our greatest dream come true. But what I’m most thankful for was the rhythm of having the Mets playing over the course of a few months this summer. While I am on-record multiple times saying baseball — or any sport, for that matter — happening during a pandemic was and is a bad idea, having the Mets as a reliable digression was a useful decompression (or at least different source of frustration). While I don’t think the dueling crises of COVID-19 and the continuing fight against police violence are well-served by normalizing life with baseball, I do think there is a benefit in having something a little different to pay attention to, even if it’s for a short time. As someone now working in more traditional news coverage and constantly beset by the harsh realities of the world, spending a little time complaining about bullpen usage was my equivalent of watching “90 Day Fiancé” or whatever. By the time the game was over, I was re-charged and ready to look at the latest COVID-19 cases and feel sad all over again. So thank you, Mets, for that, I guess.
Also for Steve Cohen saying he thinks the black jerseys are important on Wednesday night.
If it is a given we are all thankful that the Wilpons are finally out than there are two thinks I am thankful for this year. The first is the return of Sandy Alderson. First and foremost I am glad he is in good health. Secondly, his return gives this organization credibility that had been lacking for some time. It is comforting to know that decisions will be based on facts and numbers instead of the whims of a petty owner with grievances.
Next I am thankful for The Cookie Club. It gave fans a greater look into the players we root for and how much fun they are. It debuted during quarantine and it was a welcome respite from everything that was going on. We are truly lucky as fans to have such good guys on the team who make it easy to be a fan.
I got all sappy last year and talked about I was thankful for my friends in the Amazin’ Avenue community. Little did I know that I would come to rely on them more than ever a few months later when the pandemic hit and made face-to-face connection a big no-no. Suddenly, the silly Slack conversations and Twitter interactions became more than just a way to pass the time - they became a necessity to still feel connected to people while being stuck inside. And as I’ve dealt with many of the same personal and professional struggles that so many of us have endured this year, being able to seek support from some of the people whom I never would have met were it not for this website provided yet another reminder of how huge an impact this place has had on my life. It’s certainly not something I ever could have envisioned back when I joined Amazin’ Avenue as a commenter over eight years ago - that younger version of myself would be rolling his eyes if he knew that I was being all mushy for the second year in a row, but ehh, that dude kind of sucked anyway
Like every other Mets fan I know or am aware of, I am thankful that Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz sold the team to Steve Cohen. Moreover, I am grateful—eternally, blessedly grateful—that Jeff Wilpon is, at long last, exactly where he belongs, which is nowhere near the New York Mets in any official capacity whatsoever. The reality and implications of all this haven’t fully sunk in just yet. So inured had I become to Wilponian nincompoopery that I find I am required to refresh my Mets-fan worldview, if cautiously; and the fact that Cohen and newly re-hired Sandy Alderson—whose presence I am also thankful for—have hit all their marks with nary a hiccup is a sensation akin to warming up by a cozy fire after lingering too long in the cold. Here’s to optimism for the future. I am thankful indeed.
Would it be utterly, painfully cliché to say I’m thankful the Wilpons are out of our lives forever? Well…Besides that obvious note, this has been a tough and turbulent year for all of us. Even though it was not entirely safe and even though it didn’t feel quite real, we got a little bit of Mets baseball to watch and to complain about. This year, I learned, moreso than any prior year as a Mets fan, to appreciate the game itself and the people who work hard to bring that sport we love to us, both on and off the field. I am thankful for the Mets for giving me a welcome distraction from reality, even when they’re not winning (maybe even especially when they’re not winning). I am especially thankful for Dominic Smith, who inspired all of us this year by wearing his heart on his sleeve and really standing up for what he believed in. I am so thankful that he is on our team. I am also thankful Marcus Stroman is back and we get more time to enjoy the good vibes he brings. Lastly, I am eternally thankful to everyone in the Amazin’ Avenue community for keeping me sane and giving me a place to learn and to talk baseball when I need it most.
The diversity of voices coming out of my television set in 2020 was a major disappointment to me. Instead of finding new shows and movies to watch, it was the same newscasters, pundits, public health officials, and government officials blaring at me just about every day. And I got tired of those voices; even those that came with comedy attached were delivering the same important, but utterly depressing messages.
But the familiar voices that I didn’t mind hearing were those of Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling. Gary, Keith, and Ron provided a wonderful, familiar aural balm for this terrible year, and for 55ish games (curse you, national broadcasts!), they helped me realize that life is more than worry and fear. While I still think playing this season was too much of a risk, I will be forever grateful for GKR for being the soundtrack to one of the few bright spots in this terrible, terrible year.
As always, I’m thankful for everyone who’s been a part of the Amazin’ Avenue community this year, from our writers and editors to our moderators to the regular in the comment section to every person who’s dropped in to read anything we’ve written this year. Here’s hoping that we can all gather at Citi Field again in the not-too-distant future, whenever things are safe for ourselves and everyone else again. The fact that the Mets are operating under a new owner who seems to be just as passionate about the team as we are has been a breath of fresh air, and maybe the Mets will be very good again by the time we’re at those games in person.