First, let me say Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. This blog wouldn’t be any fun if Rangers fans weren’t engaged and involved in it. So I’m thankful for all of you. And I was thinking Rangers fans sure have plenty to be thankful for over the past year. Here are some of those things (I don’t have room for them all, so forgive me):
* Jon Daniels. The young GM has been the architect of a major turnaround for the franchise as many of his moves helped put the club on a path to its first World Series.
* Ron Washington. He’s improved as a manager all four seasons and has a keen understanding of how to motivate each player. He’s the right manager for this team.
* Michael Young. There may be no better example of a leader in major league baseball.
* Josh Hamilton. He’s more than a great story. He was a difference-maker all season and was a well-deserved MVP. That Aug. 13 game is still the best I’ve ever seen from a position player.
* Nolan Ryan. The Hall of Famer has helped bring a dedication to hard work and a confident attitude to the organization. There’s no one better to lead the baseball side of the organization.
* Chuck Greenberg. He worked tirelessly to gain ownership of the team and plans on making it a long-term winner.
* Mitch Moreland. I just love watching the guy play.
* Nelson Cruz. There weren’t many players better in the clutch in 2010 than Cruz.
* Eric Nadel and Chuck Morgan. It’s nice to know that one of the top broadcasters in the game and one of the best PA announcers at least got to call a Rangers World Series game.
* Jeff Francoeur. The guy was fun to talk with and kept things light in the clubhouse.
* Darren O’Day. Thanks for Darren’s Diary during the season and for entertaining off day stories.
* C.J. Wilson. Not many guys could go from solid late-inning reliever to great starter in the span of an offseason. I can’t wait to see what he does next season.
* Colby Lewis. Thanks for Games 2 and 6 in the ALCS.
* Neftali Feliz. He makes the end of the games fun, doesn’t he?
* Jackie Moore. There may not be a better guy in all of baseball.
* Mike Maddux. If there’s another pitching coach that better understands his pitchers and works harder, I’d like to meet him.
* Tommy Hunter. Few on the team were more enthusiastic about the claw and antlers than Hunter (also thanks to Esteban German and Nelson Cruz for bringing that to the masses).
* Darren Oliver. A steady leader on a young team.
* Vladimir Guerrero. It was good to see you back to your usual self -- and not crushing Rangers pitching.
* The front office staff. You don’t hear many of their names and there are too many to note here, but they are a great bunch of folks who work hard. All Rangers fans should be thankful.
* Cliff Lee. Game 5 ALDS. Enough said...except that it would be nice if you were celebrating next Thanksgiving as a Ranger.
* David Murphy. He's a reminder of what it means to be a professional.
Just a handful of Rangers things to be thankful for. I want to also say thanks to my colleagues in the media that cover this team on a daily basis (and to the many bloggers as well). What are you thankful for from a Rangers perspective?