Happy Thanksgiving HBT Nation/Universe

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Thanksgiving may be the most unbaseball holiday.

It’s far enough removed from last season to where the taste has left our mouths, still too far from the next season for our appetites to be rewarded. It’s usually cold, often gray. Someone always has a football game on.

It’s probably still my favorite holiday, though.  Yes, there’s a lot of karma to it. The amount of attention paid to food in a world that wants is troubling if you think about it. Then I got Old Gator sending me emails telling me to have a Happy Native American Memorial Day. But forget him, I like stuffing.  And of course pie.

The thought behind Thanksgiving — or at least the thought I think we’re supposed to have — is what I like the most. It’s become a bit of a cliche for people to say what they “give thanks” for, making lists and all of that, but in a year full of holidays that celebrate either materialism or an unsettlingly-imposed orthodoxy of sentiment, there’s a simple warmth to it.

I’m thankful for all of you people coming by the blog every day. It keeps Aaron, Drew, D.J., Matthew and me off the streets, of course. But it’s also a validation that our weird obsessions aren’t too terribly singular.  It’s nice to share a virtual conversation with all of you people every day.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.

Angels demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

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Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.

Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).

While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.