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.
A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.
Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:
After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.
Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:
Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.
Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.
David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.
In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.
Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”
And he’ll get to do it only three more times.