Albert Pujols -- How could we not be thankful for #5? He's the greatest player in the game. He's the best offensive player and among the top 5 or 10 defensive players at any position in the game. Tangentially related, I'm thankful for...
Pujols' contract -- The big guy is signed for 2 more years + a team option at $16 M per season. While most would say it's ridiculous to pay a man $16 M to play baseball (and I might be inclined to agree), the contracts that are paid by baseball teams every season tell me what a tremendous value Pujols is to the organization. The fact that he's paid less than half of what he's worth is huge coup to the organization. It frees up the ownership and Mozeliak to spend more money to bring in other quality players to supplement Pujols, thus making the team that much better.
That the BBWAA finally got it right. With the Cards' 4th place finish this year, the BBWAA had every reason they needed to ignore Pujols' excellence this year and go with someone like Ryan Howard, C.C., or Manny for MVP. Though many of them don't really have the foggiest idea what they're doing, most of them were able to figure out that Pujols deserved the MVP this season, despite the Cards' 4th place finish. Where would we have finished without him? (Hint: it would have been ugly!)
Adam Wainwright -- Here's hoping that Wainwright can stay healthy all season long and prove to the rest of baseball what we already know -- that he's one of the best young pitchers in the game.
John Mozeliak's patience -- there have been a lot of opportunities over the last year or so for Mo to make the wrong moves -- most recently by giving up Ludwick + prospects for Matt Holliday. I'm thankful that he inquired on Holliday's availability, and even more thankful that he made the correct decision.
Ryan Ludwick's resurrection -- the Cards found this guy as a minor league free agent and he has been everything the A's hoped they had found when they drafted him nearly 10 years ago. I don't know how long this ride will last, but I'm thankful he's on it.
Rick Ankiel -- What more can be said about Rick? Though I'm on record as saying that it's time to trade Rick, his story is a tremendous one and I'm thankful that it's been scripted with him wearing the Birds on the Bat.
the 2006 postseason -- it's hard not to still be thankful for that tremendous run 2 years ago. I'm ready for #11, but still thankful for that curve that Wainwright threw to Beltran, the slider he threw to Inge, and the homer Molina hit. And while we're on the subject...
Molina's arm -- it's the best in the game. I'm thankful he was finally recognized for his defensive excellence and thankful for what he does for the team defensively.
Colby Rasmus -- I truly believe this guy's going to be special. I further believe that he's going to be able to step in this year and our OF will experience little to no dropoff whatsoever. Over the next 6 years, he'll become one of the best CFs in the NL.
Jeff Luhnow -- This man is little known inside Cards' fandom but he's been the architect of the team's improving farm system. Just a few years ago, our farm was one of the worst in the game. Now, it's in the top half and improving every single year. Luhnow doesn't deserve all the credit, but he's been the guide and should be recognized for it.
the Cards' fanbase -- I know it's hackneyed and arrogant, but I truly believe it's the best fanbase in the game, and probably in all of professional sports. There's nothing like being in St. Louis on a summer day. It's awesome!
Larry Borowsky -- LB created this community and fostered an environment that allowed everyone to feel welcome and built a communtity where we could all talk Cards' baseball intelligently and respectfully. I'm also thankful that he asked me to take a more active role when he decided to step aside. Though I was sorry to see him go, I knew that he created such a high standard here that I know I must take my responsibility very seriously. Everyone here deserves that.
This community -- I'm thankful that we all maintain the community that LB created and thankful that you all have accepted me and Dan in LB's absence.
I hope all of you have an excellent Thanksgiving Day. Rememeber all that you're thankful for and spend the day with the most important people in your lives.