It is that time of year again. Every year on Thanksgiving, we take the time to consider what we are thankful for. This Thanksgiving, here are five things Miami Marlins should be thankful for.
1) Giancarlo Stanton
Last Thanksgiving, Marlins fans were thankful Stanton accepted a long-term contract and agreed to remain in Miami for at least the next few seasons. A year later, his contract should still be acknowledged.
Miami should be thankful Stanton agreed to backload his contract, allowing the organization to invest in other players this winter. The Marlins are not expected to increase their payroll significantly, but any potential increase could partially be attributed to the fact Stanton did not demand large pay checks throughout the first few seasons of the new deal.
When he was healthy, Stanton was dominant in 2015, belting 27 home runs and 67 RBIs over 74 contests. If he was healthy throughout the entire season, he likely would have been in MVP talks once again. Defensively, Stanton is consistent in right field.
Stanton will be back in right field next season and is expected to be healthy come spring training. He makes the Marlins exciting to watch, and that alone is worth some thanks.
2) Dee Gordon
Miami acquired Gordon from the Dodgers last winter and he has had a notable amount of success. Gordon performed so well, the Marlins appear to be at least open to rewarding him with an extension this winter.
While Christian Yelich produced from the lead off spot, the Marlins have lacked a true lead off hitter in recent seasons. Gordon was able to thrive in Miami last season, stealing 58 bases while batting .333 and driving in 46 runs.
The Marlins do not have a notable amount of second base depth, and Gordon has been able to produce offensively and play above average defensively. If the deal with the Dodgers didn't get done, the Marlins might not have had as many wins as they did in 2015. Miami fans should be thankful for Gordon's contributions.
3) Marlins Park
Remember the days where the few thousand fans who attended would wait around the Sun Life Stadium concourse until 10 o'clock before learning the game was canceled as a result of severe storms? Although they may be hard to forget for some, those days aren't what Marlins fans are thinking about any more.
It is easy to take Marlins Park for granted, considering most major cities across the country have Major League Baseball stadiums. Regardless of how it was paid for, Marlins Park is the site of 81 games that will all, without a doubt, start on time. Between the Bobble head Museum, Taste of Miami, and entertainment in between innings, Marlins fans should be thankful for Marlins Park and everything it has to offer.
4) Jose Fernandez
5) Two World Series Titles
Don't get me wrong, the goal of every team every season should be to win a championship. But there are likely quite a few major league franchises that would love to be in the position the Marlins are in, having won two titles in such a short period of time.
A lot has happened since 2003, but the Marlins might be close to a third World Series title. Setting the future aside for a moment, it's time to appreciate the past.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!