Originally written November 21, 2012 on Reading Between The Seams:
In this Thanksgiving Holiday season, we step back and look at five reasons that Major League Baseball fans are thankful for the current state of the game. 1) Small Market teams can still win the World Series The San Francisco Giantsand St. Louis Cardinals have won the last three World Series.  These teams aren’t the ones targeting all the $20M free agents (Pujols, Fielder, Sabathia, Darvish, AdGon).  They quietly build around resident pitching, add some 2) Attendance is at the highest since 2008 (pre-recession) Bud Selig should probably be most proud of this, but 2012 had the highest attendance since the recession hit in October 2008.  We, as a country, are not out of the woods, but the relative affordability, good stadiums for fan experience, what we can say is a more clean game than before, and really close competition has all fed into high fan interest in attending games, despite tighter personal budgets and most games available on TV. Fans still seem willing to attend games in person, despite many other alternatives, and it doesn’t look like this will change in the near term. 3) The additional Wild Card team I wasn’t sure about this one, but now I’m convinced.  Having the extra Wild Card teams keep half a dozen extra markets in play, which then makes for more key series in September, and more interest overall.  I recognize that it waters down the playoffs a bit, but the one game play in set up adds value to Division titles while still preserving a reasonable number of rounds.  To think Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Arizona were pretty much trade deadline sellers, then found themselves in the mix, shows that teams except of the worst of the worst will find themselves still in the mix. 4) No labor strife on the horizon The other three major team sports have had significant labor strife in the past 16 months.  Not MLB.  The current agreement with the MLBPA goes through 2016 (yes, we will elect a new President before the next contract) and it seems most parties are not too upset about the revenue distribution.  Anything can happen, but it seems that baseball learned its lesson in 1994, while the NHL didn’t, and the NBA and NFL came dangerously close to hitting a wall.  And I feel like those two still have major differences the next go around.  I recognize that any labor situation is tenuous, there are so many dollars at stake that nobody can give an inch, but MLB seems to be in a place that we won’t be seeing a stoppage anytime soon. 5) Mike Trout and Bryce Harper These guys are amazing.  And only 19 and 21.  The newly crowned and reigning Rookies of the Year have all five tools plus.  Fans can’t wait to see what these guys do next, their attitude seems to be good, they play the right way with hustle, and are on teams that are likely to contend in the near term.  These are the kinds of guys you buy tickets to see play, you hate to throw around comparisons like Mantle, Griffey, Kaline, Robinson, Cepeda, but these guys fit the bill. So all baseball fans should give thanks for the good things going on.  There are still challenges and things that need to be fixed, but the game is in a good place.  Happy Thanksgiving all! - Dave (@lhd_on_sports)   The post Five reasons for MLB fans to be thankful appeared first on Reading Between The Seams.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

Raiders reportedly expected to make a run at Jon Gruden

FCC unanimously ends sports blackout rule

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI

Is hiring Mack Brown a real possibility for SMU Mustangs?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL: Abdullah should not have been penalized for praying

Belichick: Pats 'didn't play well enough at all' against Chiefs

Astros new manager A.J. Hinch: ‘Goal is to win championships’

Oakland Raiders fire Dennis Allen after 0-4 start

Did Roger Goodell’s bodyguard assault a photographer?

Kobe Bryant, Deron Williams engage in war of words

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

WATCH: TBS sends up 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' with promo

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NFL Awards: Week 4 edition

The best and worst MLB players in September

Tracking demanding career paths of all Top 25 head coaches

NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

Strahan to make cameo as stripper in 'Magic Mike' sequel

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Raiders to make a run at Jon Gruden?

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NFL Awards: Week 4 edition

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI

NFL admits error on Abdullah penalty

Best, worst MLB players in Sept.

College FB coaches, tough career paths

NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

Raiders fire Dennis Allen after 0-4 start

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.