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Baseball things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving

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There are still plenty of good things in the game that we should celebrate.

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The internet, and sports media in general, tends to breed the malcontent in all of us. If we come off sounding angry, at least it's obvious we care. Or something. It's entirely possible to go through a day with a more positive attitude, but it takes work. From a baseball perspective on Thanksgiving, here are a few things I'm thankful for.

A popular trend on Facebook is to show a picture of yourself from now alongside of a shot from 2009. The Cubs have Theo Epstein in charge instead of Jim Hendry. I could close there, and be fine, but I'm happy beyond that. Especially since Theo has pulled a line from Dire Straits from around 1982. "That ain't workin'." He's hired some vision-driven coaches and technicians to help the pipeline.

As I've noted before, the future ends up as a possible permutation of the current pipeline. For all the recent flaws, Miguel Amaya, Nico Hoerner, Brennen Davis, and Brailyn Marquez (in whatever order) form an acceptable top of the pipeline. The brass knows that continued improvement is almost needed to stay around longer than two years. The continuation will be aired online.

While I'm not a Rob Manfred fan, discontent toward his questionable agenda grows regularly. Many appreciated writers have pointed out silly things he's done. Congress opposes his minor-league “upgrade.” It's possible players will still have ample chance to improve without a "creeping ever closer to the body-piercing blade" moment from so many superhero movies or episodes.

I'm happy so many quality educators are on Twitter. Players can now appeal directly to college and pro scouts, with opportunities such as @Flatground. Players who want to get better can do so, and whichever organization they're with should be assisting.

The Cubs and Yankees announced the hiring of their first female coaches on the same day last week. Perhaps it should have happened months or years ago, but baby steps for the win. People are more receptive to "planning ahead" than before. May the trend continue.

I'm very happy with the crop of minor-league announcers the Cubs have. On and off air, they expand our knowledge of what's going on, on and off the diamond. With the developing players, the biggest question is on the field. They're classy and committed off the field, in most cases.

Finishing near where I started, whether Epstein and friends hang around after 2021 or not, thinking three-to-five years in the future is now a front office standard. The "invest in old players, mainly" thing never much worked. The youngsters in four or five years ago will push the envelope as Javy Baez and Francisco Lindor have. And players before them did, as well. It's a good time to be a Cubs fan. The debate that is to be oblivious of history.