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Giving thanks for Giants-related things

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What made it fun to be a Giants fan in the oddest of years? Here's your chance to pick something out.

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There are real-world things you're taking for granted right now. Even when you give thanks for them, you don't give enough thanks. You can experience love because two flatworms had flatworm sex hundreds of thousands of years ago. If they don't meet, you don't exist. Give thanks for those flatworms. Also, your family.

This is not a space for real-world thanks. I'm thankful for so, so much, and it's overwhelming, albeit in a beautiful way. But this is a place for the frivolous baseball-related thanks in our lives. Your job is to pick the one part of the 2015 Giants that made you thankful that you were a Giants fan.

You could go with Chris Heston and his no-hitter. In the dawn of what would eventually be a lackluster odd year, we had magic. Do you remember how that sinker moved and darted and danced? It was beautiful. And that was the last we heard from the 2015 Mets.

You could go with the continued dominance of Madison Bumgarner. Maybe even an isolated moment, like his dinger off Clayton Kershaw.

You could go with Buster Posey's continued existence. He's still on the Giants, and it's still absolutely amazing.

You could go with Pablo Sandoval's self-imposed exile. I still have nothing but fond memories of the feller, but he would sure have screwed up this offseason. Instead of David Price or Zack Greinke whispers, the Giants would be all about the Chris Capuano rumors.

However, I'm going to use this space to give thanks for Matt Duffy emerging from obscurity and becoming a long-term building block the Giants weren't expecting at all. If the Giants had traded him for Jake Peavy, I would have justified the deal. If they had traded him for Jeff Samardzija in the offseason, I would have been thrilled. If they started him in the minors, I would have agreed with the decision to give him regular playing time.

Instead, he became one of the best rookies in baseball, a defensive revelation, and a steady force in a season of unsteadiness. And because he's here, the Giants don't have to futz around in the offseason, looking for a third baseman. It would have been distracting. You would have sat, arms folded, just waiting for the David Freese announcement. The hot pitching rumors would have been lukewarm.

The Giants have a homegrown infield that will be around for the next couple years, and even if Brandon Belt leaves, there's still a chance for a homegrown infield for years after that. Duffy is the most surprising, most unexpected part of that infield. He wasn't the presumed All-Star that Posey was. He wasn't the prospect that Belt was, nor was he a first-round pick like Joe Panik. He wasn't a slowly developing, increasingly impressive player like Brandon Crawford. Duffy was just ... suddenly there and phenomenal.

He's still never had an at-bat in Triple-A, you know.

To Matt Duffy, convenient third base building block and future All-Star! He wasn't here, then he was, and my goodness, he was fun to watch. Let us give thanks to him for making it fun to be a Giants fan in 2015.