Thanksgiving appetizers

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Please be safe if you're traveling or reaching for another drumstick. Those candles can burn pretty hot.

Let me know if, about three-fourths of the way through your meal, someone at your table blurts out, "The cranberry sauce!" and races for the kitchen. I've seen it happen.

I'm thankful for my loving and supportive family, a daughter who will forever be my pride and joy - I'm never more proud than when I wake up every morning knowing that I'm her daddy - and my loyal readers who keep coming back for more despite those 13 straight losing seasons. Thanks to all of you.

I'm also thankful for returned phone calls from Orioles officials and for friends who actually find my faults and the, well, dubious decisions I've made in my personal life to be a source of amusement. It's just Rocco being Rocco. Thanks for understanding and allowing me to laugh at myself.

Why should I be the only one not laughing?

And thanks, MASN, for keeping those checks coming. Sorry I keep blowing up the budget. I'll chip in for Adrian Gonzalez next winter. You have my word.

So is Tom Brady starting today or isn't he? How can I make my pick without knowing for sure?

I'll take Detroit +6 ½ and instantly regret it.

Another sign that times are changing: Titans quarterback Vince Young apologized to his coach via text message.

How thoughtful.

Adam Loewen is available in the Rule 5 draft.

I'm just saying...

The Marlins signed reliever Frank Mata to a minor league deal, according to Baseball America's Matt Eddy.

It just doesn't...well, you know.

Also, the Cubs signed former Orioles farmhand Scott Rice, a 1999 supplemental draft pick.

If memory serves, the Orioles received the pick as compensation for losing Rafael Palmeiro to free agency.

Yeah, that was a fair trade-off.

Rice can hang out with Scott Moore, who also signed with the Cubs.

I'm going out on a limb and guessing that the Orioles weren't one of the seven teams that watched Larry Bigbie work out.

Bigbie is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. It's just unfortunate that...well, you know.

I forgot to pass along the news yesterday that Vladimir Guerrero won the Edgar Martinez Award as the outstanding designated hitter.

David Ortiz and Jim Thome finished second and third, respectively. Luke Scott was the only other player to receive votes.

Guerrero is looking for a multi-year deal after drawing little interest last winter.

I mentioned a few days ago that MLB Network was ranking the top nine double play combinations of all time, and that Mark Belanger and Bobby Grich would be featured. I had no idea they were voted No. 1.

The duo won four straight Gold Gloves from 1973 to 1976.

I still remember the enormous disappointment when the rumors came true and Grich bolted for the Angels as a free agent following the '76 season. That one stung.

The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation partnered with Ravens guard Ben Grubbs and his Foundation on Tuesday to provide Thanksgiving meals to 150 families in need at the Park Heights Boys & Girls Club in Baltimore. Cornerback Lardarius Webb, guard Tony Moll and wide receiver Justin Harper helped distribute meals, posed for photos and signed autographs.

A day earlier, The Willis McGahee Foundation partnered again with Howard County Realtors to make sure 200 of Howard County's neediest families would enjoy a complete Thanksgiving meal in the privacy of their homes.

Programming note: MASN is again airing the BB&T Classic on Dec 5 at the Verizon Center. American meets Florida at 2:30 p.m., followed by Navy-George Washington and Maryland-Temple.

MASN is donating 1,500 tickets to active and retired members of the United States Armed Forces. Military personnel should visit MASNsports.com to print a ticket voucher for four complimentary tickets. The tickets can be redeemed at the Verizon Center box office beginning Nov. 30 with the printed voucher and military identification.

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