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The Trans Non-Issue; A Giant Surprise

Last month a subscriber asked my opinion about the laws being proposed—and passed—in a number of states banning transgender students from competing in sports.

I told him I thought it was a non-issue.

I still do, but because it has suddenly become a hot topic thanks to certain ambitious politicians, talk show hosts, and state legislatures, I need to weigh in briefly.

Transgender kids need our support. What they don’t need is silly laws forbidding them from using bathrooms or playing sports.

This is a phony issue. There’s no issue with “fairness” for female athletes. Transgender athletes have competed for years in girls’ sports all over the country and it hasn’t been a problem. The numbers are so small that the impact is infinitesimal.

Let’s be clear. There is no mass influx of transgender kids trying to play on girls’ teams. There is no group of mediocre guys trying to gain an advantage in sports by switching genders. There is no band of transgender students planning to field a powerhouse girl’s basketball team that will lay waste to the competition.

What there is, however, is a small group of kids who want to be accepted for who they are. Usually, it amounts to a handful of kids in a state. Not nearly enough to skew competitive results, create super teams, or have any real impact on “fairness.”

A bill has been introduced in Michigan, where transgender eligibility requests average two per year. Two per year! One of the sponsors of the South Carolina bill admitted she knew of no transgender athletes competing in the state. The governor of West Virginia signed a bill banning transgender participation despite not being able to cite one single example of a trans athlete competing in his state.

But that won’t stop politicians and wannabe governors from wasting time and taxpayer dollars on a non-issue to score cheap points with biased or misinformed voters. These are the same people who were concerned about other earth-shattering issues like Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head, and fictionalized hamburger limits in a Green New Deal.

Seriously, folks, we all have better things to concern ourselves with.

Like education, health care, climate change, infrastructure, racial justice and gun violence, to name a few.

Giant Surprise: Don't look now but one of the best teams in major league baseball is...drum roll, please, the San Francisco Giants.

Considered an afterthought in the National League West because of the presence of the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the loaded San Diego Padres, the Giants have been the surprise of the early 2021 season.

If you thought the Giants would be 20-14 at this point in the season, please go to Las Vegas immediately.

GM Farhan Zaidi has found diamonds in the rough, castoffs who became stars, and pitchers who have been transformed from punching bags to punch outs.

Consider Kevin Gausman. When the Giants signed him, I was among those who bemoaned the acquisition. But the guy with the 3-9 record and 5.72 ERA in 2019 was a pleasant surprise last year and has become one of the best pitchers in the National League this season,.

Then consider Mike Yastzremski, Donovan Solano, Wilmer Flores, Darin Ruf, Tommy LaStella, Mauricio Dubon, Mike Tauchman, Curt Casali, Anthony DeSciafani, Alex Wood and Jake McGee.

Zaidi has given them a chance, and manager Gabe Kapler—along with his staff of 13 coaches—has done a masterful job of developing and rotating his ever-changing group of players.

Meanwhile, the four 'old-timers"—shortstop Brandon Crawford, catcher Buster Posey, third baseman Evan Longoria and first baseman Brandon Belt—are all playing well and contributing timely clutch hits.

Right now, 34 games in, Posey has eight home runs and the Brandons both have seven, meaning all are on pace to hit more than 30 homers this year.

It may not last, given the talent on the Dodgers and Padre rosters, so enjoy it while you can. But at the very least, give a nod to the job being done by Zaidi and Kapler.


Gary Cavalli - Bowl and League co-founder, author, speaker 

Gary Cavalli, the former Sports Information Director and Associate Athletic Director at Stanford University, was co-founder and executive director of the college football bowl game played in the Bay Area, and previously was co-founder and President of the American Basketball League.

Get in touch//@cavalli49//

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