It’s been a long week since the election on Tuesday, and I don’t say that just to say it. There is some for real 12 stages of grief shit going on over here.
The night of, and the next day, I was upset. Not that Hillary Clinton didn’t win, just that Hillary Clinton was the wrong candidate all along; election night was proof of that. Then I thought about some auxiliary factors, like I would have to eat crow at work to two massive Trump supporters I’ve been shit-talking with throughout the campaign.
By the time I actually hit the road for work on Thursday, I didn’t care as much about my selfish reasons for being frustrated. Instead I was fixated on the thought that America voted in this guy that is all the bad things I’ve already written on this blog. They wanted that guy.
Yeah, I know Trump brought in like 20% of the black vote and 30% of the latino vote, which were both higher than expected. But white people, who already represent 70% of the electorate as is, came out even harder than they usually do. Donald Trump took a lesser percentage of white people than Mitt Romney did in 2012, but more of them voted in 2016. A lot more.
I work at a resort and casino that doesn’t have to abide by the federal minimum wage, so many of the positions they employ, whether it’s maids or custodians, or cooks, or virtually every position that doesn’t require direct communication with customers, make something like $8 per hour. And the common thread among them: their spoken english is godawful. Most (if not all) are immigrants.
I have to walk around the same halls, and look at them in the face, when the country they are busting ass to survive in basically told them We Don’t Care About You when they elected Donald Trump. And by the logical extension of being a white guy, the natural impulse is to just assume I approve of this. Which I very obviously don’t.
I just want to walk around with a sign around my neck to let them know I didn’t vote for that asshole, but I don’t think that’s realistic.
The American people have spoken, but we don’t know of the consequences that will come of this, or all the bridges that will be burned. I stand with my brothers and sisters of different color and different sexual orientation. And it’s my sincere hope that there are many more Americans, like me, who will never forget this decision.
Things are happening in my sports universe, but it all seems so secondary right now. The last year and a half of my life has been so dominated by the political races, both during the primary season and straight through the general election. Thank god the Rangers had an interesting year to distract me for six months.
College football hasn’t been especially interesting this year. Alabama seems like the overwhelming favorite to win another National Championship. Every other team is playing one game, and Bama remains on an entirely different level. I’ll take them over the field.
With that said, Virginia Tech (7-3, 5-2 in the ACC) has had an encouraging year. Before losing to Georgia Tech (6-4, 3-4) last week the Hokies had the inside track of winning the ACC Coastal, guaranteeing them a spot in the ACC Championship Game. This was made possible by North Carolina (7-3, 5-2) losing somehow to Duke (4-6, 1-5), with Virginia Tech owning the tiebreaker against UNC. Alas, the calculus is pretty simple: VT needs to defeat in-state rival Virginia on the last day of the year to earn that title game spot. If not, UNC will have to lose to NC State.
The Duke (2-0) basketball season started a few days ago, and this should be a fun year. So far they’ve outscored Marist and Grand Canyon University (two no-names) by a composite score of 190-110.
They won’t be at full strength until after the new year, most likely. Harry Giles, the highest rated freshmen prospect in the nation, won’t be ready until around then, and currently Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden — also highly rated freshmen — are on the shelf. In the meantime they should continue blowing teams out, because they still have so much to choose from on the court.
Finally, the Rangers.
The taxpayers approved the vote to build their new stadium, and it wasn’t close. They are now on the hook for anywhere between $500 million and $1.675 billion between 2020-2050, while the ownership group gets to slide with a massive handout from the good folks of Tarrant County.
In personelle department, Texas declined an $11 million option on Derek Holland — a mild surprise. They also gave the $17.2 million qualifying offer to Ian Desmond, which he declined, meaning when he signs with another team the Rangers will get compensated with a draft pick.
With so little to pick from on the free agent market, that would seem to suggest that Jon Daniels will be looking to the trade market to acquire some starting pitching. However, with Jurickson Profar (who had a rough 2016 at the plate) and Joey Gallo (who still hasn’t proven he can hit big league pitching) as the two biggest trade chips, then looking to trade might not work out so well, either. The Rangers would clearly be selling low on either Profar or Gallo, and I’m of the opinion that if they are more valuable to you than they are to the market, then just hold on to them.
Luckily Texas doesn’t have very much business to take care of. They could use a backend starting pitcher or two, a center fielder and a 1B/DH type. One way or another they look slated to win 85-90 games next year, and should be right there with Houston and/or Seattle at the top of the division.