How to go from Locked Out to Locked In
by Tom Gibson, IL Saints Softball Coach
Now that the Major League lockout is over, I’m glad I can get back to preparing to watch my beloved Chicago Cubs rise from the ashes of being a sub .500 team in 2021 to being a slightly better sub .500 team in 2022. I’m part of the Illinois softball team, and we are in a little bit of a lockout ourselves as we are still waiting for some of the COVID restrictions on volunteers to lift. After watching MLB struggle to reach a deal, I began to wonder what it would look like if they had simply called the Saints Prison Ministry to fix their labor dispute. L
ook, I’ve got to be upfront. We are a non-profit ministry…literally, non-profit in the truest sense of the word… so our ideas for how to help a multi-billion-dollar industry settle a labor dispute are going to be a little outside of the box. Since I have some spare time, here is how I would have solved the labor issues and gotten the season started sooner!
Idea #1- Schedule 4 Games a Day
Here me out on this one. Our teams will often play 4 games in one day on a prison visit. This allows us to see multiple groups of inmates and share the Gospel more than once. Just think of how well this would work out for the Big Leaguers! You play 4 games a day, and the 162-game season is over by the second week in May! The World Series would be played Memorial Day weekend and BOOM! You’re back to the offseason!
Idea #2- Help Players Write Support Letters
Are you an MLB owner who is having trouble filling your 40,000-seat taxpayer-funded stadium? Are you trying hard to find a TV deal that offers maximum exposure to the team while providing a good revenue stream? Here is the answer to all of your problems. Have your players write support letters! Our missionary-athletes write support letters every year to help pay for ministry and travel expenses. If it works for us, it will surely work for them!
Idea #3- No more 5a.m. Bus Times, Gas Station Food, or Layovers in Airports 800 miles away from Home
These are actually demands from our last Missionary-Athlete contract negotiation. I’m not sure how it made it onto this list. Whoopsies!
Idea #4- Hugh Dwyer will oversee the postgame spread…for all 30 MLB Teams
If this sounds like an outlandish, crazy, unreasonable request, you have obviously never met NJ softball coach Hugh Dwyer!
Idea #5- Send the Northeast Teams into the Room to just get a Deal Done
I’m from Illinois. Outside of terrible politics, we are mostly known for being polite and for being the birthplace of Betty White. In order to get this deal done, you need guys who aren’t afraid to speak their mind and not worry about hurting anyone’s feelings. 100% of the MAs from the Northeast meet this qualification! If we had sent those guys into the room, they would have come out with the deal done – and they could have talked the owners into buying Illinois a new bus!
Look, I refreshed my Twitter feed 287,755 times in March alone looking to see if a deal had been done. Next time they hopefully reach out to us for some help because baseball talk is important for the long Saints bus rides and layovers in airports 800 miles away from home…