Posted by: Mike Cornelius | December 26, 2021

A Christmas Visit From The MLBPA

A NOTE TO READERS: In keeping with the holiday tradition at On Sports and Life, today’s post is offered with apologies and a tip of the cap to Clement Clarke Moore, whose 1823 poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” lives on nearly two centuries later, though it is now far better known not by its title, but by its first five words.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when in every room
Baseball fans were discouraged, the feeling was gloom;
The lockout had started, discussions had stopped,
All hopes for a quick deal had been soundly popped.

‘Neath team logo blankets the children did sleep;
Dreaming of heroes and a World Series sweep;
And mamma in her jersey, and I with my glove,
Feared missing a season might cost us their love,

When from out in the stands there arose a great noise,
I sprang up to see what had upset the night’s poise.
Away to the cheap seats I flew like a flash,
To the third deck I ran all in a mad dash.

The lights shining down on the infield below,
Made it seem like a day game to my eyes you know,
When what did I see coming out of the blue,
But a little red sleigh pulled by players I knew,

With a driver in charge both lively and quick,
But not fat and jolly, it wasn’t St. Nick.
More rapid than high heat those ballers they came,
And he shouted, and whistled, and called each by name:

“Now, Gerrit! Now, Andrew! Now Max and you too Zack!
All members must know each of you has their back!
To the top of the mound! To the center field wall!
Great hitting and pitching! Our fans want it all!”

As Ohtani homers launch into the sky,
Big blasts by the phenom o’er the fence they do fly;
On command all the union leaders took flight
With that sleigh and the driver up into the night.

And then from the rooftop I heard the sharp beats
The prancing and pawing of players in cleats.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down the chimney Tony Clark came with a bound!

He’s the first former player, as union heads go;
But the last CBA was a very big blow.
The players have lost ground, yet the owners won’t move;
Clark and his union need to get in a groove.

He gave me a wink and a nod of his head
Which led me to think I had nothing to dread;
So I told him my thoughts, ‘twas this I did speak:
“You need to stand firm, Manfred thinks you are weak!”

“Salaries are falling, the median is down
By thirty percent since the last time around!
The old bargain is dead, now owners won’t pay
A guy in his thirties on his free agent day.”

“If teams think young guys are good, then they should play fair;
Not stretch their service to add a year from thin air.
But will the union hold fast, will you have support,
When winter is ending, and it’s time to report?”

Clark said not to fret but just to hold steady;
“Our union is strong, for the long haul we’re ready.
We want to play ball, not for games to be lost.
But we’ve earned our share, and progress comes with a cost.”

Then he rose up the chimney, and whistled his board,
And united together, away they all soared.
When I heard him exclaim, “Put this on a plaque!
Happy Christmas to all, the Great Game will be back!”

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