Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- Take the Field

 shannonnewton2Shannon Newton
 President, ATA

There is a universal rule in baseball about playing the outfield with a lead, especially a two-run lead in the bottom of the 9th. Under no circumstances can the ball be hit over an outfielder’s head. It’s called no-doubles defense.

In Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, the Texas Rangers were one strike away from defeating the St. Louis Cardinals and securing their first World Series championship.

Exceptionally talented, trained, professional athletes were in position. Rangers’ right-fielder Nelson Cruz’s positioning was a non-issue until the Cardinals’ David Freese swung at a 1-and-2 fastball with two runners on base.

The ball was hit directly toward Cruz. He reacted poorly, tried to recover unsuccessfully. Both runners scored on what became a triple for Freese. And the rest, as they say, is history. Both runners scored, extending the game. The Rangers went on to lose in extra innings and Game 7 as well.

It was a crushing defeat… one that, like haunted spirits and bad dreams, never truly goes away. They lost because of a simple breakdown in execution that should never have happened.

What can’t happen . . . happened. A ball cannot be hit over an outfielder’s head in that situation, not even with a poor read. If you want to win, it can’t happen. Simple.

Recent events in DC have caused some in our industry to dwell on our own missed fly ball. It’s a ball that should’ve been caught. Similarly, there was a breakdown in execution. What happened shouldn’t have.

There is no lemonade out of lemons as of press time to make what happened easier to swallow.

There will be a time for us to collectively, as an industry, find out how this happened and work together to prevent it from happening again. But right now the game is not over.

The situation is fluid. Negotiations continue. Our industries’ top experts are informing key legislators on the importance of the 34-hour restart to our industry’s productivity, safety and the lifestyle of our drivers.

Advocacy is a team sport. There is no question that this is a real threat for many segments of our industry and working towards a solution amenable to everyone presents a challenge. It is times like these when our industry leaders must be united in support of the best possible outcome.

When their right-fielder missed a fly ball that would have won the World Series, the Rangers didn’t dissolve and start a new team with only two outfielders.

Recovering from a setback takes stamina and teamwork to refocus on the goal. The fact is our team is stronger when all the players take the field. It just can’t be done alone. Put your rally caps on. Now is the time for the Power of Association.

 

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Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201

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