CHICAGO (CBS) — Liam Hendriks was close to lights-out in finishing games as the White Sox’ closing pitcher this year – and he has earned the hardware to prove it.

For the second straight season, Hendriks is the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year. It was his first time winning the award for the White Sox.

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But Hendriks is now focused on closing things out off the field. Major League Baseball players are set to be locked out by owners at the start of next month if the two sides can’t settle on a new collective bargaining agreement.

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It would be the first work stoppage since the 1994-1995 baseball strike – which ended up forcing the cancellation of the World Series in 1994 – and it seems imminent.

“I think both sides are coming from a place where they’re trying to be as big and as strong as possible, and that’s just how it goes. A lot of us are frustrated now, and hopefully we can get to a point where it’s amicable, we can get to a point where it’s amicable, we can make this decision, and we can get back to playing this game we love,” Hendriks said, “because I think everybody’s of the same accord where games missed next year will be detrimental to the sport for decade to come – and I don’t think anybody wants that.”

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The current CBA expires Dec. 1 – less than three weeks from now.

Marshall Harris