MLB Removes Player Photos, News from League Website After Lockout Begins

Adam WellsDecember 2, 2021

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred listens to a question Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, during a news conference in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Major League Baseball's official website has a different look after the owners initiated a player lockout at 12:01 a.m. ET on Wednesday. 

Per an official explanation on MLB.com, "there will be limitations on the type of content we display" until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached with the MLB Players Association.

Player headshots have been removed from the site, and most of the stories and content on the website's front page are about the work stoppage and information about the 2022 Hall of Fame voting. 

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred posted a letter on the website to fans providing an explanation from the owners' perspective about the CBA discussions:

"I want to explain to you how we got here and why we have to take this action today. Simply put, we believe that an offseason lockout is the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season. We hope that the lockout will jumpstart the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time. This defensive lockout was necessary because the Players Association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive. It’s simply not a viable option. From the beginning, the MLBPA has been unwilling to move from their starting position, compromise, or collaborate on solutions."

Individual team websites still have the news tab, but fans would be hard pressed to find any player-related information. 

For example, even though Max Scherzer was officially introduced as a member of the New York Mets after signing his three-year deal on Wednesday, there is nothing about the three-time Cy Young winner on the team's website

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

Some A+ trolling here from <a href="https://twitter.com/itsFatherJoe44?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@itsFatherJoe44</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/JTaillon50?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JTaillon50</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/MeLlamoTrevor?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MeLlamoTrevor</a> changing their profile pictures to the blank avatars <a href="https://t.co/cML1faFwBH">https://t.co/cML1faFwBH</a> is using in lieu of player images, which it has scrubbed from its website in the wake of the lockout. <a href="https://t.co/sp59sRacce">pic.twitter.com/sp59sRacce</a>

Manfred did note in his letter than the work stoppage "does not necessarily mean games will be cancelled."

There is still plenty of time for the owners and players to iron out a new CBA before things reach that point. Spring training typically begins in mid-February, with games starting around March 1. 

The 2022 regular season is scheduled to begin on March 31 with all 30 teams in action. 

The lockout marks the first official work stoppage in MLB since the player strike that began in August 1994 and ended in April 1995. The 1995 regular season was shortened to 144 games as a result of the late start.