Rob Manfred Feb 17, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses representatives from the grapefruit league during the annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached between MLB owners and the MLBPA, players are officially locked out.

One of the immediate fallout effects: the removal of various news stories and images on and across the league’s network of official team sites. That felt particularly dystopian, especially considering the stories that remained up to fill in that editorial space.

It was especially weird to go to a team roster page and see that all the players had been effectively blacked out.

The league offered an explanation for this with an official statement:

You may notice that the content on this site looks a little different than usual. The reason for this is because the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and the league expired just before midnight on Dec. 1 and a new CBA is currently being negotiated between the owners and the MLBPA.

Until a new agreement is reached, there will be limitations on the type of content we display. As a result, you will see a lot more content that focuses on the game’s rich history. Once a new agreement is reached, the up-to-the minute news and analysis you have come to expect will continue as usual.

While it seems petty, it’s at least slightly motivated by a desire to limit exposure legally:

But, well, it still feels fairly petty, right? Not to mention the fact that it happened minutes after the lockout officially began. That meant the league had been preparing for this outcome; surely editorial content and player photos were not super high on the emergency lockout chart, which meant this was very much not an emergency lockout. It was at the very least heavily anticipated from ownership’s side, if not outright preordained.

Hopefully this doesn’t end up dragging on through the start of the season, and hopefully the players can achieve a more equitable arrangement in the end.


About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.