With MLB and the MLBPA currently locked in a cold war, the league took some seemingly drastic steps to try and Thanos snap away any memory of players: At the stroke of midnight on Dec. 2, the league decided to wipe MLB.com of any reference of current players, stories and more.
There’s actually a reason for it, dumb or not: Because of the lockout, MLB can’t use the players’ images for benefit. It’s seemingly a legal thing, in short.
“Until a new agreement is reached, there will be limitations on the type of content we display,” MLB said in a statement on its site. “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.”
MLB expanded on that Thursday night in a statement to David Waldstein of The New York Times: “Every action we are taking is at the advice of legal counsel per the National Labor Relations Act.”
Well, challenge accepted: In response to MLB trying to wipe the existence of the players — legal ramifications or not — the players decided to take the fight right back to MLB with a hilarious counter-punch: Some players changed their Twitter avatars to the same nameless, faceless placeholder images on the MLB website on Thursday.
It’s amazing to see players around the league change their avi in solidarity. MLB can take away our image but never our LIKENESS!
— Trevor Williams (@MeLlamoTrevor) December 2, 2021
Since MLB chose to lock us out, i’m not able to work with our amazing team Physical Therapists who have been leading my post surgery care/progression. Now that I’m in charge of my own PT- what should my first order of business be? I’m thinking I’m done with this boot. It can go😎
— Jameson Taillon (@JTaillon50) December 2, 2021
The players and the league are reportedly very, very far apart on any sort of deal, meaning the ill will is going to cut through winter, potentially right up to Opening Day.
Public displays of aggression during sports labor disputes are oftentimes the equivalent of a slap-fight between two drunk, blindfolded hobos. That stuff’s usually entertaining, so count us all in for a winter of this nonsense.