Major League Baseball and the Players Association failing to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement prompted team owners to impose a lockout that took effect immediately late Wednesday night.
The work stoppage is the ninth in MLB’s history and the first since the players’ strike in 1994 that led to the World Series being cancelled and stretched into the following year. It’s the first lockout since 1990 and fifth in the league’s history.
As a result of the lockout, MLB is not permitted to use any player’s name, image or likeness in any capacity. That led to the league removing all images of active players from their official website and replacing them with blank silhouettes.
Dozens of players around baseball, including Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Alex Vesia, responded by changing their social media profile photos to the same image that can be seen on teams’ roster pages.
— Alex Vesia (@Alex_Vesia) December 2, 2021
Tony Gonsolin and Justin Bruihl have since joined Vesia by updating their Instagram profile picture to the generic image being used on MLB.com.
Although the league isn’t allowed to promote active players during the lockout, MLB Shop can still sell jerseys and other merchandise with names. That’s because of a licensing agreement between MLB & MLB Players Inc. — which is not part of the CBA — and both parties benefit from sales.
Dodgers cite Tommy Lasorda in message regarding MLB lockout
Shortly after the lockout came into effect, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred shared an open later to fans. Several teams have posted messages as well, with the Dodgers among them and taking inspiration from late Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda.
“As Tommy Lasorda often said, you are the greatest fans in the world, and we are very grateful for the loyalty and support that you have shown the Dodgers and our beloved game of baseball throughout the years,” the team wrote.
“We hope that you and your loved ones are enjoying the holiday season, and we wish you the best for the coming New Year. Next season promises to be a memorable one, especially with the 2022 Major League Baseball All-Star Game being played at Dodger Stadium in July.
“Last night, the collective bargaining agreement between the MLB and Players Association expired. Despite MLB’s best efforts to negotiate a new agreement, a new agreement has not yet been reached. As a result, MLB has initiated a lockout of the Major League players. This measure will keep the parties at the bargaining table and help accelerate negotiations toward a new deal. As noted by Commissioner Manfred in his letter to the fans, the lockout is the best mechanism by which to protect the 2022 season.
“We are hopeful that MLB and the players will reach an agreement soon which will strengthen and protect our national pastime and enable us to get back to work on building a championship team and winning another World Series championship.
“Thank you, again, for your support, and best wishes for the holidays.”
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