Rob Manfred’s petty Yankees photo move is actually MLB lockout rule


What seems on the surface like Rob Manfred’s pettiest gesture yet is unfortunately a required side effect of MLB ownership’s decision to lock out the league’s players.

If you visit to check in on the latest transactions (or the Yankees‘ official website — psych, inactive!), you’ll find something odd as of 12:01 AM Thursday, Dec. 2.

What was once an intriguing sidebar full of rumors and stats is now fully dominated by historic musings and hypothetical gibberish — baseball written as if it were a task handed off to people discovering baseball for the first time.

And what used to be a full roster of players? Now it’s … nothing. Faceless, gray blobs, wiped in the middle of the night.

Seriously. Take a look. You thought the Yankees had roster holes before the lockout? Now they’re completely empty, top to bottom.

Rob Manfred’s MLB lockout features the Yankees photos getting scrubbed.

Until further notice, Major League Baseball is not allowed to use the likenesses of their “players” considering they’ve basically punted said players out of the league, for the time being. Isn’t it lucky that we still have access to player photos? Look at Aaron Judge over there! Doesn’t he look like he’s having a great time? Not really? Well, MLB’s not allowed to do this!

Already, the ramifications have rippled far and wide, well beyond the goofiness of seeing these empty gray eye sockets. MLB players in the Dominican Winter League aren’t sure that they’ll be able to play while locked out of the US game. Jameson Taillon (and other rehabbing Yankees) isn’t allowed to consult with team doctors during his injury rehab anymore, which could set his progress back. Yankees strength coach Eric Cressey is someone who many players visit independently — seems like they’ll no longer be able to do so?

The Rule 5 Draft, which the Yanks stressed so much over last week? Canceled! Totally canceled.

Perhaps Rodger Sherman said it best. Without the players, MLB is nothing, hoisted by 30-year-old bits of its legacy. Without employees, any company is nothing.

Corporate America, famously as nameless and faceless as it gets, took another step towards depressing anonymity on Thursday morning when MLB deprived itself of access to everything that makes it great.

Remember “Let the Kids Play”?