Update: MLB says the lack of photos and video highlights are a licensing issue. Carry on ...
The Red Sox’ official website has undergone a lockout makeover. Gone are stories about current players or any pictures of them. In their place, visitors can now view a letter from Rob Manfred and stories about great moments in Red Sox history.
What’s going on?
When MLB owners enacted their first lockout at midnight Thursday in nearly three decades, the league’s website immediately removed all references to the league’s players. An explainer says MLB’s website won’t feature any active MLB players until the lockout ends.
“Until a new agreement is reached, there will be limitations on the type of content we display,” the note reads. “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.”
This measure of erasure is downright petty, and accomplishes nothing besides pushing baseball further back in the minds of sports fans for the duration of the work stoppage. It’s hard to see how removing Chris Sale’s picture from RedSox.com, for example, will propel players to acquiesce to owners’ demands.
Even worse, the Red Sox’ homepage doesn’t even feature the greatest moments in team history. Yes, Pedro Martinez striking out 17 Yankees was awesome, but can’t we get a video showing us the “underhand from Foulke?”
MLB’s lockout is especially insulting, because it’s apparent the league is in strong financial shape. Teams spent more than $1.4 billion on free agents in the day leading up to the stoppage, though the Red Sox haven’t really been part of that frenzy. While teams are lavishing stars with nine-figure contracts, the Red Sox signed Rich Hill, a rehabbing James Paxton, Michael Wacha and traded for Jackie Bradley Jr.
But then again, you can’t read about those moves on the team’s website, anyway. Out of sight, out of mind.