For the first time in more than three decades, Major League Baseball has itself a lockout. A cabal of 30 billionaire parasites, aided by their comically incompetent lickspittle, has seized control of the league and its physical and digital infrastructure and barred from access the players who make the game. Because this is happening during baseball’s winter offseason, most of the consequences of the lockout will be invisible to the average casual baseball fan. Most, but not all: MLB used its website Thursday to publish a series of propaganda pieces masquerading variously as a dry breaking news item, an “FAQ about CBA negotiations” that offers a useless, one-sided narrative of events (“We worked tirelessly over the last several months to find compromise, offering to make the current system even better for players…”), and a nauseatingly insincere letter to fans from said lickspittle, Commissioner Rob Manfred. As acknowledged in a fourth propaganda item, headlined “A note about our website content,” this takeover of the news bar isn’t the only significant change to MLB’s website:
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.MLB.com
Hilariously, this temporary focus “on the game’s rich history” breaks down as the removal of all stories about current, active MLB players, as well as the removal of all images and videos that depict active MLB players. Probably this has to do with CBA rules regarding the commercial use of images and likenesses, but in concert with the league repurposing the news function of its website for the distribution of sleazy propaganda, it makes for a clarifying reminder that without the cool guys firing the heaters and smoking the dingers, Major League Baseball as an entity is just a rickety vessel, steered by a moron and ferrying a coterie of bloodsucker investors to what they expect will be a promised land full of exploited and exploitable laborers.
What good is an MLB website that has no images of current MLB players? No good at all! Here at Defector it is our feeling that it is never more important that the faces of the players who make the game—or, for that matter, any workers who provide the labor of an industry—be seen and known than when they are opposing the shitbag ownership class. It is in that spirit that we have decided to bring to you, our readers, some faces of some guys who play Major League Baseball, so that you may remember them.
The MLB website lists 1,502 active players, so far as I can tell all of whom have had their faces scrubbed and replaced with generic avatars. That would be a lot of faces to throw at you at one time, and would quite possibly crash our website. Last time MLB owners locked out their own workforce, in 1990, the action lasted 32 days. Although a lot could happen in a short period of time, owners seem at least as dug-in now as they did then—do not be surprised if this lockout stretches all the way to the cusp of the 2022 regular season. But if we use the 1990 lockout as a guideline, 32 days would allow us to show you roughly 46 faces per day, with a few left over, and without overwhelming either your appetite for baseball faces or the capabilities of our humble blog operation.
Therefore! The 1,502 players listed on MLB’s website have been compiled into a list, and the list has been randomized, and a collection of 46 baseball faces are here presented, at the top of this blog, for your enjoyment. We’ve got mullets and mustaches, goatees and gold-glovers, eye-black and eye-talians, and more than a few derp faces. There’s wizened veterans and part-timers and prospects so new the only video evidence, now that MLB’s archives are functionally worthless, could be found on YouTube. Most of these guys will never come close to securing the kinds of eye-popping paydays that made the last few days prior to the lockout so exhilarating, and which are already being positioned by cynics and bootlickers as evidence that owners are somehow in the right. In Major League Baseball, more than any other of the major North American sports, the overwhelming majority of guys are simply Guys, and always will be. The least we can do is let them have their own dang faces.
How many of them do you recognize? For me that number is seven: two Nationals, two former Nationals, two Yankees, and a socker of 500 dongs. Name your guys down in the comments; tomorrow (or whenever I post the next of these) I will provide a key with all the names of today’s group. Remember the guys.