BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Just after the clock struck midnight Thursday, Major League Baseball locked out the ballplayers, with the league office and players association unable to reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement.

In short, the deal establishing the pay and working conditions for the next baseball season expired, bringing about a work stoppage for the first time in 26 years.

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One of the more bizarre side effects of the stalemate: Teams across the league scrubbed their websites of all images and stories associated with individual players, rendering their rosters a list of names with blank, baseball cap-wearing silhouettes in place of player pictures.  MLB said teams are limited in the types of content they can display online until a new deal with the players union is reached.

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Players across the league are now using the faceless images on social media as a form of protest, likely a response to what they see as the league minimizing their contributions to the sport.

Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini and pitchers John Means, Isaac Mattson and Zac Lowther have exchanged their normal profile pictures on the platform for the anonymous gray ballplayers.

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Just before the collective bargaining agreement was set to expire, Means tweeted a picture of a T-shirt with the word “Brotherhood” across the front, no doubt a sign of union solidarity.

Brandon Weigel