On the Yankees’ facial hair policy

Over the past two days, we’ve heard a lot about the Yankees’ facial hair policy. From David Price saying he wouldn’t come to New York because of it, to Derek Jeter wondering why facial hair is even a deal breaker when a ton of money is on the line and back to Price recanting his previous statement and even going so far as to say that he may not even have a beard when he hits free agency after the 2015 season. And let us not forget Joba Chamberlain‘s new mustache that he debuted this Spring.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m a female and I don’t have any facial hair to deal with everyday like my male counterparts. Well, okay, I don’t have enough for it to be noticeable even though I am 75% Italian and Greek and luckily, I don’t have to shave or wax my face frequently like some of my unlucky female friends.

But I have to ask, what is the big deal about facial hair?

Is being able to grow a beard a sign of being a more “manly” man? I only ask this because when I was in college, I lived in an off-campus house with five guys and two of my closest friends in the house, Tim and Dan, had lots of conversations about facial hair. Dan had to shave everyday and had a 5 o’clock shadow by 10 a.m. Tim could attempt to grow a beard and three weeks later wouldn’t have any noticeable growth on his chin. I found it amusing then and I find it amusing now.

Personally, I like the Yankees’ facial hair policy, mainly because I think some guys on other teams take advantage of the fact that they can grow outlandish beards because honestly, this is not attractive in any way (at least in my opinion):

And neither is this (again, my opinion):

Believe me, I do understand the whole, “I should be allowed to do whatever I want with my face!” argument but I also understand the Yankees’ point of view as well. You don’t want your players looking slovenly on the field and when guys are allowed to do what Brian Wilson, Jayson Werth and countless others do, well, that’s what happens.

Truthfully, I wouldn’t mind if the Yankees’ softened their stance a little bit and went further than just allowing mustaches. I think nicely groomed goatees and beards would be okay. The one guy I’m the most curious about is Derek Jeter. You’ll usually see pictures of other guys sporting some facial hair during the Winter. Even Robinson Cano had that beard, no mustache thing that a lot of guys seem to favor these days but I’ve never seen Jeter with any kind of facial hair.

Sometimes, I get a kick out of the new guys having to come over and shave in order to play for the Yankees. It sets the Yankees apart from most teams and that can be a good thing.

So how do you feel about this whole issue? Do you think the facial hair policy is silly and wish that Yankee players could be allowed to express themselves through goatees and crazy beards? Or do you agree with the club’s clean-cut, business-like, no facial hair stance?

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money, co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast and is a monthly contributor to ESPN's SweetSpot Blog. She is a former contributor at Aerys Sports and High Heat Stats. She has contributed to group projects at Baseball: Past And Present and the Hall of Stats. Her work has appeared in USA Today's Sports Weekly and most recently, she wrote four pieces for Derek Jeter: Celebrating the Yankees' Captain Clutch, a magazine printed by i5 Publishing.

17 thoughts on “On the Yankees’ facial hair policy

  1. Moskva81

    For all intensive purposes, the Yankees are a company with employees – they make the rules and the employees follow them. I bet there are a lot of people who would like to wear jeans to work every day but they don't because they like having a job and getting a paycheck. As for David Price, I'm sure his tune might change when he's 38 and the Yankees are the only team offering him one last fat paycheck to work out of the bullpen before he retires. Why would he trade his ethical stance on facial hair over money? I mean he's an athlete, right?

    • srosegots

      His tune already changed. Yankee fans were on him all night last night after those comments came out.

      • Moskva81

        Well that was quick!

    • Tynamite

      "Intents and purposes"

      • Moskva81

        oops thanks!

  2. williamjtasker

    I like the Yankees' appearance policy. But then again, I am old fashioned (he says hiding his ponytail). The only times I feel badly about it are when guys like Darnell come over and have to do all that grooming for a five day stint.

    • srosegots

      Yeah, that was bad.

  3. David

    Stacey — it may be a matter of any number of things. It may be that the guy is "macho" and that beards / facial hair — because of the testosterone required — proclaim manliness to their psyche. It may be a thing where the dude just likes facial hair (his dad had it, he's had it for a while and is proud, whatever). It may be that he had a group of people in college / minors / wherever who grew "playoff beards" or "winning streak" beards and is superstitious. Who knows? Could be any number of things.

    But realistically, I'm with Will. I'm old school with the Yankees, they have the right to dictate policy such as this and if players don't want the prestige and money that theoretically comes with going to the Yankees then the Yankees probably don't want that kind of player either…

  4. beearl

    It's nice to think of the Yankees as something special, but it's just baseball. If the players want to grow beards or have long hair, it should be up to them. Personal note: I have a beard and long hair. So there's that.

  5. OldYanksFan

    I am 59, and a long time rebellious hippy type. I have had long hair and a beard my entire adult (post 18 year) life. That being said, I like the Yankees policy. For whatever reason, to me, baseball players look more like baseball players when clean shaven. I also think the team looks better, more homogeneous, when everyone is clean shaven.

    And for whatever reason, many ballplayers allowed by their teams to have beards, seem to want to present the ugliest ones they can produce. Remember 'Caveman' Damon? Funny…. but not baseball-like.

    And that first picture? Jeez… that could give a kid nightmares.

  6. Mister D

    I have always had a baby face, and as a (once) young teacher I grew a beard so I wouldn't be mistaken for a student (something that still happened when I was 30!). In the end it is an affectation – no different than a woman's long hair. I don't mind it when it looks right – many great pitchers have used facial hair (usually staches) to appear more intimidating. Same with hair – Randy Johnson never looked right with short hair IMO. I wouldn't mind the Yankees loosening the restrictions so long as they players kept the hair tight and well groomed.

  7. Sportsmen, any sport, tend to be looked on as having less intelligence, less loyalty(except to self where they are seen as trend setters) and more unprofessional when covered in facial growth, especially when it is unruly. Case in point: Johnny Damon, who was viewed as a macho Neanderthal when playing for the Red Sox, experienced a total increase in his level of respect and acceptability when he became a cleaner cut Yankee. He was always a great man and player, but fans everywhere, myself included, viewed him differently from that day on. He truly became a team player and a yet very handsome one still. It was like he took off his no longer needed, mask.

  8. Vengeance74

    What full time career doesn't have a dress code? If Wilson and Worth above had to go in for a job interview like the rest of us working schmucks would they get the job looking like that? That being said,the players are also free to choose not to work for said corporation so for the most part I have no problem with what Price said. I actually like that he acknowledged that it's old school baseball. The only part I find silly was when he added the "I'm a grown man", for the reason stated in my first two sentences.

  9. Sam Blotz

    Right on Yankees – keep the hair cut and off the face.

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  11. I had no idea some one can think so deep on hairs. Especially facial hairs.

  12. Nikki

    I just think Kevin Youkilis looks funny with no facial hair. He's one of my favorite players and now he just looks funny. I'll get used to it, I'm sure.

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