Regardless of where they finish in the standings, this season will be much hairier than last for the Miami Marlins.
That was assured when it was revealed recently that the team would be making some changes to the policy that prohibited players from sporting facial hair when Don Mattingly took over as manager last year. Mattingly confirmed the news at spring training this week.
Mattingly says Marlins can have facial hair again. So.
While the new, revised policy doesn’t give players free reign to get unruly, it does permit facial hair as long as it’s maintained and trimmed appropriately. One would assume that this news was quite popular with certain players who prefer to avoid a clean shave.
One of the biggest objectors to the policy last season was pitcher Andrew Cashner, who sported an impressive beard in San Diego before he was traded to Miami in July. He spent the rest of the year sans facial hair, but admitted that the policy was a “big deal” to him as he approached free agency this offseason. He ultimately signed with the Texas Rangers.
Mattingly, who acknowledged that the ban wasn’t exactly beloved by players, had to deal with facial hair policies during his own playing career as well. He was once benched for refusing to cut his hair while playing for the Yankees, who have had an “appearance policy” that prohibits hair below the collar or beards since 1973.