Hair today, gone tomorrow. Am I right?
Clint Frazier got a haircut Friday morning, doing away with his luscious, flowing, glorious red locks. The 22-year-old spoke to some people within the organization, including manager Joe Girardi, and deemed that his hair had become a bigger talking point than his play on the field, according to Mike Mazzeo of the Daily News.
“It started to become a distraction. I like my hair but I love playing for this organization more,” Frazier said, according to Mazzeo. Frazier also said that this is the shortest his hair has been since mom made him get a haircut in the seventh grade.
Frazier’s hair will be put to good use, though. According to Bryan Hoch, the Yankees kept Frazier’s hair and will donate it to an organization that makes wigs for children with cancer.
The Yankees obviously still have their clean-cut, no facial/long hair policy in effect, which was put in place by George Steinbrenner back in the 70’s. Frazier’s hair has been a signature of his, and it gained even more attention when he was traded to the Yankees last summer. As spring training got underway a few weeks ago, talk of Frazier’s ruby locks heated up again as people debated on whether or not the Yankees would be forced to break out the clippers.
Frazier hasn’t been the only target of the hair-police recently. CC Sabathia made his spring debut earlier this week and sported a noticeably short beard. Girardi was asked multiple questions after the game about Sabathia’s look and if he’d talk to his veteran starter about shaving it.
You can argue that all of this is a media creation, as most fans don’t seem to care if a player bends the rules or not. It’s pretty ridiculous that hair can become a “distraction” to a professional sports team, but that’s life with the New York Yankees.
Don’t expect this topic to go away, though, now that Frazier has contained his gingerness. Bryce Harper will likely hit free agency in a couple years, and the Yankees are expected to be possible suitors. Chasen Shreve, a childhood friend of Harper’s, was asked recently if the Nats outfielder would be OK with shaving his beard and maybe trimming his voluminous hair.
“I don’t think it would be a problem for him to shave his beard,” Shreve told Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media. “I think his hair would be fine here, but sometimes it’s gets long and out of control. I think he would have no problem with it if he signed here.”
You have to wonder how much the Yankees’ hair policy turns potential free agents way. David Price said a few years ago that he’d never join the Yankees simply because he likes his beard. Whenever a player leaves the team, he automatically grows a beard as if to make a statement – see Brian McCann, Andrew Miller, David Robertson, Ivan Nova, etc.
It will be interesting to see if the Yankees decide to modify or do-away completely with their decades old policy. However, it’s nice to see Frazier take initiative on the subject.