Times are changing and maybe the New York Yankees’ facial hair policy should be considered for change as well.
In 2016 former Yankee great, Don Mattingly, introduced the no facial hair policy to the Miami Marlins. Unfortunately for Marlins fans, the addition of the facial hair ban did not bring about the record that was achieved by the New York Yankees of old. The facial hair ban did not effect the likes of baby-faced Christian Yelich. However, this was used by Andrew Cashner as a deal breaker in free agency.
The Yankees have maintained their no facial hair policy since the late George Steinbrenner began enforcing it in the 1970’s. Because of the policy, much like in the case of Cashner with the Marlins, the Yankees have missed out on possible free agents in the past. Free agents such as David Price. Price discussed in a 2013 interview how he would not join the Yankees because of their rules. At the same time, we have seen some players such as Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon join the ranks of the Yankees and conform to the policies of the team.
Can they afford to continue with their current policy?
How many free agents will we see the Yankees miss out on? It is time for the Yankees to decide to get rid of their outdated policy. The Miami Marlins gave up on their policy after just one year. I’m sure they will have a winning season now.
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The Yankees have slowly moved to a practice of trying to become more youthful. The Yankees will need to change their policy if they hope to make a run for Bryce Harper. Harper will be able to try his hand at free agency, as early as the end of the 2018 season. When Harper hits free agency, a deciding factor may be the outdated facial hair policy of the Yankees.
Though I’m sure for enough money, Harper may be willing to make that exception. How many possible superstar caliber free agents will the Yankees choose to miss out on for the sake of having the babiest of faces on the playing field?
Get with the times
No other team in baseball has as strict of a policy as the Yankees do and players still choose to play for them when it comes to free agency. Just look at the case of Aroldis Chapman this offseason. Being that they are the Yankees, arguably the most legendary franchise in the game, helps when it comes to free agency. But, how far can the Yankees go on legacy alone when it comes to attracting free agents? Sure they have the money and the allure of legacy, but is that really enough for those who value their facial hair?
Money aside, this is an old and outdated policy that does not serve any purpose in today’s game of baseball. It is 2017 for crying out loud. We live in a world where we can order a car from our phone without talking to anyone and have our favorite foods delivered to our door. Why in the world are we still forcing multi-million dollar athletes to follow rules that limit their chosen appearance?
I’m sorry New York, but I refuse to trim my beard and cut my hair. It looks like, lack of skill aside, I won’t be able to be a New York Yankee.