Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly is very much a part of the “old school” of thinking, but he will be embracing one aspect of “new school” in 2017.
The Miami Marlins announced Tuesday they will be changing their team policy in regards to facial hair. When Mattingly took over as manager last year, the organization banned their players from growing facial hair. Mattingly confirmed this week at spring training that the ban has been lifted and players may once again refuse to shave if they so chose.
However, the Marlins aren’t going to turn into the 2013 Boston Red Sox. While the revised policy permits facial hair, it must still be maintained and trimmed appropriately. Basically, Johnny Damon won’t be signing with the Marlins any time soon.
Some baseball fans might not really care all that much about facial hair policies around the league, but such things are certainly on the minds of the players.
Right-handed pitcher Andrew Cashner sported an impressive beard during his tenure with the San Diego Padres before getting traded to the Marlins last July. He spent the rest of the year clean-shaven, but supposedly hated it. He admitted the policy was a “big deal” to him as he approached free agency this offseason, and Cashner eventually signed with the Texas Rangers over staying with the Marlins.
Ironically, Mattingly didn’t like such policies when he was a player either. The New York Yankees once benched him for refusing to cut his hair. The Yankees have a strict “appearance policy” that has prohibited hair below the collar or beards since 1973.