Brian Wilson won't shave for the Yankees, so he won't play for the Yankees

11/13/13 in MLB   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

The New York Yankees are a fascinating franchise for many reasons, but it is a statute that is perhaps their most interesting characteristic. Decades ago, former owner George Steinbrenner employed a military-style grooming code that has remained in place even after his death in 2010. Players can not grow any facial hair aside from a mustache, and their hair must not reach below their collars.

The old school, seemingly outdated policy has brought on some interesting stories, but I can't say whether or not it has ever truly affected the team in the past. Gary Sheffield had no problem chopping off his beard before playing for the Yankees in 2004, and Johnny Damon got rid of his legendary flow when he became a Yankee in 2006.

Blog Photo - Brian Wilson won't shave for the Yankees, so he won't play for the YankeesFree agent relief pitcher Brian Wilson, however, has literally put years into crafting his massive, imposing black beard. It has become what defines him, along with his loopy personality and typically strong pitching.

The Yankees, like any team in the MLB, could always use a nice addition to their bullpen, and Wilson is one of the top relievers on the market. The Yankees were one of eight reported teams in the running to land Wilson's services, but that was before they got some off-putting news from Wilson's agent - Wilson is unwilling to shave his gargantuan beard to play for the Yankees. General manager Brian Cashman has since announced that the team will not sign Wilson.

Growing a beard is what Wilson does best. The Angels didn't ask Albert Pujols to stop hitting home runs when he came to Anaheim. That ferocious black beard is just who Wilson is, and he is too proud to sacrifice it just to play for the most decorated team in the history of baseball. If Wilson lost the beard, he may not even be any good - he's like Samson, his strength is in his (facial) hair.

The Yankees will now move on to other options, perhaps someone like Chris Perez, Jesse Crain, Edward Mujica, or Jose Veras.
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11/14/13   |   defcomxiii

JOBAJOBAJOBAJOBA

11/14/13   |   Jess   |   34876 respect

Here's the thing - the Yankees may be a sports team and sure, maybe they're meddlesome, but the fact remains that they are a business; an employer, and that affords them the choice to be that way. Their players are representative of the team - if they want them to look a certain way, I get it. There are a lot of companies who want their employees, who represent them, to look a certain way. If Wilson does't want to conform in order to work there, I get that too.

Once upon a time I wanted to work at Starbucks (for just for enough time to learn how to make all of their drinks and earn enough to buy an industrial cappuccino/espresso machine) but they wouldn't hire people with facial piercings. At the time, I didn't *need* a job, so I chose not to actually go for it. If there came/comes a point that I'm forced into doing whatever I have to do in order to work, then I'll conform to however my potential employer asks. (Don't take that to a dirty place...) Maybe Wilson would feel differently if he didn't think another team would pick him up?

11/14/13   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Pat wrote:
Nahhh... I'd say the Yankees are the perfect example of an overbearing organization who interferes way too much in their employees' personal business. There's really no reason to have grooming standards for baseball players. Just look at the Red Sox.
Beards = championship.

Definitely a direct correlation between beards and titles ;) And say what you will about the Yankees being meddlesome, but I've had to live in SF while Brian Wilson built himself this narcissistic personal brand. There is no doubt in my mind that his life centers around himself, and himself alone.

11/13/13   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Dan_B wrote:
Brian Wilson is the perfect example of the "Me First" generation. 

Nahhh... I'd say the Yankees are the perfect example of an overbearing organization who interferes way too much in their employees' personal business. There's really no reason to have grooming standards for baseball players. Just look at the Red Sox.
Beards = championship.

11/13/13   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Brian Wilson is the perfect example of the "Me First" generation.