Brian Wilson, David Price won’t sign with Yankees because of beard policy

Brian Wilson Yankees beard
Free agent closer Brian Wilson reportedly won’t sign with the Yankees because of their facial hair restrictions. Credit: Getty Images

It’s funny what a World Series title will do. A year ago at this time, borrowing an idea from the Boston Red Sox would have been as advisable as hiring Bobby Valentine as your head of public relations (or as your athletic director).

Today, baseball is looking at the Sox as a model hardball franchise. Just look at the Phillies. They’re already blatantly stealing the “sign mid-to-low level talent for short years” approach (see Marlon Byrd signing and their reported pursuit of A.J. Pierzynski) and hoping for the best. So for now, all the things the Red Sox do are in vogue.

Even the Yankees could learn a little something from their arch-rivals this offseason because it’s quite apparent that their holier-than-thou approach to many things is as old as the median age of their 2013 roster. They need to get with the times. They could start by getting rid of the ridiculous “no beard” policy put in by George Steinbrenner in 1973.

Steinbrenner was stuck in the 1950s in the 1970s. But it didn’t matter in the latter half of that latter decade, because the Yankees won. Today, the Yankees aren’t winning. And the 40-year-old beard rule is now hurting their chances at landing top players. Seriously.


Wednesday, free agent closer Brian Wilson said he wouldn’t play for the Yankees because of their beard policy. And, if you haven’t heard, the Yankees could use a closer. Rays starter David Price, under Tampa Bay’s control through 2015, has said in the past that he would avoid the Bronx because of their facial hair restrictions.

Now, there is the possibility that things could get out of hand down the road if the Yanks actually did nix the rule. There certainly is something about that Yankees uniform mixed with infield dirt, sweat and facial hair that smells through the screen – think Pete Vuckovich as Yankees first baseman Clu Haywood in the film Major League or 1980s WWF jobber The Brooklyn Brawler (who made a comeback when pro wrestling returned to Brooklyn last year).

But there are some traditions in sports that just die, because, frankly, they weren’t all that important to begin with. Every player on the Celtics used to wear black sneakers, for instance. The Lakers used to only wear gold at home and purple on the road. The Montreal Canadiens only used to hire head coaches who spoke French.

The Yankees should borrow from their baseball-playing neighbors to the north in this situation. We’re in a players’ era. And unfortunately for pinstriped traditionalists, a lot of players these days despise razors.

 

Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.