Clint Frazier may be with the Cubs now, but isn’t mincing words about his time with the Yankees.
The fiery outfielder called out the organization for making players be a “cookie-cutter” version of themselves.
“If not, then you were, like, a really bad distraction, it seemed like,” Frazier told The Chicago Sun-Times. “So I don’t miss being told how I had to look for the last five years.”
You’ll recall that when the Yankees acquired Frazier from Cleveland in 2016, he had long flowing red hair and a beard to match. He was Tormund Giantsbane, but in cleats. But both had to go because of the Yankees’ archaic policy on long and facial hair. There was such a brouhaha that The New York Times even devoted a story to Frazier finally getting a haircut.
The Yankees’ facial hair ban needs to die, and yesterday. There is literally no reason why short hair and mustaches are acceptable, but long hair and beards aren’t. It doesn’t have any bearing on the outcome of games, clubhouse chemistry, or cause any “really bad distractions.”
If anything, they’re a way to bond teams. Just look at the 2004 Red Sox, who turned outfielder Johnny Damon’s long locks and beard into a style choice. Who says the Yankees couldn’t do the same if Aaron Judge had a beard? Or even Gerrit Cole?
But no. General manager Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner police players’ grooming habits because everything must be done “The Yankee Way.”
Injuries and drama Frazier during his Yankee tenure, but he’s right. Players can and should express themselves however they please. Beards and long hair are anything but a distraction in baseball. A front office who cares too much about prohibiting them, however, very much is.