Shortly before the Texas Rangers game on Wednesday, July 28th, this was tweeted out by Rangers’ Director of Communications John Blake:
Joey Gallo has been scratched from tonight’s lineup. Revised lineup: Kiner-Falefa 6, White 9, Garcia 8, Lowe 3, Ibanez 4, Terry DH, Culberson 5, Trevino 2, J. Martin 7, Lyles 1
— John Blake (@RangerBlake) July 28, 2021
Long rumored to be a trade candidate, it finally looked like former first round draft pick Joey Gallo was on the move. Would the Rangers be getting C.J. Abrams from the Padres, or maybe Robert Hassell Jr.??? Would it be the Yankees, who had been rumored to be seeking a power-hitting lefty for their lineup? Or was there some Dark Horse team, maybe the Braves(!), who were swooping in at the last moment?
Alas, my worst fears were confirm: Joey Gallo would be playing in pinstripes. And worse, perhaps, was the fact that he’s have to trim his mighty beard.
Yankees Farm Club
Like Billy Beane in Moneyball, Rangers fans have often been heard saying “we’re just a farm club for the Yankees” or “he’ll look good in pinstripes one day.” This is because everyone knows that the Yankees don’t actually develop their teams, they buy them or trade for them. “Fuck drafting! What’re we, the Oakland A’s! Let’s just make other players…our players!”
Need proof? Let’s take a look at the 26-man roster on August 31, 2021 and see how many players actually made their Major League debuts with the team:
|Pitchers||Debuted with the Yankees?||How’d he become a Yankee?|
|Aroldis Chapman 54||No||Free Agency|
|Gerrit Cole 45||No||Free Agency|
|Néstor Cortes Jr. 65||No||Free Agency|
|Chad Green 57||Yes!||Trade with Tigers|
|Andrew Heaney 38||No||Trade with Angels|
|Clay Holmes 35||No||Trade with Pirates|
|Corey Kluber 28||No||Free Agency|
|Jonathan Loáisiga 43||Yes!||Minor League FA|
|Lucas Luetge 63||No||Free Agency|
|Jordan Montgomery 47||Yes!||DRAFTED BY YANKEES!!!|
|Wandy Peralta 58||No||Trade with Giants|
|Joely Rodríguez 30||No||Trade with Rangers|
|Jameson Taillon 50||No||Trade with Pirates|
|Kyle Higashioka 66||Yes!||DRAFTED BY YANKEES!!!|
|Gary Sánchez 24||Yes!||J2 SIGNING!|
|DJ LeMahieu 26||No||Free Agency|
|Rougned Odor 12||No||Trade with Rangers|
|Anthony Rizzo 48||No||Trade with Cubs|
|Gio Urshela 29||No||Free Agency?|
|Andrew Velazquez 71||No||Free Agency|
|Luke Voit 59||No||Trade with Cardinals|
|Tyler Wade 14||Yes!||DRAFTED BY YANKEES!!!|
|Joey Gallo 13||No||Trade with Rangers|
|Brett Gardner 11||Yes!||DRAFTED BY YANKEES!!!|
|Aaron Judge 99||Yes!||DRAFTED BY YANKEES!!!|
|Giancarlo Stanton 27||No||Trade with Marlins|
Clearly, the Yankees don’t do a lot of “developing from within.” So what happens when a player becomes a Yankee through Free Agency, Trade, or some other baseball Dark Arts? Aside from giving up their soul to play for the Evil Empire, players must make another sacrifice:
They must cut their hair.
Since 1972, the New York Yankees have had a policy that prohibits players, coaches, and male executives from having flow. Having salad! Having a kick-ass signature “look.” Here’s the official language of the policy:
“All players, coaches and male executives are forbidden to display any facial hair other than mustaches (except for religious reasons), and scalp hair may not be grown below the collar. Long sideburns and ‘mutton chops’ are not specifically banned.”
Pretty archaic, huh?
If a player becomes a Yankee, gone are the days of personal expression via Tremendous Flow. Say goodbye to Kentucky Waterfalls, Vanilla Gorillas, Mississippi Mud Flaps, Camaro Crash Helmets, and anything resembling a beard. Nope. You’re a Yankee now, son.
With the reduction in follicles comes a reduction in swag, and we at Nerd Nexus lament for dudes who have to get “cleaned up” for their jobs. Today, we look at the most dramatic and tragic reduction in V I B E S that have been endured by MLB players that became Yankees. We’ll start with the newest Yankee, former Ranger Great…
Joey Gallo was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the first round of the 2012 and made his MLB debut in 2015. All he did was go 3-4 with a homer in his first game. Since then, Gallo has become one of the most feared power hitters (and right fielders) in all of baseball. Chicks dig the long ball, and they also dig Joey – he was an absolute stud for the Rangers and, with his glowing smile and regular moonshots, regularly led the Rangers in both homers and jerseys sold.
Then, he was traded to the Yankees and made to shave. In true Samson fashion, Joey is slashing .149/.312/.356 (he was at .223/.379/.490 with TEX) since the trade and he also looks like a disappointed 8th grader.
Still love you, Joey! #BringJoeyBack2023
Ahhhhh Rougie. What a tale to tell our children.
The Rangers felt so good about minor league prospect Rougned Odor that they drafted perennial All-Star Ian Kinsler to Detroit for perennial All-Star Prince Fielder (RIP Prince) and installed Rougie as their everyday second baseman. He rewarded the Rangers and their fans with 146 home runs in 7 season, questionable defense, swagger by the boatloads, and one dazed & confused Jose Bautista.
But, as we learned in Blade Runner, the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and Rougie burned so bright that the Rangers kinda got tired of him and traded him to the Yankees before the 2021 season. Odor subsequently shaved his signature facial hair and we were all reminded that he’s still only 27 years old.
Gerrit Cole was the first overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011 out of UCLA, and honestly, I kinda give Cole a pass for electing to sign with the Yankees when he reached Free Agency because
- They gave him a 9-year/$324 million dollar contract
- He is a proven Yankees fan for life.
He still looks only half as badass as a Yankee though, and also, he seems to have lost a bit of his edge.
Johnny Freakin’ Damon, man.
He was baseball Jesus! He was a light-throwing, slap-hitting, Billy Ray Cyrus-looking everyman who helped Boston to their first World Series title in like a million years! Then, he joined the Dark Side, signed with the Yankees, shaved his beard, and then this happened.
Coincidence? Doubt it.
Was there a player more badass than Cutch in the early 00’s? He helped Pittsburgh make it to the playoffs for the first time in nearly thirty years as he ripped the ball around PNC Park with kick-ass dreads in tow. He had it all: the chain, the hair, the goatee, all 5 Tools, and an NL MVP Award.
After being traded from Pittsburgh to San Francisco, the Yankees hoped he could regain some of his 2014 magic and acquired him from the Giants in 2014. In Cutch’s 2 months as a Yankee, he hit .253 with an .892 OPS, but there’s no tellin’ what he would’ve done had he not had to cut his signature dreadlocks – dude looked like Cedric Daniels from The Wire.
Nick Swisher went from beer-chugging broski “Swish” to “Mr. Swisher, Esquire” real quick, huh?
Taking A Stand
The Yankees facial hair policy is obviously rooted in the past; American workplaces just don’t operate like this anymore, and people quit over much pettier things than facial hair. Are the Yankees in danger of losing clout with players? Perhaps, but others might argue that if you’re getting paid multiple millions of dollars to play a game, no matter how skilled you are, you ought to shut your mouth, cut your hair, and get to work.
I say fuck all that though, just like current Dodgers pitcher David Price did:
“I wouldn’t sign a long-term deal (with the Yankees). Those rules, that’s old-school baseball. I was born in ’85. That’s not for me. That’s not something I want to be a part of.”
Well said, David. You keep rockin’ in the free world, where you can grow whatever kind of hair you want.