The Miami Marlins, a professional baseballing team and a suspected absurdist improv troupe specializing in dark comedy, have tried everything in recent years to turn their fortunes around: a new stadium, three different managers, and occasional star signings followed by roster-shaking trades. Nothing has worked.
Well, maybe, just maybe, newly installed manager Don Mattingly has come up with something that can help: a ban on player facial hair. Because clearly, that's one of the biggest problems facing the Miami Marlins.
This will be the first time the Marlins have had a strict baby-faced policy since 2006, when the team was managed by Joe Girardi — and who can forget that magical .481-winning-percentage season? Since then, the team's facial hair policy has been lax. During some seasons, they've limited facial hair to goatees, but in more recent years, they've let players do whatever they want as long as they keep it presentable. The team has also had various policies regarding hair length over the past few years. In 2011, the team famously made Jose Reyes cut off his trademark dreads, only to trade him without warning the next year.
The only consistent factor tying all of those various policies pertaining to the maintenance of the string of dead cells that grows out of the follicles on players' heads: The team has sucked each of those seasons.
Mattingly tells MLB.com that the policy wasn't necessarily his idea. During his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he let players wear beards. However, he says the powers that be decided they wanted a uniform policy and settled on smooth chins.
"What do we want?" Mattingly told the site. "Whatever we want, let's do it and leave it. We can't have a guy we bring in do this, and then we're like, 'We'll do it now.' Then you go back the next year. Let's get what we want and set it."
Hmm, but drastically changing hair policies every season could add a certain amount of much-needed fun to watching the Marlins. Think about it.
Next season: Mandatory man buns!
2018: Beards are allowed again, but only if they're tightly braided with beads in team colors dangling from the ends.
2019: Players can have either hear hair or facial hair. Not both. Gotta
2020: Players can't grow beards themselves, but novelty fake beards are allowed. A "Christmas in July" promotion will require all players to wear fake Santa beards that month.
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2021: All players are required to shave off every single hair on the head and face (including eyebrows and lashes) before each game, oil up their dome in coconut butter, and then superglue a comically undersized baseball cap to the top of their head.
2022: Each player's hairstyle will be specifically dictated to him by newly hired Vice President Dennis Rodman.
Perhaps through all of that experimentation, the Marlins will finally solve one of Major League Baseball's biggest mysteries: Which hair policies truly result in winning?