Stubble has been a sticking point on the Marlins for years. It won’t be this season.
The Marlins will be permitted to grow beards and mustaches, reversing a ban on facial hair that caused many players to bristle in the past.
“It was a constant fight last year, honestly, with guys,” conceded manager Don Mattingly.
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The ban on facial hair was put in place when Mattingly took over as manager before last season. But so many players complained about it that Mattingly decided enough was enough and relaxed the rule.
“It just didn’t seem like that big of a thing,” Mattingly said. “The most important thing is our guys prepare, play the game right, play hard.”
It has long been believed that owner Jeffrey Loria mandated the ban. The policy on facial hair has gone back and forth during Loria’s 15-year run as owner. Facial hair was banned for many years before the team relaxed the rule before the 2012 season when the Marlins moved into their new ballpark. Then it was put in place again before last season.
Andrew Cashner, in particular, expressed his displeasure with the policy. Cashner wore a long beard with the San Diego Padres before being traded to the Marlins and forced to shave it off. Alas, Cashner signed elsewhere this year and can do whatever he pleases with his facial hair.
Mattingly said beards and mustaches will be allowed, but only if they aren’t scraggly.
“Groomed is what we talked about,” Mattingly said. “We talked about keeping it groomed and being professional.”