Beware of the hair.
The Miami Marlins have announced that facial hair will once again be allowed in the clubhouse. The Marlins, more specifically manager Don Mattingly, had banned players from wearing facial hair once he was hired in the offseason last year.
According to a story on ESPN.com and the Associated Press, Mattingly said he and owner Jeffrey Loria decided lift their prohibition on facial hair after one season.
"It was a constant fight last year, honestly, with guys," said Mattingly, speaking Tuesday before the first spring training workout for pitchers and catchers. "Through the course of the season and watching the playoffs and the World Series, for me it just didn't seem like that big of a thing. The most important thing is our guys prepare and play the game right."
The team will require players and staff to be well groomed.
"A little bit last year for me was being in a new situation and wanting to make sure the team was put first, and it wasn't going to be about personal things," he said.
A handful of players took advantage of the new policy, including All-Star closer A.J. Ramos and starting pitchers Edinson Volquez and Dan Straily.
Ramos acknowledged players complained last year about the ban.
"Now you feel like you're not so under control," he said. "You can fend for yourself. You can do what you want, and we can stop hearing the crying."
Ironically, the rule on facial hair was a big issue with the team and former Marlins pitcher Andrew Cashner upon his arrival from San Diego in a trade last year. Cashner had to shave his beard and mentioned that although he would have been opened to returning to the Marlins this season, the fact the organization made him shave his beard was part of the reason he did not re-sign.