In an interview with Jon Paul Morosi, David Price, when informed if traded to the New York Yankees, he would have to shave his beard, had this to say:
“I wouldn’t stay there very long then,” he responded. “I wouldn’t sign a long-term deal there. 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.”
Price being traded to the Yankees is a possibility – the Tampa Bay Rays recently traded James Shields who still had two option years left on his deal (just like Price has now).
The Yankees are famous for their long-standing policy regarding facial hair. Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi both shaved when they joined the Yankees (and resigned with them when their contracts were due). Randy Johnson shaved and cut his hair. Don Mattingly famously got in an argument with George Steinbrenner over his hair which was made even more famous on the epic episode of the Simpons, Homer at the Bat. Watch the clip below:
Courtesy of cake126
I understand why the Yankees have this policy – playing for the Yankees is more than just wearing the Pinstripes. It’s about the image the Yankees portray – the best franchise in the world, they are professionals and not a “bunch of idiots” like the Red Sox from 2004 that all had long hair and wild facial hair. When you’re a member of the New York Yankees you’re not just on a team, you’re part of a global business and the image of that business is important. The Yankees have decided that they prefer “clean shaven” players for their image instead of “wild and unkempt.”
David Price may not agree with the rule or think it’s “old school” but it’s amazing what money will do to someone’s beliefs. CC Sabathia said he’d never play in New York – until the Yankees offer came along. Price may be in the same boat – he doesn’t have a no-trade clause so if he gets traded to the Yankees, he will go and he will shave. If he chooses not to resign with them, that’s his decision – but I’m sure that 20-25 million dollars a year contract they would offer him would change his mind. Money has changed many peoples’ opinions over the years, I’m sure Price would think long and hard before turning the Yankees down solely on the basis of their facial hair policy.
I don’t think the Yankees would change their policy just to get David Price. They haven’t changed it for anyone else so they wouldn’t change it for him.
What do you think? Are the Yankees “old school” for their facial hair rules? Would Price stay with the Yankees if traded there (or if offered a deal to go there if he’s a free agent)? Vote in the polls below and comment as well.