Controversy reigned over the weekend, when the Miami Marlins announced that new manager Don Mattingly would institute a ban on facial hair. The reaction across the Internet was negative, but it was actually a very good idea for the Marlins to enact this prohibition. Will it help the team play better in any way? Will it make any of the players happier, or more likely to sign a contract in the future? Will it ease tensions between the players and the Marlins’ tyrannical owner, Jeffrey Loria? No, it will definitely not do any of those things. Still, there are several reasons why this was a smart move by the Marlins.
1) It will make them look more professional
Banning facial hair is simply the next step in the Marlins’ recent push to become a classier, more professional-looking franchise. From their spinning, water-shooting sculpture to their neon-orange jerseys and five-color hats, not to mention the mascot race featuring nightmarish sea creatures, everything about this storied baseball club screams professionalism. Both aesthetically and in terms of performance, this was the only thing separating Miami from the legendary New York Yankees. With the final piece now in place, the Marlins are set to take their place among the game’s premier franchises.
2) They will not sign Kyle Lohse
At the end of last month, Fox Sports reported that the Marlins were interested in signing 37-year-old free agent Kyle Lohse. Lohse, who sports a rather distinctive soul patch, probably won’t sign with the Marlins now, given their war on facial hair. This is good, because Kyle Lohse is actually a very bad pitcher who would have made the Marlins worse at winning baseball games.
3) The players will not be as distracted by women
Based on anecdotal evidence, it seems many women find facial hair attractive. While banning beards may negatively impact the personal lives of Marlins players, it will help the team’s on-field performance. Players will have more time to concentrate on training and studying film when they’re not distracted by the advances of beard-lovin’ beauties.
4) Increased cross-branding with Gillette Fusion
By banning facial hair, the Marlins have necessarily increased their need for razors. This is a great opportunity for the team to set up some promotional events and advertising opportunities with Gillette Fusion, the official razor of Major League Baseball. If a player with facial hair is called up from the minors or traded to Miami, he could be introduced to the fans with a ceremonial shave at home plate. This would be done with a Gillette Fusion disposable razor, of course! Plays at the plate can become Close Shaves sponsored by Gillette. Folks, the marketing opportunities are endless.
5) Many very bad people have had facial hair
Throughout history, almost all of the worst people have had facial hair. Now, this is partly because people with facial hair are almost always men, and men are extremely bad. But the very worst men have also had distinctive facial-hair configurations: Genghis Khan, Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Dr. HH Holmes, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and, of course, Yadier Molina are all associated closely with their unique beards and/or mustaches. On the other hand, some of history’s greatest people, like George Washington, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, and Taylor Swift’s great-grandmother were all clean-shaven.
I do have one issue with the Marlins’ strict new personal grooming rules: they don’t go far enough. Banning facial hair in the locker room is a good start, but there’s a whole host of other things that need to be outlawed at Marlins Park in order to turn the team into a truly professional, homogenous, and utopian baseball club:
Hair: Why stop at just the beard, mustache and sideburns? Noah Syndergaard’s long, flowing locks are as much of a distraction as any beard. I’m not interested in your self-expression, pal; I’m interested in your ability to calmly crush dingers, after which you will jog expressionlessly around the bases at a brisk–but not too brisk–pace. Speaking of that…
…High fives: It should go without saying that all forms of excessive on-field celebration–bat flips, post-strikeout fist pumps, walk-off mobs, etc.–are out of the question. The Marlins should also ban high fives. Not only that, but the postgame high-five lineup should also be eliminated, and replaced by a single three-second tone emitted from the PA system indicating that the game is now over and it is time for everyone to leave.
Tattoos: Going forward, the Marlins will hopefully avoid acquiring baseball players with tattoos. For the time being, players with visible tattoos should be required to cover them up with long sleeves or turtlenecks. Every player should be expected undergo laser tattoo removal to rid themselves of body art by the trade deadline… or else.
Walk-up Music: Finally, the Marlins should ban walk-up music from their park, or players might experience bad feelings like joy or excitement. Instead, the team should have red-hot branding irons ready in the dugout, and use them on the backsides of players who strike out. This will have a much greater effect on players’ psyches and encourage them to perform better. On top of the increased production from terrified players, the team will also save a fortune now that they don’t have to pay Drake for the rights to his newest songs.
Travis Sarandos is a writer and beard-wearer based in Wisconsin. You should follow him on Twitter.