If Mr. Burns ran the New York Yankees, all Miguel Castro would have had to do was trim his sideburns like he tried forcing Don Mattingly to do in the early 1990s. Instead, the former New York Mets pitcher had to change his entire look because of one of the odder traditions in Major League Baseball. The Yankees have an “appearance policy” which prevents players from having facial hair and keeping hair length at a minimum with little creativity.
Castro was traded over the weekend for lefty reliever Joely Rodriguez. With the change in boroughs comes a change to his look.
After seeing Castro so often in 2021, you may not even recognize him with shorter hair and a clean-shaven face.
This isn’t the same Mets reliever we came to appreciate in 2021, is it?
Castro wasn’t with the Mets long but in leading the team with relief innings in 2021, we got used to him. We knew what he looked like. Even during his earlier days with the Baltimore Orioles and Colorado Rockies, he even sported some facial hair.
Not anymore. The archaic rule of grooming the Yankees can’t seem to shake continues on. Its latest victim is former Mets pitcher, Miguel Castro.
It all started in 1976 when George Steinbrenner wanted to control something else. Today, the policy isn’t really that big of a deal. Unless you see someone transition from long hair and a beard to someone heading into a job interview with a crew cut and a smooth face, you’d probably never notice the Yankees still have this rule. While it does steal away some forms of self-expression and is a little too invasive for my liking, it’s work. Some jobs require the silliest things. I had one where I had to wear a polo shirt. I looked like a softball coach.
Others have spoken out about the rule in the past. Andrew McCutchen and Clint Frazier are two former Yankees who did so after leaving the team. David Price and the man known as “The Beard,” Brian Wilson, have even said they would refuse to join the club because of this.
I’m doubtful Castro minds much. He’s a free agent next winter. If he misses the hair and beard that much, he has plenty of teams he can land with and welcome them back.