Sportress of Blogitude

D-backs pitcher shares great reason for not shaving since Halloween

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Archie Bradley showed up for spring training this week sporting a burly, unkempt beard. While many players may get lax on assorted grooming responsibilities during the offseason as way of relaxing, Bradley has a much more inspired reason for doing so.

Bradley, 24, is poised to embark upon his third season at the big-league level with the Diamondbacks. After posting a 10-12 record in 34 starts while posting an inflated 5.18 ERA, Bradley decided to do something unorthodox to get his career trending in the right direction.

And it all has to do with his noticeable eruption of facial hair.

Bradley, the No. 7 overall pick from the 2011 draft, hasn’t shaved since Halloween. He originally started eschewing the razor to take part in the annual “No-Shave November” tradition.

Despite calling his beard “very thick and annoying at times,” Bradley says he’s going to roll with it. And part of the reason why?

“Dallas Keuchel, from Oklahoma, he grows a beard he wins the Cy Young,” Bradley notes. “Jake Arrieta? Beard, Cy Young. So if I can follow on that path, I would be very pleased with that.”

While it may lack in a lengthy statistical legitimacy, Bradley deserves credit for going the unconventional route in pursuit of his major league goals. Plus, he gets to rock an outrageously awesome beard in the process. It’s a win-win, really, and the examples he provided are legit.

In other words, the beard may be weird, but come MLB awards time? It certainly doesn’t hurt.

[Big League Stew]