Is C. C. Sabathia rebelling against Yankees’ facial hair policy?
C.C. Sabathia on Tuesday made his spring training debut, throwing two scoreless innings in the New York Yankees’ 7-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. But it was the pitcher’s facial hair that turned out to be the major talker afterward.
It’s @CC_Sabathia’s turn to make his #NYYSpring debut! pic.twitter.com/RmoEKt7LT6
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) March 7, 2017
The way Sabathia was sporting his facial hair is in violation of the Yankees’ strict policy the prohibits facial hair below the lip, not to mention long sideburns and hair past the shoulders.
Sabathia was asked after the game if he needed a shave.
“I don’t know,” he replied, via The New York Times. When asked if he intended to go sans razor until told otherwise, the pitcher said, “Yeah, I guess so.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was asked as well about Sabathia’s facial hair. He didn’t seem pleased.
“Well, that’s not my focus in camp,” Girardi said. “My focus is to get people ready. I didn’t notice it. I don’t look for it.”
The much ballyhooed hair policy was instituted by George Steinbrenner all the way back in 1973 and has been in full force ever since.
While Girardi is responsible for notifying players of the policy at the start of spring training, he technically isn’t in charge of enforcing it. Per a report from The Times about long, curly, red-haired prospect Clint Frazier — who is in total violation — the policy is “vigorously policed” by Steinbrenner’s daughter Jennifer.
“If I see it as a problem, or if someone calls me and says it’s a problem, I’ll let him know,” Girardi added.
There may come a day when the Yankees’ arguably draconian hair policy will come to pass. But odds are good that day isn’t coming anytime soon. With that in mind, Sabathia likely will show up at camp freshly shaven sooner rather than later.