Saturday, February 15, 2014

Reds cracking down on facial hair, again

New Reds manager Bryan Price is laying down the law early on in his first spring training at the helm.

Price told reporters on Friday that players must now keep their facial hair "under control" if they want to abide by team rules.

The rule isn't meant to be a symbol of micromanaging or cracking down on individuality. However, it's designed to be a sign of team unity and togetherness.

The Reds used to be notorious for their strict rules on facial hair under owner Marge Schott. But as the times have changed, so has Cincinnati's facial hair policy, at least until current day.

Former outfielder Greg Vaughn really pushed the issue when he signed as a free agent in 1999. Vaughn sported a mean goatee (and wore earrings) and didn't like the idea of being told he couldn't. So, the Reds gave in to the slugger, and that paved the way for future players to grow their beards and mustaches out.

A few Reds players who may be ruffled by this new grooming rule include Sam LeCure, J.J. Hoover, and Logan Ondrusek. Fortunately, Price is giving everyone some slack, saying beards and long hair are permissible, just as long as they're neat.

This obviously leaves the door wide open for a concrete definition of what qualifies as being unkempt and what is allowable.

Photo: USA Today/Frank Victores

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