By Brad Carroll
Clint Frazier has said all the right things when it comes to complying with the New York Yankees policy of dealing with a player's appearance. He trimmed his wild, flowing red locks when first acquired by the organization in the Andrew Miller trade last July, and Friday went even further, fully falling into line when it comes to the team's long-standing requirements on how a player should look.
The official stance from Frazier and the team, including manager Joe Girardi, has been his hair is a distraction in spring training. Of course, that stance is complete hogwash.
I should explain first I believe every team in professional baseball should adopt the same appearance standards the Yankees have had since George Steinbrenner took control of the team. I'd rather root for a team that is clean-cut and presentable, rather than a version of the Boston Red Sox during their first rise to power in the AL East, looking more like bums off the street rather than Major League Baseball players.
Clean-cut is the way to go.
Frazier should absolutely cut his hair to comply with the organization's standards, just like Don Mattingly was forced to do in a highly publicized spat with Steinbrenner some 25 years ago. But there is no way Frazier's hair has become a distraction for the Yankees during spring training. And if anyone is focusing more on his hair than his amazing talent, as one of the best prospects in all of baseball, than the problem doesn't rely on Frazier or his hair at all.
The Yankees should simply say exactly what this mini-controversy is all about - the Yankees have a standard and Frazier must comply. It's not a distraction. It's a rule. There's nothing wrong with that, especially considering wearing Yankees pinstripes is joining company that is second to none in all of sports.
"It started to become a distraction," Frazier said Friday. "I like my hair but I love playing for this organization more."
Frazier has said all the right things. Now, with hair-gate out of the way, we can all hopefully continue to see the maturation and rise of a player who could become another young star in the Bronx for many years to come.
(Photo above from the Yankees Twitter account)