Brian Wilson can’t sign with Yankees because he won’t shave his beard
The New York Yankees have a rule that prevents players from wearing long hair and/or facial hair. That rule might be an irritant for some who desire to wear long hair or a beard, but once they see how much money the Yankees are offering them, they usually acquiesce. It looks like that won’t be the case for free agent reliever Brian Wilson, because he refuses to shave his beard.
According to Yankees beat writer for the New York Daily News Mark Feinsand, Wilson’s agent told Yankees GM Brian Cashman that the closer won’t shave his beard. Cashman’s reponse was “cross him off the list.”
This should come as no surprise. The beard has become Wilson’s trademark over the past few years and is a huge part of his persona. Maybe he also believes it’s part of who he is as a pitcher. I could understand why, beyond aesthetics, he wouldn’t want to shave it and risk changing his image; maybe he believes the beard gives him an intimidating presence on the mound, which could be priceless to him.
We know in August that Wilson turned down $1 million to shave his beard, so it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that he would not want to shave his beard for the Yankees. There will be plenty of other teams interested in signing him after the year he had who will also let him keep his mane. The Detroit Tigers want an experienced closer and could be an attractive alternative.
H/T Extra Mustard