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And now, a definitive power ranking of the Great Yankee Mustache Experiment of 2015

It all began so innocently, with some Yankees fans making a curious observation during the team's series with the Mets a couple of weeks ago: "Huh, some of these guys are letting the stubble go a little bit." Maybe it was just the lighting, they said. Maybe we need to adjust our televisions. 

But the suspicions began to mount as the days went by. One by one, each Yankee seemed to show the faintest wisp of hair on the upper lip. By the time the Bronx realized what was happening, it was too late: the Bombers -- with no regard for any prior ability to conjure respectable facial hair -- were growing out some mustaches, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop them.

Brett Gardner was the first, deciding to let one grow during an early series at the Trop. And then a funny thing happened: New York suddenly couldn't lose, and, baseball players being a notoriously superstitious bunch, it spread like wildfire. Horrible, horrible wildfire (warning: highly NSFW): 

Yankees mustaches

Shocking, we know. But we can ignore this phenomenon no longer. So dive in with us, and we'll see just how far down this particularly hairy rabbit hole goes with our definitive Mustache Power Rankings:

1. Brett Gardner, the "I Was Born for This" 'stache

Gardner 'stache

Look at that face. The steely resolve, a whole upper lip's worth of evenly applied face salad -- that is the face of a man who was destined to rock the 'stache. It's a burden not everyone can bear (just keep scrolling down if you don't believe us), but Gardner is clearly up for the challenge. 

2. Jacoby Ellsbury, the "Whatever, I Can Still Look Good" 'stache

Ellsbury 'stache

Not the most stellar 'stache, and we're not entirely convinced he didn't just Sharpie this in prior to game time to avoid hearing it from his teammates. Fortunately, though, Ellsbury happens to be a naturally pretty good-looking guy, and his look isn't too compromised by the weird little caterpillar that seems to have taken up residence on his upper lip. As far as mustache damage control goes, you could do far worse.  

3. CC Sabathia, the "Wait, Isn't That Just Normal Facial Hair?" 'stache

Sabathia 'stache

There's not much negative to say here -- the 'stache grew in just fine, and it doesn't particularly stand out -- but that's sort of the point. Sabathia's been known to let a little stubble go every now and then, and his 'stache just seems to blend in with the surrounding quasi-goatee look -- if you're going to grow out that most bold of facial hair, at least let it shine. We're not mad, CC, just disappointed.

4. Brian McCann, the "We Expected So Much More" 'stache

McCann 'stache

McCann is probably suffering from unfair expectations here: The history of catcher mustaches, particularly Yankees, is a rich one, after all. Any pre-'stache rankings would've easily included McCann as one of the favorites for the top spot. 

Which is why the ensuing result feels just a little underwhelming. The 'stache itself is rock solid, but we really thought we might have one of the all-time greats on our hands here. Now, though, we get to the real fun stuff...

5. Mark Teixeira, the "Swiss Cheese" 'stache

Teixeira 'stache

Don't worry, Mark, we can't all go full Burt Reynolds. Your upper lip is trying its hardest! It's not its fault that only about 60 percent of it appears to be capable of growing any hair at all. Just ride this out for a couple more weeks, and everyone will move on. (This is just a phase, guys, right? Right?)

6. Andrew Miller, the "...Oh No" 'stache

Miller 'stache

Hoo boy. Apologies for just springing that on you, by the way. We actually almost considered sliding this all the way up to the top spot, in a Tommy Wiseau-like "so bad it came all the way back around to being magnificent" sort of way. And then we woke up from that fever dream and never spoke of it again. 

Remarkably enough, the problem isn't even that Miller can't grow one but is trying his hardest anyway. There's actually a good amount of hair there! With great power comes great responsibility, guys. 

7. Stephen Drew, the "12-Year-Old Trying to Grow a Mustache" 'stache

Drew 'stache

Oof.