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Cubs announcers reveal threat of 'beard epidemic' on MLB faces

Vaccines do nothing. The CDC is powerless to help. Even that herbal remedy your mom told you about can't stop it. 

Of course, I'm talking about the beard epidemic. While facial hair has always been an important part of a baseball player's toolkit, from Rollie Fingers' mustache to Joe Mauer's sideburns, baseball has never had quite so many players look like Grizzly Adams. 

But what's the cause? Is it some sort of fashion virus, spreading across faces like blighted farmland? Is it an advanced follicle-based intelligence, colonizing human faces for some nefarious purpose? Is it a glitch in the matrix, kind of like when you're in the twentieth season of your baseball simulation and every player is named Hank Hudson? 

Just look at the evidence. Since joining the Cubs, Jake Arrieta's beard has burst forth, leading to a delighful handlebar mustache-in-a-beard look:

Arietta

Brian Schlitter has apparently been holed up in a woodsy cabin, released only on game day:

Brian Schlitter

Charlie Blackmon is like Stephen King in "Creepshow" except that he's growing hair instead of shrubbery: 

Blackmon

Even Dale Thayer, the owner of baseball's greatest, Seuss-like mustache couldn't defeat Beard Creep. 

Thayer

It's not that beards are bad. Beards are beautiful in all their wonderful forms. And that's just it -- facial hair is an extension of personal expression. Ubiquity is boring. So baseball players, I beg you: Fight back against this evil beard-only scourage by growing sideburns, mustaches, burnsides, Tony Stark-ees, and new post-modern forms of facial hair that have yet to be discovered in addition to these woodsy, urban lumberjack beards. 

Don't let the Great Beard run rough shod over the Majors until even Wrigley's ivy is overgrown with facial fuzz. It's time to reclaim facial hair.