Don Mattingly's cool with players growing out their hair, but he won't bring back his 'stache
Don Mattingly is all for ballplayers sporting long hair, and even having well-groomed mustaches and beards. In the mid-1980s, when Donnie Baseball anchored first base for the Yankees, he gained notoriety for his famous mustache.
The Marlins this year have relaxed their no-facial hair policy, under one condition -- players don't get carried away. A year ago, Mattingly enforced a strict ban, similar to the Yankees.
The topic of hair again made baseball news on Friday when Yankees prospect Clint Frazier had his long, red hair cut.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi stressed he didn't want Frazier's hair to become a distraction.
Mattingly is fine with players having their own look, within reason.
"I don't mind it at all, honestly," Mattingly said. "I think it's just a matter of, what's your priority? Again, if you're playing the game right, and doing everything right, what do I care? That's really what you want. You want the guy playing the game right on the field. If he's there on time, and he's in shape, and doing his work like everybody else, then I don't think it should matter.
"I know we have some stereotypes with some things, but I don't think it should matter if he's doing what he's supposed to do."
For a couple of days early in camp, Mattingly even featured facial hair, and considered bringing back the mustache. But he had second thoughts after seeing the results.
At 55 years old, Mattingly's beard and mustache was coming in mostly white.
So for now, Mattingly does not intend to grow back his mustache.
"I don't plan on it," Mattingly said. "It's all white."
To drive home his point on the look, Mattingly on Saturday morning pointed to a local reporter: Chuck King of The Associated Press. King features a long, white beard.
"Not a good look," Mattingly joked.
Pausing, the manager told King, "It looks great on you, though."