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Spring Training controversy: Will Adam LaRoche get to keep his beard with his new team?

Will Adam LaRoche get to keep his beard with ChiSox?

Before Adam Eaton even met Adam LaRoche on Tuesday at Camelback Ranch, LaRoche's long beard preceded him.

"He's got a great beard," said a smiling Eaton, who features his own somewhat shorter beard. "LaRoche, when he enters the mix, I think we're going to have a good set of beards."

Eaton threw in one caveat to that prediction: As long as clean-shaven Robin Ventura allowed those beards to exist on his roster. Even LaRoche, who grew the beard for the first time in 2014, wondered about that fact as he met the media on Tuesday.

"I don't know if there is going to be like a length limit or something that we'll be allowed to do, so I'm waiting for him to bring me a pair of clippers," said LaRoche, who has known his manager since Ventura was a player and LaRoche was a kid, following around his dad, Dave, who was the White Sox bullpen coach from 1989-91. "Hopefully I can hang on to it."

Little did LaRoche know that Ventura had given the beard the seal of approval just minutes earlier.

"I'm not going to grow one like that but he seems to like it and we'll go from there," Ventura said. "I like the beard. As long as it's not one of those they can sweep home plate with, we'll be good."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.

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