Somehow, in the many decades of the New York Yankees‘ facial hair and grooming policy, the edict has always managed to be a begrudging annoyance and a point of mockery, but never a dealbreaker.
According to the Cincinnati Reds’ clubhouse, though, the policy is about to rear its ugly head again, as the Yankees’ reported No. 1 trade deadline target doesn’t appear to be a fan of chopping off his intimidating locks.
Castillo created additional buzz in the Bronx by dominating on Thursday night — if it was even possible for him to be more beloved than he had been entering the series — combining a filthy fastball with a darting changeup to allow just two hits and one run in seven innings. Combined with Luis Severino hitting the IL with a “low-grade” lat strain, the timing could not have been more perfect for a rumored Castillo chase to take center stage.
One Reds player threw cold water on the proceedings just as the Yankees and Dodgers emerged as co-favorites, though, noting that he’d spoken to Castillo about the possibility, and the righty expressed trepidation about slicing off his long and bouncing locks.
According to that anonymous Red…”He definitely doesn’t want to do it.” Would Hal Steinbrenner consider being flexible in the pursuit of a championship? A real championship?!
Yankees top trade target Luis Castillo doesn’t like team’s hair policy
Please. Don’t let the missing piece to a title be a dreadlock on the ground.
If you read the full quote, the risk here isn’t that Castillo throws a fit and reneges on a trade before it’s ever consummated. The risk is that he’s dissatisfied in the Bronx and has trouble getting comfortable, losing the intangible battle before it begins like so many before him (including his ex-teammate Sonny Gray).
As told by The Athletic and collected by WFAN:
"“I keep telling him, ‘Hey man, they’re going to make you cut your hair if you come here,’” Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer said, via The Athletic. “He definitely doesn’t want to do it. There’s a lot of attitude in the hair, and I don’t think he wants to let it go.”Castillo wouldn’t reveal how he felt about it, but did say he would do what he must if the situation arose.“Those are the decisions that are done by the team,” Castillo said. “If it gets to the point where I have to cut my hair, I will.”"
So … he’ll do it, but if he loses his swagger/becomes a different pitcher when he finishes the job, is that even worth it? Is Miguel Castro the same guy he was before he lopped off his wild ‘do? Was Andrew McCutchen as intimidating without his trademark?
Yankees surprise Matt Carpenter made it as clear as possible after Thursday’s game that he and his teammates would love Castillo on their team to get over the postseason hump/midsummer doldrums.
On a scale of “one-to-Donovan Mitchell Trade,” the Castillo acquisition doesn’t seem quite finished yet. The Yankees will likely still have to relent on including either Oswald Peraza or Anthony Volpe, which is probably a much more forceful impediment than any hair mandate.
Still, though, if enough superstars take a cockeyed look at the Yankees because of their old boss’ 1970s preferences, perhaps that’ll turn around the ideology.