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Big League Stew

Beard Watch ’14 — Ex-Yankees faces take advantage of freedom

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Phil Hughes face used to be clean-shaven. (Getty)

The Stew dedicates itself to chronicling baseball's growing (get it?) beard population. We continue our new series — Beard Watch '14 — featuring former members of the New York Yankees.

The Wall Street Journal did the legwork for this report, which updates everyone on what some prominent former New York Yankees are doing with their faces on their new teams. The Yankees have had a longstanding team policy that allowed trimmed mustaches, but not beards — not even the beginnings of beards.

What did the WSJ find? That since the 2009 season, 62 percent of the players who left the Yankees from the season before had sprouted new facial hair, at some point, with their new team. Follow them to freedom!

As The Stew stated with the Joba Chamberlain installment of Beard Watch '14, he was "excited" about having the opportunity to grow a beard for the first time in his professional life. What about others — like Robinson Cano and Phil Hughes? They're taking advantage too:

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Joba Chamberlain (left), Robinson Cano and Phil Hughes rock their faces of freedom. (Wall St. Journal)

It's as if the pores on their cheeks all have exhaled. The Yankees' policy is fair, even OK. A league-wide ban on facial hair, conversely, would be dreadful. We've have 40 percent fewer blog posts, probably. But it's also good for the guys who get away from New York to express themselves in a new way.

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David Brown edits Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter!

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