December 07, 2011
DALLAS — The Miami Marlins signed Jose Reyes(notes) to $106 million contract because he is one of the best shortstops in the majors and they want to win the World Series. They love his bat, they love his glove and they love his speed.
But the dreadlocks? They've got to go.
Like they did a few seasons back with Hanley Ramirez(notes), the Marlins won't tolerate Reyes' shoulder-length hair. Team president David Samson said Wednesday that Reyes will have to abide, just like anyone else on the roster.
"The answer is, there'll be team rules," Samson said. "Everyone follows the team rules, whatever they are."
Hanley, you go play third base. Jose, you go see a barber. The Fish might have back-loaded Reyes' contract, but they don't want the back of his neck to be loaded with hair. And if anyone doubts that Samson means it about Florida's idea of team concept, just contact Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison(notes) on Twitter to get his take. He'll tell you.
The policy makes even more sense considering that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria reportedly idolizes former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. If The Boss was vigilant about anything, it was personal grooming. He would cast hairnets like they were dragnets. That's why Oscar Gamble's Afro never quite bloomed in New York like it did elsewhere.
Reyes has not said much on the subject yet, though Joel Sherman of the New York Daily News characterized him as "not happy about" the hair policy — but happy about the money. All of that cash ought to buy some peace of mind. And scalp.
Question to Ozzie: "Is Jose going to have to cut his dreads?"
Answer: "It's not my [bleeping] team," Guillen said. "My job is to just make sure he scores a lot of runs."
So much for a last-moment reprieve. Personal grooming is one thing, but there's nothing poorly coiffed about Reyes' head. It's orderly and under control, but all the fogies in charge see is a long-haired hippie. I'm not going to shed any tears when someone takes a pair of shears to Reyes' hair, but it's still regrettable that he's not allowed to express his individuality. It's kind of ... dreadful.
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