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Saltalamacchia, Marlins keep beards neat-and-trim

AP - Sports

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- The Miami Marlins are hoping a new policy on beards doesn't become too hairy.

Manager Mike Redmond says the team will let players grow beards this year, but wants them to be neat and trim.

Redmond held a 14-minute session with the media on Tuesday. He spent as much time on beards as batting, goatees more than gopher balls, clean necklines more than running baselines.

''We try to keep the hair neat. This year we're going to let them have beards, but we've got to keep them trimmed up, and the hair, too,'' Redmond said.

Marlins newcomer Jarrod Saltalamacchia was among Boston's bearded bunch last season, a scraggly group that helped the Red Sox win the World Series.

Saltalamacchia says he discussed beards with owner Jeffrey Loria and president of baseball operations Mike Hill before signing with the Marlins in the offseason.

''The game's changing and evolving and you always have to adjust to it,'' the catcher said. ''It's a part of the game. But I'm a believer in rules, and you just don't take advantage of it.''

Inside the clubhouse, by the way, there was a board that proclaimed haircuts were available on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Redmond said Boston-style beards won't be found on his team.

''No, we've got to keep them neat. We're just trying to avoid looking sloppy. That's the best way to put it,'' the second-year Miami manager said.

When asked about Saltalamacchia and his well-manicured beard, Redmond responded, ''Salty's good.''

Redmond noted pitcher Chaz Roe, who sported a full beard last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, had broken out the clippers and tightened it up some, sculpting down his beard a bit and into a neat point.

''He trimmed it up. We've got to keep it trimmed up,'' Redmond said.

Former Marlins manager Joe Girardi implemented a strict no-facial hair policy and close-cropped haircuts. Last year's Marlins made some exceptions in displaying well-sculpted beards.

Pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Henderson Alvarez demonstrated they had spent time in front of the mirror ''manscaping'' their beards and flashed facial hair that was as artful as an offspeed pitch.

Redmond, a former Marlins player from 1998-2004, said the current policy is only slightly different from the old one. He defended it when asked if it were much more of a relaxed approach.

''I wouldn't say we're relaxing the rules. It's just that we're going to allow guys to have a beard as long as they keep it trimmed up. I don't see it as that big of a deal. And you've always been allowed to have a goatee,'' Redmond said.

''If (beards) are the biggest problem I'll have all year, I'll be happy.'' he said.

NOTES: Redmond said Major League Baseball and commissioner's office executive Tony La Russa will be in Jupiter on Thursday discussing video review and plays at home plate. Redmond said there will not be a red flag thrown like a coach's challenge as in the NFL and expects ''zero contact'' with the catcher. ... P Jose Fernandez, last season's NL Rookie of the Year, threw for the second time this spring. ... OF Giancarlo Stanton stood in the batter's box and tracked live pitching during the bullpen session. ... The visa issues keeping pitchers Henry Rodriguez and Jesus Sanchez from arriving have not been resolved.

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