No beards. No problem.
The Boston Red Sox, according to Jonny Gomes and David Ross, expect to ditch their famous beards in 2014. Red Sox manager John Farrell has no doubts, however, that the club will find a new chemistry-building shtick.
“It has definitely something to do with it,” Farrell said on ESPN’s First Take on Thursday regarding the beards’ impact on team chemistry. “Because the one thing we did in spring training, we established what our expectations were. And included in that is some behavior — what’s accepted behavior and what’s not. But I think there’s always room for individuality inside that framework. And beards became that individuality and that characteristic of this team. I do know that in talking with Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli, they still have the beards, but they’re going to be gone. And there’ll be some other characteristic that will emerge. So, I think it’s just great that they can be themselves.”
Although facial hair ran rampant in the Red Sox’s clubhouse last season, Farrell maintained his usual clean-shaven look for the entire year. It wasn’t without some persistent peer pressure for him to grow a beard, though.
“I was asked many times last year to grow one,” Farrell said. “Have never grown one in my life, and I wasn’t about to start now. That was their thing. There will be a new thing come up that will be theirs in that clubhouse.”
Gomes and Ross echoed similar sentiments in recent weeks regarding the 2014 team’s potential rallying symbol. If there’s anything better than a beard, leave it to this bunch to find it.