Brian Hines (@BringLesterBack)
The 2013 World Series Champion Red Sox bonded through many things, one being facial hair. Players like Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli led the way throughout the season and the playoffs with their superb beards.
|A friendly beard tug by Mike Napoli after a home run by Gomes|
Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Mike Napoli had the idea in Spring Training: don’t shave all year. It was a challenge to his teammates and it brought a clubhouse of new faces together. Napoli’s power rested in his long beard and facial hair throughout the 2013 season and postseason. It even played a big part in winning the World Series.
But a few nights ago during the Rays game we noticed a new face sitting on the bench. But it wasn’t a new player. It was Mike Napoli. Just a new version of Mike Napoli. Napoli shaved his beard, all of it.
A reminder that Mike Napoli without a beard is not Mike Napoli. Napoli portrayed a baby-faced Napoli that nobody, not even the announcers, knew how to handle. The announcers just stared in silence at the new version of Napoli on the bench.
There’s nothing wrong with cutting the whiskers, but hitting the fans with a complete change is tough. Mike needs to learn there must be small changes every few days. It was a very surprising move by Nap but with the very non-playoff bound 2014 season, the Mike Napoli beard days are gone – for now.
|Napoli had a new, cleaner look the other night in the dugout.|