Clint Frazier’s hair is no longer a distraction. For what seems like the 100th straight year, the Yankees draconian hair policy remains the dumbest possible story line. Clint Frazier’s hair is only a distraction because the Yankees make it a distraction. Frazier’s hair isn’t even that long. On any other team, there would be almost no mention of his hair.
OK, so there would be some, but it’s not a real distraction. The New York Mets have had some guys with notably long hair and they’ve been to the playoffs the last two seasons. The end of their seasons had nothing to do with hair. Last week, the New York Times ran a story chronicling every haircut and trim Frazier has received since he was acquired by the Yankees last season. Again, this is because of the Yankees, not Frazier.
This is the same New York Yankees that missed the playoffs in 2014 because they were distracted parading Derek Jeter around the country on a retirement tour as he barely got on base 30% of the time from (near) the top of the lineup. This is the same New York Yankees that have twice acquired Aroldis Chapman since he was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing 8 gunshots inside his home in October 2015. First, they traded for him and in December they gave him a 5-year $86 million contract.
The Yankees don’t actually care about distractions. They care about trying to maintain a dumb “culture” that will inevitably keep good free agents with unique personalities from playing in pinstripes.