Manely baseball conversations – RiverCitySports


The Minimum, The Tracker and other beard styles discuss epic World Series beards, fixed minor-league mascot races and the fairness of bands on beards in Major League baseball …


Four of the most popular beard styles: THE MINIMUM, THE TRACKER, THE TRUCKER and MR. NATURAL, all characters from Nick Offerman’s excellent read “Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living,” are gathered around in a barber shop. There’s a nervous energy in the room as all four are ready to get started. CLEAN SHAVEN walks in, fashionably late, takes stock of the room, then speaks loud enough for everybody to hear him.

CLEAN SHAVEN: Good evening, everybody. I’m glad you all could make it tonight for this meeting. This is gonna be an important one as we’re all going to be talking about a pressing issue in baseball right now: Beard bans that some Major League organizations place on their players. This is going to be a round table discussion so let’s remember to keep it civil and that opinions are like elbows, everybody has one. We’re all entitled to our own views no matter how wrong they are. [Looking and pointing over to The Tracker].

THE TRACKER: What was that all about?

CLEAN SHAVEN: You know. Just watch it. You can be a real problem sometimes.

THE TRUCKER: I thought we were talking about mascot races being fixed. I’ve made a whole bunch of money the government doesn’t know about betting on those races. That’s what I came for. How about everybody else?

MR. NATURAL: I sweated my butt off when the guy I was growing for had to be a mascot for his local minor-league baseball team. That was a tough summer. A lot of pride was lost. My dude had to lose to a kid who had stopped after pooping his pants rounding second base. I’m still haunted by those memories.

THE MINIMUM: Uh-oh. Flashback time. It’s about to get super dark and scary in here.

THE TRACKER: Damn everybody gets a trophy generation. It’s ruining these kids and it’s caused by the chem trails the planes leave behind …

CLEAN SHAVEN: See, that’s the stuff I’m talking about. You better lock that stuff up.

THE TRUCKER: Is he getting started on the conspiracy theories again? What is it this time? Prince Charles is a vampire? The Reptilian Elite? The Israeli-controlled shark spies?

THE TRACKER: The shark spies are real. Who do you think kidnapped Nemo and how else would they have found him so fast?

THE TRUCKER: You watch too much Alex Jones, mate.

CLEAN SHAVEN: Can we please get back to the matter at hand, please? What are our feelings about the beard ban? Are we behind it or against it?

MR. NATURAL: Of course we’re against it. It’s putting a lot of good beards out of work. Even the ones who do have jobs hate them because they’re working for hipsters and who wants that?

THE MINIMUM: I saw one of the hipsters the other day and his chin beard was so long it was blowing in the wind, along to the beat of the song dude man listening to. It was crazy.

MR. NATURAL: I really think its communistic actions on the part of the owners. It’s already bad enough they can buy and sell and trade players at will and now they can tell them what they can and can’t do with their own facial hair. Bunch of socialists moving in trying to ruin this country.”

THE MINIMUM: Can you believe this guy? Here we grow again. (Winks over at Clean Shaven who rolls his eyes). You ought to see this guy’s Facebook page. Can’t even get a piece of tuna off his lip, but he’s a political expert.

THE TRUCKER: Personally, I think Mattingly and Miami and New York need to lighten up a bit. Get the oars out of their keisters. Quit all this baseball is for gentlemen crap. I’ve heard jokes in clubhouses that would make President Trump and Billy Bush blush.

MR. NATURAL: Haven’t they been doing their research? The 2010 San Francisco Giants. The 2013 Boston Red Sox. The 2017 Houston Astros. All of those guys had beards that would’ve made Phil Robertson jealous. The beards are in and they help you win.

THE MINIMUM: You might be on to a marketing slogan for us.

CLEAN SHAVEN: Which player had the best beard?

THE MINIMUM: Its Jarrod Saltalamacchia hands down for me. His beard in the 2013 World Series was fierce. It made him look like a mix of a lumberjack and demonic Pennsylvania Dutch farmer.

THE TRACKER: I don’t know, bro. Mike Napoli’s in the 2013 World Series was pretty pimp. It was like a Caveman’s. I saw him going through Logan International Airport on a moving walkway and it looked like he was re-enacting that Geico commercial where the Caveman walks back and keeps looking at himself. I think they nicknamed it “The Siesta.”

THE TRUCKER: For me, it was Johnny Damon’s beard in the 2004 World Series. It helped Boston break the Curse of the Bambino. He hit .286 in the series and posted a .905 on-base plus slugging over the series. That was pimp. He was like a mix of Teen Wolf and Chuck Norris.

MR. NATURAL: David Ross’s beard in 2013 was nasty. The color mixed with the gray made him look like a mix of a gray wolf and Master Splinter. He looked like the Sox’s Yoda. If Yoda was tall enough to ride a rollercoaster and not that green-puke color and actually talked in something other than gibberish.

CLEAN SHAVEN: Hey, don’t knock on the “Stars Wars” franchise. There as American as Toby Keith, the seventh-inning stretch and apple pie. Freaking Han Solo made the Kessell run in 12 parsecs. Could you do that?

THE TRACKER: Actually, the technology isn’t there to support that. There’s no way they had figured out how to travel light years in the 1970s. I could see it on a 2022 Millennium Falcon, but not on a 1977 model, though.

CLEAN SHAVEN: (Ignoring The Tracker). My pick goes to David Ortiz’s beard. It was the elder statesmen of the group. Like it could’ve been negotiating for the U.N.

THE MINIMUM: Actually, we’re leaving one out. We can’t forget about Brian Wilson from the 2010 San Francisco Giants. The beard mixed with his eyes would’ve made Paul Bunyan think twice about crossing him in a dark alley way. He probably had stuff stored up for the winter in it.

CLEAN SHAVEN: See, that’s my problem with beards. If they’re well-trimmed and clean, I don’t have a problem with them. It’s when they start to look like they could start a zombie outbreak is when I take issue.

MR. NATURAL: You’re just like my parents. You just don’t understand. It’s a lifestyle choice for us. A way of life. Way of expressing who we are. It’s part of our personalities.

CLEAN SHAVEN: Mr. Sensitive, philosophic over here.

THE TRACKER: Yeah. Plus, getting a World Championship is a pretty big bonus. I wouldn’t mind putting up with a few particles of poop on my face if it meant me getting a World Series ring.

THE MINIMUM: Yeah. I would have to concur with that statement.

THE TRUCKER: You know, Vin Scully did some research and found that beards evolved because the ladies liked them and it helped scare off adversaries and wild animals.

CLEAN SHAVEN: Please. When was the last time you heard about a beard fighting off a wild animal?

MR. NATURAL: I heard that Wilson’s beard scared off a Sasquatch when he was on a camping trip with Daniel Norris. That and the Jack Link’s Beef Jerky they had with them.

THE TRACKER: Did you know the government created Sasquatches and the Loch Ness Monster to stave off an invasion of chupacabras?

THE TRUCKER: You’ve lost your talking privileges. Go sit in the corner.

THE MINIMUM: It’s not a beard, but think about that bear from “The Great Outdoors.” Candy and Aykroyd were scared as crap of that bear until Robert Prosky came in and blew his butt off. Bear went running out of there as quickly and as pink as he could be.

CLEAN SHAVEN: Okay. I can see that a bit. That was a hilarious scene. I think we can all agree on that. But Kevin Costner would’ve never gotten Susan Sarandon in “Bull Durham” if he had a beard. Never.

THE MINIMUM: Are you kidding me? Of course he could’ve. He found dry land.

CLEAN SHAVEN: Actually, he hadn’t when “Bull Durham” came out. “Waterworld” wasn’t released for another seven years.

THE TRUCKER: Yeah, but Costner did help coach the Rockford Peaches to the championship game in “A League of Their Own.”

CLEAN SHAVEN: Actually, you’re wrong on several accounts right there. That movie was released four years after “Bull Durham” and it was Tom Hanks that played the coach in that movie. Not Costner.

THE MINIMUM: Are you sure about that?

MR. NATURAL: Yes. He’s sure. It was Tom Hanks in that movie. He went in and took the world’s longest leak, then signed the kid’s baseball “Avoid the clap.” Sage advice.

CLEAN SHAVEN: And on that note, good night. Thanks for watching.

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