Angels fans everywhere have a let out a small sigh of relief. Albert Pujols has hit that ice-breaking first homer. We may never know what exactly clicked for Albert. Maybe he's settled in and acclimated to his new surroundings in Anaheim. Perhaps the annual migration of the boo-birds to the big A fueled his push. It may have had something to do with the fact that every two-bit writer from Seattle to Miami was fancying themselves a sports journalist simply because they scrawl "Why do not home run?" on a page and Albert has a deep-seeded respect for the profession of sports writing.
Or, maybe, it was because he shaved.
You would have to be blind not to notice Albert's new baby-smooth countenance. Previously a good-looking, goateed slugger, now the man looks like he could walk directly onto a commercial set for Gillette's latest mechanical multiple-blade monstrosity. There were more than a few doubters immediately following his facial landscaping and while it's still too early to say for sure, it looks like Pujols may have ended his funk with a simple pass of the razor.
It got me to thinking, if Pujols can have a reverse-Samson transformation and re-gain his powers just by shaving, what other Angels could benefit from a stint in the barber's chair? A team barber or stylist could have just as much impact as Mickey Hatcher's swing watching or Mike Butcher's finger rolling and they'd likely come at a cheaper cost. We're in a down economy and the hiring of team stylists may be what just what the doctor ordered in terms of boosting the local economy, and the team.
For example, imagine Vernon Wells styled with a fu manchu moustache. The fu-manchu is a classic of facial hair, the chosen moustache of literally hundreds of sneaky villains. Far from being villainous, Vernon's production thus far has been a pleasant detour from the ever-present absence of Pujols home runs. However, with Bobby Abreu gone, Wells and his contract are now the elephant in the room nobody will acknowledge. If Vernon's numbers drop, even slightly, the same people that chastised Pujols for not hitting homers may turn their attention to Wells and his rather weighty contract. Vernon needs something to stay incognito and give him a sort of mystique. He needs an air about him that makes you look twice, and still not know who or what you saw. The fu manchu fits him almost too well.
I cringe every time someone brings it up, but Torii Hunter is no spring chicken. What's more is that he plays at a very high level, almost too high for a man of his age. I'm genuinely worried for Torii. In today's world of sports, concussion awareness is at an all time high, te last thing anyone wants to see is Torii making one of his trademark jumps into the wall only to slam back down onto the warning track with a brain bruise. To that end, its time for Hunter to bust out the funky disco comb and start picking out an afro. It'll take awhile, but it will be worth it. No longer constrained by the fear of damaging his cranium, Torii will be able to play even harder. Playing the carom? Not a chance. Torii's glorious globe of follicle greatness will have already made its own bounce off the wall, picked off that would-be double, ended the inning and tossed the catch to a lucky fan in the right field pavilion. (As an added bonus, if Torii's willing to grow the accompanying sideburns and moustache, he and Jered Weaver could make a hell of a Pulp Fiction parody.)
If anything could make Peter Bourjos faster, it's the hairstyle that has become popular amongst NFL runningbacks. The growing trend in football is that dreadlocks = speed. Bourjos could be among a chosen few to test the aerodynamics of dreads in the MLB. It makes a sort of sense. Comets have tails, speedboats have wakes, Mets fans have carpet-bombing flatulence, Peter Bourjos could have a dark trail of perfectly coiffed tendrils flapping in the breeze behind him as he rounds second base at a 45 degree angle. I didn't pay a lot of attention in high school physics (Sorry Mr. Greek), but I do remember that tails act as a sort of projectile stabilizer. With a more stable flight, Bourjos is free to cut loose even more. You think his first-to-third dashes are impressive? Ha! Let young Peter grow a set of Chris Johnson style dreads and watch him blow by the shortstop before the batter even makes contact.
A team stylist may not be a reality any time in the near future, but there is one makeover we must insist on. Jerome Williams has been pitching his arse off as of late, yet I've sensed a lack of respect from Angels fans. I can only guess at the reason, but I believe growing a little bit of face fuzz could help him greatly. Moustache, goatee, Ervin Santana chinstrap, Kenny Powers sideburns, Joe Dirt mullet, there are dozens of options. Whatever Jerome decides to do, he'd better do it fast. I'm sick of fans being unable to give him the credit he deserves just because he looks like Darius Rucker (aka "Hootie" of Hootie and the Blowfish fame).
...It's all fun and games until bullpen hecklers start yelling out song requests.
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