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Wanna buy “beard ball trophies” made out of the Red Sox’ beard hair?

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Of course you do!

You’ll recall earlier this month that several members of the Boston Red Sox shaved their beards at the Gillette’s “World Shaving Headquarters.” Well, they saved all of those beautiful scraggly and curly hairs and made stuff out of it. And now you can buy stuff made out of those scraggly and curly beard hairs. If that’s your thing:

After saying goodbye to their beards at Gillette World Shaving Headquarters on Monday, November 4, you may have thought the famed facial hair was gone forever.  Were they washed down the drains of Gillette’s World Shave Headquarters? Flushed into the Atlantic? No. In fact, every strand of the biggest beards of baseball was saved.

The shavings and the actual Gillette Fusion ProGlide razors that were used to shave each champion beard have been assembled as unique pieces of memorabilia in sports history – beard ball trophies – and today, they are up for auction on eBay with 100% of the proceeds going directly to Movember . . .

Interested bidders can place their bids for Victorino’s beard ball trophy here http://tinyurl.com/l8cawvz and Ortiz’s beard ball trophy here http://tinyurl.com/phxe7hk. Bidding on Ortiz’s is up to $177 as I type this. Victorino’s is up to $107.50.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go find assemble my own discarded body hair into some sort of salable good. Or barf. Not sure which.

Shohei Otani may come to the United States after 2017

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Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?

Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.

It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.

Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.

Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.

Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.

The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.