Baseball-wise Joba Chamberlain is looking for a fresh start after leaving the Yankees for the Tigers as a free agent, but more importantly Jason Beck of MLB.com writes that the 28-year-old right-hander is now free to fully express himself with facial hair:
Gone is the mustache he donned during the end of his tenure in the Yankees bullpen. Now, he has a beard, as so many former Yankees have done. Add a pair of glasses, and Chamberlain took to Michigan for the Tigers’ Winter Caravan with almost a hipster kind of look.
“You know, it’s the first year of my life [that I can],” he said with a smile at TigerFest. “College, couldn’t have any facial hair, and obviously in New York you can’t. I could have a mustache, but mustaches aren’t that cool. I’m not Tom Selleck. I tried the best I could, but it just didn’t work for me.
Chamberlain also explained: “I wear the glasses because I feel like I look smarter and I’m too lazy to put my contacts in.”
Beck reports that Chamberlain has dropped 15-20 pounds, too, but let’s focus on the important stuff for now.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.