I had hoped it was only a cruel, unfounded rumor, but no, it’s true:
Keith Hernandez’s mustache, which in 2007 was voted the American Mustache Institute’s greatest sports mustache of all time and earlier the same year won Newsday’s “Mustache Madness” contest, will be shaved off before the Mets ‘ final home game Sept. 27.
The event, open to the public and scheduled for approximately 11:45 a.m. in the plaza outside Citi Field , will be sponsored by Schick Hydro, with proceeds benefiting the Jacqueline Hernandez Adult Day Center in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill . It is named for Hernandez’s mother.
I’m not sure how one gets “proceeds” to such an event when it’s open to the public, but I’ll leave the good people of Schick to figure that out.
Kind of sad. Young people don’t realize this, but there was a time in baseball when just about every damn player had a mustache. Go look at a set of 1988 Donruss or something and count the mustaches. Actually, count the guys without one. That would be way easier.
Oh well. At least Dennis Eckersley still has his.
The Red Sox have some tough decisions to make in advance of the World Series next week; namely, what to do with some of their hottest-hitting players once the series shifts to a National League park — and National League rules. During a press conference on Saturday, manager Alex Cora said he’d be open to the idea of starting All-Star right fielder Mookie Betts at second base when the club’s regular DH, J.D. Martinez, is forced to play the outfield during away games.
The Red Sox carry home field advantage through the Fall Classic, so Games 1 and 2 will be played at Fenway Park — as well as Games 6 and 7, should those become necessary. Depending on the outcome of NLCS Game 7 later tonight, World Series Games 3 through 5 will be played at Dodger Stadium or Miller Park. That’s when Betts might take over the keystone from Ian Kinsler and Brock Holt, both of whom have shared second base duties over the course of the 2018 postseason.
The idea isn’t without merit. Betts and Martinez comprise two of the team’s top talents at the plate and, should the Red Sox need to stave off elimination in Games 4 and 5, sitting either of them doesn’t make sense. The 26-year-old Betts led the team with a staggering .346/.438/.640 batting line, 32 home runs, 30 stolen bases, and career-best 10.4 fWAR over 614 PA, while Martinez posted some career totals of his own, slashing .330/.402/.629 with 43 home runs, a 1.031 OPS, and 5.9 fWAR in 649 PA. This wouldn’t be the first time Betts has taken reps at second, either, as he’s logged 15 games at the position over the course of his five-year career, most recently during a 4-1 win over the Yankees in August.
Whether or not Betts is considered a lock for all three games is another question, one to which Cora didn’t give a definite answer. “I don’t know, man,” the skipper told reporters Saturday. “[Betts] already played second during the regular season, so there’s always a chance, I guess.” He later added that while Betts would be taking ground balls at second, it’s part of the routine he’s maintained all year — so nothing should be read into it until a clear decision has been announced.