The Miami Marlins can wear beards again

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A year ago the Miami Marlins adopted a ban on facial hair for players. They never gave a good reason for it apart from vague allusions to image and professionalism, but really, there was no and could be no good reason for it. They’re baseball players, not executives. Even if you tried to construct an argument about how they are ambassadors for the Miami Marlins brand, you have to contend with the fact that almost every other team allows facial hair and almost every other team has a superior brand to that of the Miami Marlins.

Thankfully, the Marlins have changed their mind about all of this and have gotten rid of the policy.

Don Mattingly says that players still have to be “groomed” which, I presume, means that they shouldn’t have lentil soup in their beards or whatever. Really, though, Mattingly — who wore a mustache in his playing days — sounds like he doesn’t give a rip about it, noting that it was a pain for him to enforce the ban last year. Not the sort of thing you want your manager concentrating on, obviously.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.