Perhaps Jacob deGrom doesn’t read the story of Samson as a cautionary tale. The Mets’ hurler sheared his shoulder-length locks at the start of the offseason and apparently believes the new haircut will make him stronger on the mound. “I did some research and I found that shorter hair actually will speed up my delivery and add two more miles to my fastball,” deGrom told the New York Daily News on Sunday (with an impish grin, one has to imagine).
While there’s no doubt that it would be incredible to see deGrom’s fastball routinely top 97.9 MPH on the radar gun, maybe he’s forgotten about another powerhouse pitcher with an ill-advised trim:
Tim Lincecum, pre-haircut (2009-2014): 3.72 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 9.3 SO/9, 18.9 fWAR
Tim Lincecum, post-haircut (2015-2016): 5.81 ERA, 4.8 BB/9, 7.2 SO/9, -0.4 fWAR
Okay, sure, Lincecum’s abrupt decline and subsequent disappearance had far more factors in play than a poorly-timed trip to the barber, but I’m just saying that it looks like a bad omen.