Baseball players are incredibly superstitious. When things aren’t going their way, don’t be surprised to see them mixing it up. Even altering something that has no bearing on the game could be the thing that gets them going.
That’s the only explanation we have for why Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper shaved his beard before Monday’s game. It must be his way of trying to break out of his season-long slump.
Prior to Monday’s game against the New York Yankees, Jamal Collier of MLB.com let the world know Harper’s beard was gone. The team had to continue their May 15 game against the Yankees and then were set to start another game with New York after the first one ended.
When he walked up to the plate for the first time, here’s what Harper looked like:
Why did he shave the beard?
Our best guess is that Harper is changing things up off the field so he can change his results on the field. While he’s hit for power and shown patience at the plate, his average is just .217 this season. It could be a superstitious thing, or maybe Harper just wanted to change his look. It is starting to get hot on the East Coast.
Are there any conspiracy theories about this?
Harper picked a curious time to shave his beard. With the Nationals playing the Yankees, some have tossed out conspiracy theories that the move was strategic. By shaving his beard, Harper is showing the Yankees he wants to play for them next season. Is that far-fetched? Yeah. Is that going to stop people from saying it? Nope.
Is it going to help?
As far as we know, a beard doesn’t have an impact on baseball performance. If Harper gets back on track, it’s likely due to other factors.
The extremely small sample returns might indicate Harper needs to grow the beard back soon. In the team’s games Monday, Harper went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik
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