Newly acquired pitcher Chad Qualls found out what Don Mattingly, Reggie Jackson and a long line of other New York Yankees have discovered before him— that a clean-shaven Bronx Bomber is a welcome Bronx Bomber. Going from worst-to-first can make that trip to the barber's chair a little easier though.
Qualls made his Yankee debut Monday night after being traded from the last-place Philadelphia Phillies but not before adhering to the Yankees' strict team rule— no facial hair below the upper lip. Qualls retired both batters he faced in finishing the eighth inning.
Qualls said he didn't know about the team's facial hair restrictions before the trade.
"They're in first place — or , we're in first place— so anything I could do over here is a good change," said Qualls who appeared in 35 games for the Phillies.
Before Qualls arrived in Tampa Bay for last night's game against the Rays, he had one order of business— shaving the goatee he'd sported for virtually all of the past five years.
"My wife 's probably only seen me shaved twice," Qualls said. "I think the first time, she told me, 'Don't ever do this again.' But this time, I think she's going to have to bear with me on this one."