I get to speak on a subject with the same authority as a professional athlete for once. Gabe Kapler played 12 seasons of pro baseball and has been a manager for the past four seasons. While I can’t speak with nearly the same authority about what it takes to hit a curveball or when to pull a starter, we do have one thing in common – beards.
Kapler and I both have one, but keep it at a different length than I. Kapler’s decides he doesn’t have time to hang while I always want it to be long enough to run a comb through, even when fresh from the salon. That’s just a preference. I make no judgments about those who choose a beard that looks like an artist went to town with colored pencils. It’s still full membership, club meetings are Wednesdays, posts are sent to my cash app on January 1st.
However, where I strongly disagree with Kapler is a statement he made that leads me to believe that he needs to commit to making his body an inch taller. When asked by the media if a person has a full beard, that person also has a mustache, he gave a very long and thoughtful answer, ending by saying if you have a full beard, you do in fact have a mustache.
Folks, this is a great example of the letter of the law vs the spirit of the law. It’s like the neighborhood game in baseball. The fielder does not have to have a foot on second base while attempting to turn a double play for the runner to be called en route to second base. The fielder may not literally have his foot on the bag, but there’s no reason to be an advocate for something this technical. The ball arrived at the base well ahead of the runner. That Spirit The rule is that the runner was batted regardless of where the second baseman’s big toe happened to touch the ground.
Imagine managers using challenges to see if the second baseman touched the pocket on a double play. Save it for the end of a tight game every time and boom, the chance of a runner in goal position. Losing a game this way is not the way baseball should be played.
The same goes for the mustache and beard argument. Yes, technically Kapler and I both have mustaches. We have full beards, and both of us clearly agree that it looks better than a dangling growth with a bare upper lip, Abe Lincoln style. However, no one has ever said that me, “cute Stache” since I started growing my beard. All comments refer to the entire product. People know the mustache is there, but I don’t want them to notice. It’s for you to see the whole operation, buttered, oiled and shiny.
This whole conversation started because some of the San Francisco Giants are attending Mustache May. It’s a great cause to make money and raise awareness about mental health.
But guess what, just like they would if they were attending Movember, they don’t have any facial hair other than a mustache. In November, with a month full of goofy mustaches, right out of one Simpsons Flashback to Burns’ childhood, nobody would ask you to join Movember because you have a beard. That’s because you’re not. The whole point is to grow that mustache for a month, no matter how ridiculous it gets for a good cause, because if you grew that beard too, no one would notice the mustache. Beards don’t grow enough in even a month to notice a difference.
It’s about Kapler’s intention. The lookalike-Play still counts.