JUPITER -- Major news this morning out of spring training camp: manager Mike Redmond said it's now okay if players have beards, thus ending a long-standing team policy that was instituted when Jeffrey Loria took over as owner.
Just don't expect any ZZ Top beards, or the shaggy versions popularized last season by the Boston Red Sox when they made their World Series runs. Redmond said the beards must be kept neat and trim.
"This year we're going to let them have beards, but they've got to keep them trimmed up -- and the hair, too," Redmond said. "We just don't want it to look sloppy."
Redmond said the policy change was "an organization" decision.
Part of the reason for the change was that some players -- most notably pitcher Ricky Nolasco last season before he was traded -- were getting around the rule on facial hair. Nolasco didn't shave on days he started.
Several players are already going bearded. They include new catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and non-roster pitchers Chris Hatcher and Chaz Roe.
"We've only got a handful of guys who can even grow a beard," Redmond said, laughing.
Redmond said he suffered a groin injury during a bowling outing Monday night.
"I'm a little beat up. I pulled my groin last night," Redmond said. "I strained my groin in the 10th frame."
Redmond said he rolled a 144 in the first game before suffering the injury in the second when he followed with a 104.
"I had to talk to the trainers to make sure I wasn't going to do anymore damage," he said. "And they cleared me for the third game and I bowled a 166, so I bounced back pretty good. Got up this morning and heated it up, got my hour run in and had my Egg White delight and here I am."