For once, I get to speak with the exact same authority on a subject as a professional athlete. Gabe Kapler played professional baseball for 12 seasons and has been a manager for the last four. While I can’t speak with anywhere near the same authority on 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, though keeps his at a different length than I. Kapler’s opts for no hang time on his, while I always want it to be long enough to run a comb through it, even fresh out of the barbershop. That’s just a preference. I don’t pass any judgment on those who opt for their beard looking like an artist with colored pencil went to town. It’s still full membership, club meetings are on Wednesdays, dues to be sent to my cash app on January 1.
Where I strongly differ with Kapler, however, is a statement he made that makes me think he needs to commit to growing his out another inch. When asked by the media if a person has a full beard does that person also have a mustache, he gave a very long and thought out answer that ended with him saying that if you have a full beard you do indeed have a mustache.
People, this is a great example of letter of the law vs. spirit of the law. It’s like the neighborhood play in baseball. The fielder does not have to have a foot on second base while attempting to turn a double-play for the runner on the way to second to be called out. The fielder might not literally have his foot on the bag, but there’s no need to be a stickler over something that technical.The ball arrived at the base significantly before the runner. The spirit of the rule is that the runner was beaten regardless of where the second baseman’s big toe happened to be touching the ground.
Imagine if managers used challenges to see if the second baseman touched the bag on a double-play. Just save it for the end of a tight game every time and boom, chance at a runner in scoring position. Losing a game that way is not the way baseball intended to be played.
It’s the same thing with the mustache and beard argument. Yes, technically Kapler and I both have mustaches. We have full beards, and both clearly agree that it’s a better look than having a dangling growth with a naked upper lip, Abe Lincoln-style. However, no one has ever said to me, “sweet ’stache,” since I started growing my beard. All comments are made about the entire product. People know the mustache is there, but my intention is not for you to notice that. It’s for you to see the whole operation, buttered, oiled, and glistening.
This whole conversation started because some of the San Francisco Giants are participating in Mustache May. It’s a great cause to help raise money and awareness for mental health.
But guess what, just like they would if participating in Movember they don’t have any other facial hair but a mustache. In November, with a month full of goofy mustaches straight out of a Simpsons flashback to Burns’ childhood, no one would ask you if you’re participating in Movember because you have a beard. That’s because you’re not. The entire point is to grow the mustache for a month no matter how ridiculous it gets for a good cause, because if you grew the beard as well, no one would notice the mustache. Beards don’t even grow enough in a month to notice a difference.
It’s all about the intent Kapler. The double-play still counts.