By Chad Jennings
It’s been a few weeks since the Yankees started growing mustaches as a kind of team bonding exercise, but the whole thing seems to be getting more attention these days because the facial hair has filled in enough to be really visible on television. Almost every player on the team has tried it — and first-base coach Tony Pena pretty much always has one anyway — and it’s become a fun topic of discussion in the clubhouse, with the players recognizing the absurdity of the whole thing.
Here, then, is my totally subjective attempt to rank the mustaches on the current 25-man roster.
1. Gregorio Petit
An excellent mustache from an unexpected source. Petit might be a smallish utility guy, but his mustache is an everyday player. This really should be his permanent look.
2. Garrett Jones
Little surprise here. The dark hair really helps the mustache stand out. I’ve been to my share of rural, Midwestern bars — and truck stops — and Jones would fit right in with the stache.
3. Esmil Rogers
One fellow writer thought I was crazy when I said Rogers had a top-three mustache. Then he got a better look at it and completely agreed. If anything, Rogers is too low on this list.
4. John Ryan Murphy
When the season started, Murphy was the guy I wanted to date my sister. Now he looks like a guy I wouldn’t allow near her. That’s a powerful mustache.
6. Chris Young
The same fellow writer who doubt me on the Rogers mustache suggested I take a better look at Young’s. He was right. Young’s bat isn’t the only thing that really come into its own this season.
7. Chase Headley
Wore a full beard in San Diego, so it’s little surprise his mustache game is strong. Wasn’t an early standout, but Headley’s a solid Top 10 pick at this point.
8. Mark Teixeira
My opinion on the Tex stache changes every time I see it, but Adam Warren convinced me to put him top 10. Warren’s logic is solid: Teixeira’s normally such a clean-cut guy, that seeing him with a mustache — and not a bad stache at that — is hilariously awkward.
9. Chase Whitley
Many, many bonus points for growing so quickly. Still not as good as it could be, but the early signs of life are promising. By his third start, I expect something even greater.
10. Andrew Miller
So bad it’s good. Miller went full facial hair last season with the Red Sox and Orioles, and he might be an all-or-nothing kind of guy. He’s definitely able to grow a mustache, but that doesn’t mean he should.
11. Brian McCann
You could make a case for McCann having a top-10 mustache. His isn’t bad, but I think I’m taking away points because I expected so much more. I really thought McCann’s might be an all-timer.
12. Stephen Drew
In the past week or so, Drew’s surely won the team award for most-improved mustache.
13. Nathan Eovaldi
Perfectly middle of the pack. Not good. Not bad. Just kind of a guy with an awkward mustache.
14. Jacoby Ellsbury
It’s not that Ellsbury can’t grow a mustache, it’s that a mustache is clearly not his go-to look. It’s not a great look, but it’s not so bad that it’s in the so-bad-it’s-good category.
15. CC Sabathia
A perfectly fine mustache, but Sabathia always grows so much facial hair in the offseason that seeing him with a stache just doesn’t do much. Almost don’t even notice it.
16. Chasen Shreve
Could be a sleeper pick for a strong mustache in a week or two. Seems to be improving, but the blond hair doesn’t help. Not particularly noticeable right now.
17. Chris Martin
Seems to have more potential than he’s showing. Right now the mustache just looks like a bit of 5 o’clock shadow with not real goal or purpose. I have higher expectations for a guy who used to stock shelves at Lowes.
18. David Carpenter
Thought he might be more like Headley. Instead he’s more like Shreve, but without the stache upside.
19. Justin Wilson
Too thin and creepy. Wilson’s been good this year, and I doubt the Yankees miss their previous go-to lefty relievers, but I’m betting both Boone Logan and Matt Thornton would have thrived in this new mustache culture.
20. Adam Warren
“Take it easy on me,” Warren said, when told I was planning to rank the mustaches. As far as team-bonding activities go, this one really didn’t play to Warren’s strengths.
21. Alex Rodriguez
So far, no real attempt from A-Rod to join the mustache movement. He’s one of two guys on the team who seems capable of growing a mustache but just not that into the idea. Wouldn’t be shocked to see Rodriguez jump on board at some point, though.
Word is that Pineda tried to do the mustache thing, but his came in so awkward — giant gap in the middle — that he bailed on the whole thing. I suppose there’s something to be said for knowing your weaknesses.
23. Carlos Beltran
Just like A-Rod, Beltran doesn’t seem to be trying to grow a mustache. He ranks lower than A-Rod because Beltran seems to have significant mustache potential if he’d go for it.
24. Didi Gregorius
“I just don’t have the genes to grow a mustache,” Gregorius said.The only redeeming factor is that Gregorius is so bad at it, it’s hard to tell he’s even attempting one.
25. Dellin Betances
There are worse things than having no mustache at all. Poor Dellin. The problem isn’t that he can’t grow a mustache, it’s that he can grow one, and it’s perfectly noticeable, and it’s horrible. He has the same thin-and-creepy problem that Wilson is dealing with, but it’s somehow worse on Betances.