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An Appreciation of Kyle Seager’s Facial Hair

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Our little man is all grown up

Detroit Tigers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Facial hair is a strange thing. Even the most minuscule changes in length, placement, and scraggly-ness can change a person’s entire outward appearance. We all have our own ingrained ideas of what kind of person is attached to a neck beard, handlebar mustache, or soul patch.

While changing the style can elicit drastic, visceral reactions, there’s nothing quite like a person’s face going from bare to furry, or vice versa.

On April 14, Stephen Brashear of Getty Images snapped this photo that shows an inkling of facial hair on Mr. Kyle Seager, but certainly not enough to constitute a full beard.

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Kate Preusser blessed me with a theory that Kyle revving the beard engine in April was a clever ploy to get it fully humming in May. Planting the stubble seeds in April could have been another thing to keep him busy, cultivating them into something larger while he tried to get out of his yearly first-month slump.

2018 April: 90 wRC+ ; 2018 May: 110 wRC+

2017 April: 100 wRC+ ; 2017 May: 107 wRC+

2016 April: 77 wRC+ ; 2016 May: 181 wRC+

Sometime around the second week of May, the formerly cherubic Kyle Seager started debuting a patchwork beard. On May 10 in Toronto, Dee Gordon showed a level of excitement that I can only assume stems from Kyle’s light face sweater.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays
When your boy takes an aesthetic risk and absolutely kills it
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s a look at Kyle from the team’s game on May 12.

Are they putting shaving cream in my locker again?!

I have no idea what caused this orchard of peach fuzz, or why Kyle has seemingly decided to stick with it. As per usual, his numbers started ticking upward when the calendar turned to May, and this time around he had some “lead singer of a struggling band” facial hair to show for it. To be as lucid as possible, I am 100% in favor of it. Part of this is because I will blindly support Kyle Seager in nearly of all his endeavors, part of it is because I think he is pulling it off quite nicely.

As Kyle continues to serve looks at the hot corner, his grainy facial hair will undoubtedly pick up more traction among baseball fans. His employer’s official Twitter account already took an opportunity to poke some playful fun.

It is already quite a divisive topic.

Maple Grove pioneer Hillary Kirby conducted some very scientific research into the topic, and her findings indicated mostly positive feelings for the chin whiskers.

I always knew Mariner Twitter was smart. The only thing making me hesitant to fully embrace the new Kyle Seager is that it becomes harder to make jokes about him resembling a giant baby. Nevertheless, we persist, just like Kyle’s facial follicles.

The next chapter in this saga will be massive for character development. If Seags runs with this feeling and proclaims Summer ‘18 as Beard Season, will we see a fully actualized beard, or just a sustained version of this high school senior visual? Is he capable of hosting a bushy beard, or is he eternally stuck in the loading phase?

Of course, baseball players being notorious superstition-abiding humans, a continued lack of production could have Kyle signing up for Dollar Shave Club. He’s been mired in a slump, lugging around a .196/.293/.510 line over the last five series.

But, on the other hand, Kyle hasn’t really found his groove all season, which makes you wonder if the facial hair was a physical expression of slump-busting desires. He was at .240/.293/.403 in the 33 games prior to the Blue Jays’ series, which was the first time I began to notice the five o’clock shadow. So the beard appears to have actually made things worse. Will that change the third baseman’s mindset? How committed is he? Is this a bit?

We must devote all our resources to getting these questions answered. Why did Kyle Seager choose to sprout a chinstrap, and what is the plan moving forward? Did he simply get too lazy to start shaving regularly? This sounds like a job for someone who spends a lot of time around the Mariners. If only one of the team’s most plugged-in beat writers hadn’t been ragged on already by one of our very own.

Until we get some closure, I’m going to choose to believe that the Seager stubble was born out of this conversation with Ben Gamel.

Photo courtesy of @Mariners

I envision this talk going something like this:

Ben: Kyle, have you ever considered having hair?

Kyle [laughing hysterically]: Ha! You fool, are you not aware that hair is simply a barrier between your thoughts and the world around them?

Ben [lowers voice]: But what if I told you, growing some hair would distract the internet from your subpar season?

Kyle: Hold my razor.

Readers of Lookout Landing, if you have any information to pass along regarding Kyle Seager’s latest facial forays, please let us know in the comments. In the meantime, join us in taking this poll, so that we may add more data to Hillary’s sample. Thank you kindly.

Poll

Do you like Kyle Seager’s facial hair?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Yes
    (472 votes)
  • 18%
    No
    (104 votes)
576 votes total Vote Now