This is bracket season. We here at TomahawkTake.com thus are conducting, for the first time, a Coif-Off Contest that you can use on your own to decide which GM has the best hair in baseball. No – no need to be snippy about it. We want to see who makes the cut in terms of style. We’ll carefully investigate (stalk?) each GM, then rinse and repeat until you have all the info you need to massage these names to determine your own winner.
But there’s more to it that just that! But we’ve uncovered an incredible tendency that baseball fans need to pay attention to. It is that General Manager Hair very often tells you everything you need to know about how your team’s GM goes about his business in forming and managing his team’s personnel. Check out our findings in the scouting reports below – it’s uncanny!
But first: the brackets.
(1) FRANK WREN / ATLANTA BRAVES – Frank Wren has the classic look for GM hair that makes him a formidable #1 seed in this region. If there is any weakness in his game, it’s the high forehead and thinning sides that may make it difficult for him to go deep into a season. Yet with this aged look comes great patience, experience, and confidence; and we’re likewise confident that our own GM will be able to prevail in this region. This is the look of a man who makes bold moves to form his club!
(4) NEAL HUNTINGTON / PITTSBURGH PIRATES – Huntington’s look is an example of ‘doing your best with what you’ve got available’, also known as ‘Wren light’. In earlier years, Huntington could have garnered a 2 or 3 seed, but his more recent look, which resembles a modified comb-over has hurt his seeding for 2014. Still, we do not discount experience in these reports, and he could easily sneak up on a higher seed since he also has the color thing working in his favor. Funny, his teams tend to sneak up on people, too.
(6) DAN JENNINGS / MIAMI MARLINS – Unfortunately for Jennings, his hair is a direct reflection of his ballclub: an attempt to cobble together the look of youth with elements of veteran presence. And it never works. He tries – he really and truly does. Unfortunately, the result is something that resembles the attempt to cut Florida’s St. Augustine grass with a weed eater – a blotchy mess that sticks up everywhere.
(7) WALT JOCKETTY / CINCINNATI REDS – That’s Jocketty on the left in this photo at the press conference introducing his new manager, Bryan Price. You can almost see him thinking “Wow – 20 years ago, I could have had his hair.” At this point, however, he looks more like a cross between ex-President Gerald Ford and Astronaut John Glenn… except that Ford has passed away and Glenn is now 92. Still, he is hanging on to what he’s got … which pretty much tells us all you need to know about his team-building philosophy, too.
(5) JOHN MOZELIAK / ST. LOUIS CARDINALS – This is the hair that has been to four World Series’ since 2004, winning twice. No, I can’t understand it, either. Clearly, they are doing something right in St. Louis, but hair care is taking a back seat to team issues… like the back seat of an airplane (Row 43, anyone?). At least in more recent photos, the glasses are gone and the bow tie has been handed off to Ken Rosenthal. The good news for Cardinal fans? His hair actually improves when he doesn’t do… this… to it. Thus, in a game situation, he brings a much better game, hence the #5 seed.
(8) JON DANIELS / TEXAS RANGERS – Daniels just can’t escape it. This photo makes him look as old as I’ve seen him, but he’s still just 36. The hair makes him look like a high school kid that lives down the street from me… except that the high school kid doesn’t goop up his curls with some sort of gel. Somehow as GM, Daniels has produced contenders. The hair isn’t one of them. But hey: it isn’t his only bad decision – not getting along with Nolan Ryan is another.
(2) ANDREW FRIEDMAN / TAMPA BAY RAYS – Watch out here: the youth movement isn’t always all bad. In a weak region, especially, Friedman’s efforts stand out strongly. On top of that, his hair looks to be a style that can handle the rigors of a full season – and post-season. So while Wren still gets the #1 seed this year, Friedman is knocking on the door, and likely will continue to do so for years to come.
(3) JEFF LUHNOW / HOUSTON ASTROS – This is an older picture of Luhnow (2012), but that’s because nobody really cares about the Astros. But quietly, Luhnow has been cultivating the follicles he has into something respectable, while hoping that his club follows suit. Again, a weak hair region gives an opportunity for players to style up, and Luhnow has done that. We respect the effort, and reward him with a #3 seeding.
(6) BEN CHERINGTON / BOSTON RED SOX – If you didn’t know he was one of the 30 General Managers in the sport, Ben Cherington could easily pass for a Boston street thug. Why does he get a 6 seed then? Mostly due to having youth on his side… and a horrible region overall to compete in. The disappointing part is that there’s just no effort here: just comb it back and go. What I truly don’t understand is this, though: no beard?
(8) BRIAN CASHMAN / NEW YORK YANKEES – In contrast to Cherington, Cashman looks the part of a stereotypical New York lawyer, complete with the male pattern baldness. He couldn’t care less, either, because he’s got a huge budget and his team will almost always make the playoffs. So what if he loses his hair region? That’s not the goal here. His job is to assemble a great team – no matter how it look. So whaddyagonnadoboudit? #8 seed for dissing the contest… and because I want to see the Yankees in last place for a change.
(4) MIKE RIZZO / WASHINGTON NATIONALS – It’s interesting to see just how much a GM’s hair is consistent with their team. Rizzo is bald. He doesn’t care. It doesn’t make a whit of difference how unelegant he might look, but he just goes about his business and beats you. That was the case with the Doug Fister trade this off-season: the steal of the Winter. Never discount a bold bald man. #4 seed in a ‘best hair’ region? Yeah, this guy. It’s a good sleeper pick going forward.
(7) DAN DUQUETTE / BALTIMORE ORIOLES – Clearly a better look for him in this photo vs. the ‘bangs’ thing he was rocking (snicker) early last year. But then it seems Duquette can’t seem to figure out exactly what to do with that particular tuft of hair: other research shows it pulled back, dropped down, and pulled to the side (as shown as right). This level of inconsistency definitely hurts his game, and is reflected in this #7 seeding.
(3) ALEX ANTHOPOULOS / TORONTO BLUE JAYS – I beat up on Cherington due to lack of effort. That’s hardly the case with AA’s hair. He tries – Lord know he tries. But as with his team (this is the man who has never seen a trade he didn’t like), Anthopoulos can’t quite make all the pieces work in his favor. Thus he is doomed to always be a #3 seed: never quite being able to make the next step up stick for him. That’s disappointing.
(2) RUBEN AMARO, JR / PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES – He’s an older man trying to recapture a youthful look. Yes, that’s the theme of Amaro’s hair style and also his team’s style. It is highly fortunate for Ruben that it works much better for his own personal grooming than it has on the field. Perhaps he should consider changing those tactics, though? Hint: coloring your old hair works only for so long. Eventually, people will realize that you’re just old. At least he stopped hiring ballplayers named ‘Young.’
(5) SANDY ALDERSON / NEW YORK METS – More baldness, though in this case, Alderson hasn’t fully embraced the Mike Rizzo tactic and yielded to the inevitable. In fact, you’re kinda left with the thought of “it that all he’s done with it?” Funny, that’s also how Mets’ fans think of Alderson’s handling of their favorite team, now that I think about it. The five seed thus seems generous. Could be a quick first round exit with future lower seeds.
(1) CHRIS ANTONETTI / CLEVELAND INDIANS – Granted, the photo could be better (his twitter pic is), but contrast the look of Antonetti with that of Jon Daniels above. Big difference. That’s what earned the Indians’ GM a #1 seed and got Daniels a #8… despite their relative age proximities. Antonetti has no pretenses, he’s just going with a simple methodical approach that works for him. Oh, am I talking about his team or his hair? You decide.
Too long – we’ll review the other 2 regions next week! Teasers below…
JED HOYER / CHICAGO CUBS –
RICK HAHN / CHICAGO WHITE SOX –
DOUG MELVIN / MILWAUKEE BREWERS –
TERRY RYAN / MINNESOTA TWINS –
DAVE DOMBROWSKI / DETROIT TIGERS –
DAN O’DOWD / COLORADO ROCKIES –
DAYTON MOORE / KANSAS CITY ROYALS –
JACK ZDURIENCIK / SEATTLE MARINERS –
BRIAN SABEAN / SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS –
BILLY BEANE / OAKLAND ATHLETICS –
NED COLLETI / LOS ANGELES DODGERS –
JERRY DIPOTO / LOS ANGELES ANGELS –
JOSH BYRNES / SAN DIEGO PADRES –
KEVIN TOWERS / ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS –
MLB COMMISSIONER BUG SELIG –
MLB SPECIAL ASSISTANT TONY LARUSSA –
Yeah, we need some real baseball around here… bad.