Monday, May 08, 2006

That's why they wear caps: Lima Time, Mikey and bad Mets hair

Jose Lima and his hair got roughed up pretty good by the Braves.

You had to know that Jose Lima was in trouble on Sunday before he even walked out of the bullpen, and it has nothing to do with his performance the past few seasons – though that should have been a clue.

No, I’m taking about Jose’s multi-colored hair. Truth be told, you can get a pretty good idea about what’s going on in Metsland as a whole or with particular players simply by their hair.

Willie Randolph knew what he was doing last year when he banned long locks and facial hair.

Lima Time stunned all by showing up at Shea with his hair dyed orange and blue. I suppose we should be grateful that he didn’t follow the team’s lead and incorporate black as the alternative color.

And, of course, the Braves lit him up for five runs in five innings, sending Jose to a early shower, and hopefully, a barber.

All too predictable. Lets look at the pattern.

Kaz Matsui
Billed as the greatest living shortstop in Japan and boasting a consecutive-game streak that would impress Cal Ripken, Matsui showed up with his hair dyed neon orange. It was a color not found in nature, much less on a Japanese person.

Matsui, after hitting his customary Opening Day tease homer, went on to demonstrate that he: A) Can’t hit, B) Can’t field and C) Can’t stay healthy.

Kaz's woes continue, having lost his starting job to a rookie -- Anderson Hernandez -- who last year had more last names than hits.

Mike Piazza

Piazza, famous for his movie star looks, centerfold dating habits and powerful bat, for reasons unknown to all walked into the clubhouse one day in 2001 with his brown hair cut short and dyed platinum blonde.

Bad move for both Mikey and the team. The Mets went from NL Champs to bottom-feeders and Piazza went from having hotties on both arm to having to hold a press conference to defend his heterosexuality.

The Mets, despite playing for a guy with no visble hair whatsoever -- Art Howe -- stunk it up until Willie and his clean chin policy came on board.

What made Mike do it? Hard to say. Maybe having Clemens rip one off his forehead time and again had something to do with it.

Doc Gooden

Gooden was blossoming into a true mega-star with his close-cropped cut. Then in 1986 he decided to let the locks grow into longish, glistening gheri curls.

Next thing you know, Gooden found his nose in the wrong places inhaling the wrong things and his life started spinning out of control. Bad things filled his future, like becoming a convict and worse, a Yankee.

How scary was Doc's 'do? Samuel L. Jackson copied it for his role as a hit man in Pulp Fiction.

Pat Zachary

You have to feel for Zachary. He was traded for Tom Seaver, and the Mets gave him No. 40, right next to Seaver’s No. 41 as if he was the next best thing.

As we know from the last post, Seaver is the Greatest Living Pitcher, which makes him a tough act to follow for anyone, much less a middle-of-the-rotation guy like Zachary.

Next thing you know, Zachary was caving under the pressure. He apparently decided to grow a shrubbery on his head in an effort to hide.

Sadly for Pat, there are no trees, much less shrubbery, growing in Queens and he was spotted immediately. Discovered, Zachary kicked a dugout wall – look it up – and messed up his career.

Nino Espinosa

Espinosa came to camp in 1977 with a moderate-sized afro and allowed it to become progressively larger and larger. It was so big that the team had to space out his uniform numbers just to create some sort of balance. Look for yourself!

Apparently Espinosa was intent on being the poor man’s Oscar Gamble. Sadly, being Oscar Gamble himself was no great shakes, especially after he became a Yankee. So having a poor man’s version around didn’t excite too many fans.

Sadly, Espinosa and his fro were pretty good indicators of how things were going for those late 1970s teams. The Yanks were claiming back-to-back championships and we were running a donkey around the warning track as a mascot.

Nino trimmed the ‘do after he was shipped to the Phillies for Richie Hebner, who gained a reputation for not being interested in the games despite being the starting third-baseman.

Dave Kingman
Dave Kingman was a grump and a malconent when he came over from the Giants and proceeded to hit some monsterous blasts in between errors and strikeouts.

Then Dave got loose with a Farrah Fawcett 'do plus sideburns, a look that was somewhat flattering on Farrah -- it wasn't the hair that sold all those posters -- but less so on Kingman.

He beame, well, even more of grump and a malcontent. Even worse, he wanted a raise. And since M. Donald Grand (turn, spit) wasn't about to part with a buck for Tom Seaver, a guy people actually liked, he wasn't going to fork over some cash for Kingman.

Instead, Dave and his flowing locks were shipped to the Padres as part of the Midnight Massacre, only to return in 1993 with a better haircut and somewhat better attitude.

Gene Clines

Clines had some decent seasons for the Pirates before we snagged him in a trade for Duffy Dyer.

Once at Shea, he apparently displayed some presidential ambitions and started shaving his beard in the chinless style favored by former President Chester Alan Arthur.

The problem is that Arthur lived in the late 1800s when you could do such things and people wouldn’t think you were a freak. Clines proceeded to hit a robust .227 with 0 homers and 4 steals.

The Mets tired of that nonsense and at the end of the 1975 season shipped him off to Texas for Joe Lovitto, who I don’t think ever played in a Mets uniform.

Clearly there is a trend here. And if the Padres can keep a massage therapist in the dugout, the Mets can invest in an official team barber -- and assign someone from keeping bleach away from David Wright's hair!


G-Fafif said...

Good sartorial tour. Don't forget Armando giving haircuts to Rey Sanchez (or vice-versa; either way, no thanks) and Rey Ordonez's experiment with reddish-orange. He was wearing it that way when Matt Franco got that hit off Rivera.

All's hair that doesn't end all that badly?

G-Fafif said...

Or tonsorial. Whatever the word is.

Whitney said...


Didn't Shinjo sport a rust-colored "don't" before Kaz went that route? So hideous.

The one thing the Mets have not had over the years is a primo mullet a la most of the Phils '93 roster. I can't seem to recall any -- maybe Turk Wendell?

Dad said...

Forget about the hair! What about those pink bats comming out of Louisville? I see several Yankeeys
signed up for them.