The White Sox are willing to bend team rules for their newest addition … should he bring success.
After signing a three-year, $55.5 million contract with Chicago in December, Dallas Keuchel knew he was going to eventually have to do something about the wild beard that he has sported since 2014.
“I didn’t even bother trimming it all winter,’’ Keuchel told USA Today on Wednesday. “I loved it.’’
Although the White Sox don’t require players to be completely clean-shaven like the Yankees, the organization still insists that facial hair is trimmed and kempt. Chris Sale was forced to cut off his beard in 2014 and slugger Jose Abreu had to trim his two years ago when he first arrived at spring training.
Keuchel, who played on a one-year deal with the Braves in 2019, arrived to camp with a shorter beard but it wasn’t up to the White Sox’s standards. After trimming it two more times, taking off nearly two inches of hair, the ace’s facial hair still didn’t align with the organization’s rules.
So Chicago chairmen Jerry Reinsdorf asked to speak with Keuchel privately following a team meeting.
“I thought, ‘Oh, crap, I’ve got to trim this even more,’” Keuchel, 32, said. “He was like, ‘Hey, man, you’re officially violating team policy. But I hear you’re a great guy. So let’s just keep winning, and we’ll be all right.’
“I said, ‘All right. My guy.’ Now, we’ve just to keep winning to keep this beard going.’’
It might not be what it once was, but Keuchel is satisfied with just being able to keep it at all.
“To me, it’s almost gone,’’ he said. “Even though there’s still a lot there. It’s taken my face shape a little differently. But I love beards. My girlfriend (Kelly) met me at the height of my beard. It’s either you love it or hate it. There’s no in-between. A lot of guys don’t know what I look like without a beard, so they’d rather have me keep the beard, so I don’t look like an alien to them.’’