Brandon Hyde doesn’t care what his players choose to do with their facial hair. If this results in prey on the field, he’s all for a little fun – even if he refuses to join himself.
However, the Orioles manager doesn’t mind the way the mustache looks over Adli Ratchman’s upper lip, especially considering the rookie catcher’s defense behind the plate is excellent and his bat has steadily improved during the first month of his major league career.
The inspiration for this may have come from the big screen. After watching Top Gun: Maverick, Rutchman was moved by the facial hair of Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, played by actor Miles Teller.
“I saw the movie and I thought, ‘Oh, I should grow a mustache,'” Rutchman, the best baseball player, said. “There’s something to do.”
However, Rooster’s bushy mustache is not perfectly reproduced by the 24-year-old Rutchman. How long will he keep?
“Eh, probably not for long,” Rutchman admitted. “I don’t know if I can do it so well.”
Rutchman is not alone. During a trip to Kansas City, one of the trainers, Ryan Fuller, wore a mustache. Ryan Mountcastle added another and this week on the pitch during batting practice he sang a rendition of Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”, the soundtrack to “Top Gun”.
He takes over the clubhouse by force.
“I think the mustache is really making a comeback. It reminds me of my father in 1982,” Hyde said. “I think if you look around right now you will see a lot more mustaches and I think this is a trend among younger guys. Maybe even older guys. So if it makes them feel good, I’m all for it. Anything that makes them feel good.”
When asked if he would consider growing a mustache, Hyde pointed to his bearded face before dismissing the possibility.
“I don’t. That’s bad,” Hyde said. “I don’t think focusing just above the upper lip would be good.”
But if it works for Ratchman, that’s all Hyde cares about. Regardless of inspiration.