Catcher Derek Norris was one of A.J. Preller’s best acquisitions this off-season. After trading home grown catcher Yasmani Grandal to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team was in need of a catcher, and a good one at that. Preller and the San Diego Padres soon reaped the benefits from the Oakland Athletics’ fire sale and reeled in the 2014 American League All-Star in exchange for R.J. Alvarez and Jesse Hahn. Norris, like many (Pretty much most) players has an interesting superstition and one that has become very popular in recent years. While in Oakland, Norris sported a very long beard and full mane of hair.
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Well… he did sport that beard. That is, until Tuesday when Norris was officially introduced as a member of the Friars.
Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Yes, unfortunately for those of us who enjoy the odd personality a long, mangled beard displays, Norris made the decision to clean himself up and trim his beard. He entered his introductory press conference with a short head of hair and a beard mowed down to the basic scruff. It was a weird sight as Norris has spent each of his three seasons with a furry friend hanging from his face. Is the change permanent? When asked Norris responded with a bit of comedy. (Credit to Mike Bertha of MLB Cut 4);
"“Well, you gotta tame the beast before you can let it go. You can’t just show up with that out of control, you know. You’ve got to leave a first good impression”"
Well Mr. Norris, the Padres thank you for the effort but the clean cut look doesn’t suit you all that well. Bring back the Tom Hanks “Castaway” beard as soon as you possibly can. We’d all love that. After all, this isn’t New York and you’re not playing for the Yankees. This is San Diego where we stay classy but keep it casual. We’re on the beach, remember. Embrace Petco Park and bring out that inner animal.