Getting Ramirez to cut his long dreadlocks to conform to the team's appearance standards -- as set by owner Jerry Reinsdorf -- might be more challenging.
“It’s not my call. Believe me. I don’t want to put Jerry on the spot,” Ozzie Guillen said. “I don’t want to put Kenny on the spot, but who is Ozzie Guillen to tell Manny ‘take care of your hair.’ What if Manny said, ‘Don’t play me.’
“I will have power to make sure he’s out there for the National Anthem and stretch and be with the club, but this is a team rule. This team is not my team. I’m managing the club. But I just talk to Kenny and make sure he’s comfortable. Hopefully he does what he’s supposed to do. And in the meanwhile, that comes from God, from Jerry. If Jerry has any problem with his hair, or how he wears his uniform, they got to go directly to him.”
When Ramirez came to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008, manager Joe Torre kept saying that Ramirez would be asked to present a more clean-cut look. It never happened, except for perhaps a slight trim that Torre seemed to consider a victory.
So how will the White Sox handle their newest player, who doesn’t seem ready to do away with the hair it took him years to grow?
“We have a certain way we like to have our players represent us, and that was discussed quite some time ago with one of my coaches,” general manager Ken Williams said about Ramirez on Monday. “We will just wait and see how they desire to handle it. From my understanding, it will not be an issue, and he will make an adjustment and conform to how we like to have our players represented out there.”
“We have the same problem here in 2006, I think,” Guillen said. “Jerry didn’t like somebody’s hair, he makes a phone call and they cut their hair. That’s not my department. I made that clear three or four days ago. If a guy can go there butt naked, they don’t have to wear a uniform , and they can win a game for me, then I’m happy for them.
“My job is to try and make those guys win and make sure we keep this group together, we have discipline and we take care of each other. The hair, that’s not my department. The hair, uniform, shoes, I don’t tell any of my players since 2004 how to get dressed, how to wear their uniform. That’s White Sox rules and the White Sox are owned by Jerry Reinsdorf. He is the guy who pays us. We have to go by the rules.”
Ramirez might offer two options to cutting his hair. He has been known to fold the dreadlocks in half and fastening them to make them look shorter, doing it on occasion during the hottest days of the summer. He could also wrap them under a bandana, something he typically does when working out before games.
Whatever the case, it's not certain that a haircut is coming.