SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Apparently shaving isn’t on Elvis Andrus’ list of things to do during spring training.
The 25-year-old shortstop, now considered one of the veterans on the Rangers as he enters his sixth season, grew what manager Ron Washington called an “Abe Lincoln-esque” beard in the offseason and doesn’t plan on getting rid of it any time soon.
“It’s going to stay there for a little while,” Andrus said. “He was a good president.”
Waiting for Andrus at his locker Wednesday when he arrived in Surprise one day ahead of full squad workouts was a picture of Lincoln, complete with a Rangers ‘T’ on his shirt and the words: “What ah eeeeediot!!!”
“That’s a little love from my teammates. They missed me a lot,” Andrus said. “I’ll for sure find out who did that and (there’ll be) pay back. It’s good people are having fun.”
General manager Jon Daniels admitted he was a bit jealous of Andrus’ facial hair.
“I can’t grow one,” Daniels said, smiling.
But the beard is actually just one more example of Andrus’ personality, something that he uses to his advantage to help the clubhouse atmosphere.
“I’m always joking around and playing around and trying to make everybody comfortable,” Andrus said. “Every year is a little more pressure and I like it. That’s what you want as a player. You want to grow and have more expectations and pressure on you.”
Andrus is now one of the team leaders, even at a young age. And he knows it.
“You realize how crazy baseball is and how everything can change in a couple of years,” Andrus said. “From three or four years ago, the only guys that are still here are (Matt) Harrison, (Mitch) Moreland and myself.”
Andrus said he won’t change his approach or how he is around his teammates. He also understands there’s a “pecking order,” as Washington says.
“I know there are guys in front of me that deserve (to be leaders) and earned it like Adrian (Beltre) and Prince (Fielder) and (Shin-Soo) Choo, but I’ll do my part, especially with young guys,” Andrus said. “I want them to feel comfortable and make this team the way we want to.”