ARLINGTON, Texas -- Some players wear the same socks or eat chicken every day or take the same route to the ballpark if they're bat is running hot or the team is doing well. Elvis Andrus doesn't cut his hair.
"Spring training," Andrus said. "That's the last time I cut it."
The Texas Rangers' second-year shortstop from Venezuela has been sporting a head that is sprouting a lush, dark thicket of curls. He pulls it off particularly well, even fashionably. And, the strapping 22-year-old All-Star assured, the opposite sex is naturally quite fond of it.
"I love it," Andrus said as he smiled and gently patted the top of his head with his palm. "I was trying to let it grow out, me and Julio [Borbon], but he cut his hair early in the season. I was like, we were winning games, and so far we’re still winning, so I’m not going to cut it."
Andrus wore a more conservative look as a rookie when the young deer pushed Michael Young to third base. Except for the time when he tried those "gold" streaks, highlights that admittedly lacked the natural flair as his do today (which has grown taller than even that day in the photo to the right). Plus, his batting average plummeted by 30 points.
Andrus said no, all those rolls packed into his cap are no nuissance in the heat of a game. He still has the dynamite speed to go left and to go right. Wind drag on the base paths is not discernable. He has noticed one difference: His head is growing. Andrus' size 7-1/8 fitted Rangers cap is now a 7-1/4 and a 7-1/2 might not be far off.
But, hey, why not look as loose as you feel and feel as loose as you play? Two games into this potentially franchise-altering postseason, Andrus is batting .300. He stole a base and is doing the job defensively. He did commit an error in Game 1, but replays revealed that a nano-second snap in concentration is at fault for the E6. The hair played no part.
Sure, it would all seem a fuss, but Andrus just smiles and says it comes with no muss.
"Before the game," he said, "I wash it and put in conditioner."