Of course, Huey Lewis and the News were singing about love. But they could have very well been singing about the recent exploits of New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi, who has certainly felt the power of the mustache this season, narrowly missing out on becoming an American League All-Star.
This post, written for the American Mustache Institute, ponders the question of whether or not the mustache will catch on as the new performance-enhancing substance of choice in Major League Baseball. After seeing Giambi’s success, will other players “Want a New Drug?”
New Performance Enhancer Poised to Take Over Baseball?
In the wake of the longstanding steroids scandal surrounding Major League Baseball, any talk of performance enhancing substances is sure to make most fans a little squeamish.
Don’t worry though. The steroid monster is not rearing its ugly head again. And there hasn’t been any new revelations linking another player to Human Growth Hormone (HGH). Amphetamines, once prevalent in the game long ago, aren’t making a comeback either.
No, instead we may be witnessing the early stages of the emergence of a performance-enhancing substance so powerful, so potent, and so virile that it makes all of the above look like Flinstone’s Vitamins.
Of course, I’m talking about the mustache.
The evidence, while admittedly limited at this juncture, seems to indicate that the mustache can provide a significant physical competitive advantage over those suffering from what doctors here at the American Mustache Institute refer to as Bare Upper Lip Syndrome.
Serving as a prime example of the mystical powers and – dare I say – Herculean strength that a good solid mustache can provide are the recent and well-chronicled exploits of New York Yankee slugger Jason Giambi.
In 38 ‘stache-less games to start the season, Giambi struggled greatly, hovering just above the infamous Mendoza line with a .205 batting average. His power numbers weren’t much better, with just eight home runs and a measly 21 RBIs, to go along with a pedestrian .462 slugging percentage.
In the past 41 games since sporting the ’stache, Giambi has transformed into the perfect mustached hitting machine. His batting average jumped to a paltry .303 during that span. His power numbers have also been skyrocketing, with 10 home runs and 33 RBI’s, and his slugging percentage during this time has soared to .598.
Clearly, this surge in power, dominance, overall manliness, and attractiveness to the opposite sex is due to the thick and luscious lip fur sported by Giambi. It is impossible to deny that “The Giambino” is drawing his strength from the ‘stache, with its lusty shine and rich, meaty texture. One might even say he’s a modern day version of Samson – at least the mustache part of him anyway.
However, the evidence doesn’t stop there. Giambi is not alone in his newfound mustached might. As many of you may know (and by many of you I mean exactly four), the American Mustache Institute is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri – nestled at the banks of the Mighty Mississippi and home of our country’s mightiest mustache, the St. Louis Arch.
And here, at the very epicenter of the grassroots, pro-mustache movement, we have seen one of our own hometown Cardinals, backup catcher Jason LaRue, ride his own mustache to much greater heights.
After an incredibly slow start to the 2008 season that saw him manage only seven hits in 47 at bats (.149 average) and no home runs in his first 17 games, LaRue grew a very thick and chocolaty horseshoe mustache. Since that time, LaRue has been on fire, batting 16-for-46 (.348 average) with three home runs over a span of 15 games.
Could it be possible that Giambi and LaRue are the very genesis of a trend that will soon take the league by storm? Could the mustache one day emerge as the legal, natural performance enhancer of choice among major league baseball players?
Imagine if Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa had simply grown mustaches during their rampage on Roger Maris’ record in 1998. Instead of hitting 70 and 66, respectively, would they have hit 100 home runs? 150? 200?
What about Barry Bonds with a mustache? Do you think the general public would accept a mustached all time home run king? Sadly, with all the anti-mustache discrimination in society today, it would probably turn into a fiasco. But that is the goal we should all be working toward.
Purists will no doubt argue that a league of mustachioed maulers could throw the balance of the game off kilter, that if this trend continues we would see a return to the inflated home run era of the late 1990’s-early 2000’s, only much, much worse. Would Congress have to step in again and get involved? If enough of them are seeking re-election, clearly the answer would be yes.
Much like steroids – although again perfectly legal and natural – the mustache is showing signs of providing an unfair advantage to those brave enough to wear it. This must upset the baseball owners, many of whom have long frowned upon the virility and strength the mustache provides. Just look at the number of teams that have held “clean shaven” policies toward players, an obvious attempt to curtail player production and thus salaries. Not to mention the First Amendment rights violation involved.
Here’s hoping Giambi and LaRue are the pioneers of a new era in baseball. The Mustache Era.