"... a Rousseau-esque gesture that was crucial to the age of Aquarius, a time when long-established norms of behavior collapsed and made public life a clearer expression of formerly unspeakable private desires. By contrast, the shaven and crew-cut athlete suggests a martial fury that is joyless—a grim, self-denying efficiency that may work in war but is exactly the opposite of the essence of baseball, which, for all its competitive ardor, is playtime...."
Just be careful that beard doesn't obstruct anybody.
(Wow, in the GIF at that second link, Middlebrooks looks like he's dancing The Worm.)
ADDED: "Immediately after we got off the field into our locker room, we congratulated Jim and said, 'Great call.' It's out of the ordinary, but when it happens, and it's the World Series, you expect to get it right."