Astros starters rock hair extensions for postseason ‘dos

HOUSTON (AP) — Astros starters Framber Valdez and Luis Garcia seem like naturals at the mound, even within the hairiest of scenarios.

A large number of paintings to make it appear that straightforward — on the ballpark and, because it seems, on the barber store.

Both pitchers finished their coiffures with a man-made spice up this season, including hair extensions as a method of expressing their individuality. They’re appearing off the ones locks this postseason as Houston tries to succeed in the World Series for the fourth time in six years.

“At first a lot of people were talking about it and joking about this topic,” Valdez mentioned in Spanish via a translator. “But at the end of the day I feel comfortable with my hair, and I feel good about my hair, so I’ll keep having my hair like this.”

Garcia, who opened the season with herbal shoulder-grazing curls, this summer season opted so as to add duration and quantity by means of braids embellished with beads on the finish.

“When I have the braids, everybody knows me more, because it’s not a normal look,” the 25-year-old mentioned.

For Valdez, who will get started Game 2 of the AL Division Series on Thursday towards Seattle, the transformation was once extra dramatic.

To stand out at his first All-Star Game in July, the 28-year-old left-hander added dreadlocks that fall previous his shoulders to hair that was once prior to now cropped intently at the aspects with a couple of inches of enlargement at the most sensible.

Standout ‘dos don’t seem to be unparalleled in baseball. Longtime MLB outfielder Oscar Gamble had a resplendent Afro within the Seventies, and extra lately, pitcher Noah Syndergaard earned the moniker “Thor” for his flowing blonde locks.

Quirky facial hair has lengthy been a staple within the recreation, too — like Rollie Fingers’ handlebar mustache or Al Hrabosky’s Fu Manchu.

Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel lengthy had Houston’s maximum notable coiffure. His spiky most sensible seems like the leaves of a pineapple, and he’s referred to as “La Piña,” the Spanish phrase for the fruit.

Gurriel wasn’t first of all partial to Valdez’s extensions. He even cracked a couple of jokes.

“At first, I thought he looked very strange with all of the hair that he came in with,” Gurriel mentioned in Spanish via a translator. “But now, I like his style and think it looks really good, and I really like when people change their style because I also like to change mine.”

It’s been a greater reception than NBA megastar Jimmy Butler were given for his faux-locks this summer season. The Miami Heat ahead was once bombarded by means of blowback on social media when he unveiled lengthy dreadlock extensions. He denied they have been extensions at media day, even supposing his Instagram posts made it transparent they have been. By the time he took the courtroom for Miami’s first preseason recreation, the long-haired glance was once long past.

Valdez took some good-natured teasing from Gurriel and others in the beginning, however neither he nor Garcia have continued mockery like Butler. Both say they don’t care if other folks dislike the novel types.

“My mom likes it,” Garcia said. “If it’s fine with her, I’m OK.”

The hair accoutrements include a significant time funding. Both Valdez and Garcia mentioned the preliminary installations took greater than 4 hours. Subsequent touch-ups run about 90 mins to 2 hours.

Garcia had his extensions all summer season however lately took them out to “let his hair rest.” He were given a recent set of skinny braids — with 3 transparent beads on the finish of each and every — put in Monday after Houston’s exercise.

He didn’t have beads at the first extensions he were given in June, and his teammates have been confused about the place a clicking noise was once coming from as they took the sphere this week.

“It was kind of loud when I was walking, and the guys said: ‘What is that sound?’ And I said: ‘This,’” Garcia mentioned, pointing on the beads on his hair.

What does a 15-game winner do for 4 hours within the barber’s chair?

“Just watching Tik Tok during the process and it’s fine,” Garica mentioned.

He did run right into a small drawback when he first added his extensions. His cap now not have compatibility, and he needed to get one two sizes larger. He laughed recalling that dialog with Houston’s apparatus body of workers.

“Hey guys, I have more hair,” he mentioned. “I need a new hat.”

Houston has had its proportion of showy hairdos. Catcher Martín Maldonado dyed his purple this season on the behest of his younger daughter, then debuted a pink tone for Game 1 of the ALDS. Pitcher Jose Urquidy and application participant Aledmys Díaz are amongst a handful of alternative Astros who’ve added blonde highlights.

It’s this sort of younger exuberance the occasionally stodgy recreation has been seeking to inspire.

“It’s showing a lot of personality in the game,” Díaz mentioned. “In the previous, once I were given to the league in ’16, other folks have been extra like oldschool baseball. You simply display as much as the park and play the sport.

“But at the moment, with social media and issues occurring, avid gamers like appearing off their personalities, and I believe that’s nice for the sport.”

Maldonado, who has helped each Valdez and Garcia to find good fortune at the mound, raved about their seems. He joked with Valdez that he was once seeking to be the left-handed Luis Castillo quickly after he unveiled his extensions. Castillo, a fellow Dominican who will get started reverse Valdez for Seattle on Thursday, has longer herbal dreadlocks that he’s been rising for years.

“So now it’s funny they’re going to face each other,” Maldonado mentioned.

Díaz may be very superstitious and believes a brand new coiffure can carry nice success. He were given a haircut each and every week for a stretch in 2019 after he began hitting a homer each and every time he were given a trim.

Not to cut price Valdez’s pitching talents, however Díaz thinks his extensions would possibly have had one thing to do together with his good fortune this season.

“He was doing great after that hair change,” Díaz mentioned. “So hopefully he can take it into the playoffs.”

Valdez, who ranked 2d within the AL in the back of teammate Justin Verlander with a career-high 17 wins this season, scoffed on the perception that the hair extensions introduced him success.

But he’s keen to construct on his regular-season good fortune in his get started Thursday — the playoff debut for his fancy ’do.

“I’m waiting for the postseason to get here and be able to show what I’m capable of doing and show people that we can go to the World Series together as a team,” he mentioned. “And I’m looking forward to keep showing my talent.”


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