To Shave or Not to Shave? The Answer May Be a Bit More Complicated for Professional Athletes
STAMFORD, Conn., June 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – While only a few teams in baseball have official policies on facial hair, Philips Norelco and the Elias Sports Bureau have learned that the decision to go scruff-free may have an impact on the field. A recent analysis of three star players uncovered their performance was better clean shaven than with facial hair. Could facial hair, or lack thereof, be the competitive edge for these players? Philips Norelco thinks it’s a worth a closer look.
Fresh off of his debate with Jonathan Papelbon over the merits of wet vs. dry shaving, the stats confirm that a smooth face is the winning style for Nick Swisher. Swisher’s clean-shaven performance is better across the board, with improvements in nearly every category, including hits (150 to 137), homers (29 to 28), doubles (35 to 31) and triples (2 to 1) averaged. The power of the clean shave has clearly started to kick in; Swisher is hitting at a .313 clip and boasts a 1.033 OPS over his last 10 games.
Papelbon – Swisher’s debate opponent – has yet to let his facial locks loose, so his bearded vs. clean-shaven performance wasn’t included. Of course, should the fireballing closer decide to bring a beard to the bullpen or a moustache to the mound, Norelco and Elias are ready to take another look.
“Whether it’s staying off the foul lines, vowing silence during a no hitter or making sure the rose goes in the front, athletes are looking for an edge. When they realize that a clean shave may make the difference, Philips Norelco has the SensoTouch 3D ready to provide our closest shave ever,” said Kristi Crump, Marketing Director at Philips Consumer Lifestyle.
The other pitcher in the bunch – Freddy Garcia – spent most his career with facial hair before recently shaving it off. If trends keep up, he made a good choice, as Garcia’s career clean-shaven ERA is almost a full run lower clean shaven than bearded; 3.60 clean compared to 4.34 when he lets it grow. His wins jump 2 and his losses drop 2 as well, meaning an average clean-shaven year puts him at 13-6. As with the other players, seemingly something has to give, and his walk rate is higher clean shaven. It’s likely the fault of his batterymate, blinded by the reflection off his perfectly shorn skin and not focused on calling pitches.
Finally, Philips Norelco and Elias took a look at the former owner of one of the all-time great baseball beards. According to the numbers, while bearded Johnny Damon was an excellent player, clean-shaven may have been the better choice, as almost all of his career highs came without the beard. Most interesting is the beard’s effect on Johnny’s wheels, as he’s averaged 9 fewer stolen bases when bearded than when clean! Clearly that smooth face cuts through the wind.
“Frankly, we don’t yet know why these guys play better without the beards. Our hope is to keep looking. Maybe a Fu Manchu is the secret to an explosive slider. Perhaps a mullet is the best haircut for steals; business in the front, party in the back and a terror on the base paths – who knows?” Crump continued, “Either way, Philips Norelco is here to help with all the essential grooming products. Swish and Pap have already learned about the benefits of the SensoTouch 3D and the possibility of using it wet or dry. To hear their take on it and learn more about the shaver, visit www.greatshavedebate.com.”
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs 119,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 25.4 billion in 2010, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.
SOURCE Royal Philips Electronics