PITTSBURGH -- As the team bus left Pittsburgh International Airport on Sunday night and headed back to PNC Park, Bobby Crosby grabbed the bus microphone and made an announcement.
"Team mustaches," he said.
After enduring a 1-6 road trip, the club didn't need much more motivation to change things up, so the group took on Crosby's challenge. Since Sunday, nearly everyone has put the razors down to let the facial hair grow. They'd like to think, too, that it's no coincidence that since instituting the team-wide mustache policy, the club has gone 2-0.
"I don't think we're the best looking team anymore, but we're having fun," said Crosby, who first sported a mustache during the team's visit to Wrigley Field in mid-May. "I think if you would go to most teams and say, 'Hey, we're going to grow mustaches,' they would turn it down. But everyone was pretty cool with it and wanted to run with it and see where it goes. As long as it's working and we're winning, we're going to keep it."
Some are having an easier time (Crosby, D.J. Carrasco, Ryan Doumit) growing out the mustache than others (Ronny Cedeno, Paul Maholm, Evan Meek). Crosby was quick to claim dibs on having the best one, though he was gracious in giving Carrasco the runner-up nod. If nothing else, evaluating facial hair-growing abilities has provided plenty of clubhouse banter.
There has, however, been one noticeable holdout so far.
"I don't look very good with a mustache," manager John Russell joked. "Not that I look very good anyway. That makes it a little worse."
Mostly under the prodding of Delwyn Young, the Pirates' fashion has also changed since the start of the homestand. Before facing the Cubs on Monday, Young encouraged his teammates to all wear their socks high. Again, the group obliged and plans to keep with the old-fashioned look if the wins continue to pile up.