MLB: Jason Giambi and the Yankees Experience Mustache Magic!

Christopher HayesCorrespondent IJune 23, 2008

The mustache is a timeless facial accessory.  One that never goes out of style.  Men of great importance, from all walks of life have worn a mustache.

Lip-tickler, soup strainer, mouth-guard, lip fleece, or just simply 'stache are words used to describe this facial feature.

Friedrich Nietzsche wore a mustache when he exclaimed that "God is Dead!"  What he didn't tell everyone is that if God were alive he would be rocking one helluva sweet mustache.

Stalin and Hitler both wore mustaches.  It gave the two of them such confidence that they thought they could rule the world (Idiots).  Luckily we had people like Col. Robin Olds  whose mustaches were more bad-ass.

A slow early start to the season saw Giambi's numbers fall below what we would expect from him.

Enter the moustache.

May 17 was the first time I noticed a bit of a fine glistening fur coating the upper lip of Giambi. Notorious for his profuse sweating, usually dripping from his pseudo mullet, it was hard not to become aware of the peach fuzz that was shimmering in the afternoon light.

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Ah! It was confidence personified in the form of thousands of tiny strands of hair.  Things were certainly going to get better for Giambi and the Yankees.

A good sign.  Giambi had grown facial hair before.  One can remember his look had to change when he came to the Yankees from Oakland, due to their facial hair policies.

Here he is getting back to his rebel roots.  Jason grew up idolizing Yankee great Don Mattingly, and no doubt there was a platonic man crush that developed—not only because of Mattingly's superb hitting ability, but also because of the sheer animal magnetism of his mustache.

What is it about the mustache that is so alluring?

Aaron Perlut, executive director of the American Mustache Institute describes it thusly.

"We believe a mustache brings tremendous power to the men or women who chooses to wear one," says Perlut, whose organization has 320 chapters around the world. "A mustached American is brave one in today's culture where a mustache looks down upon."

The moustache gives men AND women extra power?!  Tell me more.

Jon Chattman who authored The Book of Burt, which is the definitive text on celebrity mustaches, puts it like this; "As it grows in, you get this weird sort of confidence about you, people stare at you when you walk down the street—you kind of feel like John Travolta in the opening credits of Saturday Night Fever." (If he had a sweet 'stache I guess.)

So what has the magic of the mustache done for Giambi and the Yankees?

In a span that stretches from May 17 to June 22 the Yankees played 33 games.  They were 20-23 before Giambi's skin tickler and 41-35 as of the 22nd.

Giambi's batting average rose almost 80 points from .193 to .271.  His on base percentage went from .345 to .403.  His slugging percentage is up over 100 points from .468 to .575, and his OPS went from .813 to .978.

During the streak he has played in 31 games and had 123 total plate appearances.  Giambi has knocked in 22 RBI on 37 hits for a batting average of .363.  He has also hit 10 homers and scored 23 runs during the span.

What was started as a goof by Giambi and Damon to "break up the monotony of it (the season)", has turned into a hairy, broom-like talisman.

Learn this from Giambi.  If you are experiencing an overall life slump, don't despair, grow some lip hair!

Numbers aside, Giambi should keep the mustache purely for aesthetic purposes.  With a broom like that he must be sweeping up the ladies. 

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