The Washington Post

MSNBC: Bryce Harper hit by pitch because of his beard

View Photo Gallery: “I was trying to hit him,” Hamels said after his 93-mph fastball bored into Harper’s backside.

According to a story on, Cole Hamels hitting Bryce Harper with a pitch may have had something to do with Harper’s facial hair.

No, really. That’s what they said.

From the story:

Apparently there could be a number of reasons to explain the visceral reaction to Harper, including a propensity toward arrogance. But could the kid’s facial hair have anything to do with it?

Sounds bizarre, but maybe.

Facial hair, the authors wrote “may intimidate rival males by increasing perceptions of the size of the jaw, overall length of the face, and by enhancing aggressive and threatening jaw-thrusting behaviors ... . The current study is the first to show that the beard augments a threatening behavioral display as bearded men with angry facial expressions received significantly higher scores for aggressiveness compared with clean-shaven faces ... . This suggests that the beard plays an important role in intermale signaling of threat and aggression.”

Harper should definitely try to avoid those “jaw thrusting behaviors” next time he faces Hamels. It also explains why Colonel Sanders, Jerry Garcia and Santa Claus seem so darn aggressive.


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