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Bad news for beard-lovers: Jake Arrieta rediscovered his razor

I appreciate a good beard when I see one -- maybe it's because I can't grow one above my neck -- so I am bummed out to see that Orioles starter Jake Arrieta had shaved off his amazing Al Borland beard from FanFest.

In case you missed it, the beard was breathtaking

Yes, I know it's because the Orioles have a facial hair policy, which is ridiculous. How can Koji Uehara grow sideburns like these but Arrieta can't take a page out of Brian Wilson's book? I guess it's to avoid a situation like this one (sorry, Nick Markakis).

But still, as a jealous beard-lover, it's frustrating.

There is good Arrieta news, though. Our Jeff Zrebiec reports from Sarasota that the young pitcher has impressed his coaches and teammates with a newfound maturity and focus. Triple-A Norfolk pitching coach Mike Griffin said he sees a "whole different Jake" in spring training. "Just talking to him this year compared to last year and compared to '09, there is a major difference," he said.

Arrieta, who went 3-3 with a 3.80 ERA over the final two months of 2010, even talked about setting an example for "some of the younger guys," which is humorous considering his 25th birthday is a couple of weeks from now.

But hey, it's common knowledge that beards change people. I'm sure Arrieta's new attitude is not a coincidence.

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