Time for change: New do for Ordonez
Slugger shaves off locks as he gets back in swing of things
DETROIT -- Magglio Ordonez is back in the Tigers lineup for a second straight night. His long locks of hair, on the other hand, are out.
Given everything that has gone on for Ordonez this year, it's hard to blame him for wanting a change. So on Wednesday, change went to his head, with a high-and-tight haircut that has him looking a lot like he did in his first year in Detroit in 2005, though maybe with a little more hair on top.
"Change," Ordonez said. "Overhauling. Maybe I'll hit like old Magglio."
Hitting, of course, would make him feel good regardless of hairstyle. He returned to the Tigers' lineup on Tuesday after sitting for the previous four games, which was manager Jim Leyland's latest effort to get his bat going.
Ordonez entered Wednesday batting .271 with two home runs and 22 RBIs. He went 0-for-2 with a walk on Tuesday, but Leyland noted that he looked more comfortable at the plate with better swings.
A day later and a little lighter from the hair, Ordonez looked more comfortable on Detroit's first 90-degree day of the summer and responded with a pair of singles in a 2-for-4 performance.
"Hot," Ordonez said. "[The hair was] too heavy."
With that, the look that became famous during the Tigers' 2006 run to the World Series was gone. The trademark image of that postseason came when a long-haired Ordonez drove Huston Street's pitch over the left-field for a walk-off home run to complete an American League Championship Series sweep of the A's, sending the Tigers to their first World Series since 1984.
Ordonez said it was his first haircut in five years.
"When I first got here, it was short," he said, "so I just let it grow."
Ordonez later told reporters that he planned to auction off his remaining hair for charity.
Manager Jim Leyland joked after the game that he might make a bid.
"I was so jealous," he said. "I told him I wish I would've been there. I would've picked up those curls and I would've made it into a toupee if I could've. He's got beautiful hair. I'm jealous. I think I'm getting a red perm."
The haircut caused a minor ruckus in the Tigers' clubhouse, where so many players have known him only with the long hair.
"He looks younger now," said closer Fernando Rodney, who had some big hair of his own before fellow Tigers reliever Freddy Dolsi gave him a buzzcut in the visitors clubhouse in Baltimore last July.
Ordonez didn't go that route; he hired a professional. And he did appreciate the remark about looking younger.
"I'm 29," the 35-year-old joked. "Check my birth certificate."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.