Gomes: New year, new identity

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BOSTON -- The beards that came to symbolize the solidarity and camaraderie on the worst-to-first 2013 Red Sox will apparently not carry over into the upcoming season.

Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes, who along with first baseman Mike Napoli had the thickest beards and helped perpetuate the phenomenon in the clubhouse, said Wednesday night he was shaving his before spring training.

"The beard's coming off," Gomes said at a Red Sox "town hall" event at Northeastern University. "Oh, yeah."

Shortly after the World Series, designated hitter David Ortiz and outfielder Shane Victorino shaved theirs at a charity event.

Different year, different look.

"The baseball season is not like a cookie cutter," Gomes said. "You can't win last year. I mean, it's a clean slate, you know. You've got to highlight the good, bad and in-between."

Catcher David Ross said Thursday morning he had shaved his beard as well.

"No, I don't think we can do the beards again," Ross said in an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI.

What will the team use as a unifying theme this season?

"Who knows what it's going to be?" Ross said. "That's Jonny Gomes' department."

So, Jonny?

"The motto that I'm bringing in [to spring training], you know, is 'Turn the effing page'. That starts with your facial hair, your haircut, everything," Gomes told Dan LeBatard on ESPN Radio.

Based on the reaction of an interested party on Twitter, the last judgment might not have been rendered on whether the beards stay or go:

A year after finishing in last place in one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the surprising Red Sox won the AL East with a 97-65 record and beat the St. Louis Cardinals to win their third World Series in 10 years.

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