Bryce Harper looks like a different person after shaving his beard

Baseball players are incredibly superstitious. When things aren’t going their way, don’t be surprised to see them mixing it up. Even altering something that has no bearing on the game could be the thing that gets them going.

That’s the only explanation we have for why Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper shaved his beard before Monday’s game. It must be his way of trying to break out of his season-long slump.

What happened?

Prior to Monday’s game against the New York Yankees, Jamal Collier of MLB.com let the world know Harper’s beard was gone. The team had to continue their May 15 game against the Yankees and then were set to start another game with New York after the first one ended.

When he walked up to the plate for the first time, here’s what Harper looked like:

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Bryce Harper looks totally different without his beard
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Bryce Harper looks totally different without his beard
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals looks before the start of game one of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park on June 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Game one is the completion of a game that was suspended on May 15th due to rain. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Missin u, Bryce Harper's beard https://t.co/Wb651jAJLE
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 16: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals looks on from the dugout during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on June 16, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals runs back to the dug out during game one of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park on June 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Game one is the completion of a game that was suspended on May 15th due to rain. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals celebrates a win with Daniel Murphy #20 after game one of a doubleheader against the New Yankees at Nationals Park on June 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Game one is the completion of a game that was suspended on May 15th due to rain. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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Why did he shave the beard?

Our best guess is that Harper is changing things up off the field so he can change his results on the field. While he’s hit for power and shown patience at the plate, his average is just .217 this season. It could be a superstitious thing, or maybe Harper just wanted to change his look. It is starting to get hot on the East Coast.

Are there any conspiracy theories about this?

Harper picked a curious time to shave his beard. With the Nationals playing the Yankees, some have tossed out conspiracy theories that the move was strategic. By shaving his beard, Harper is showing the Yankees he wants to play for them next season. Is that far-fetched? Yeah. Is that going to stop people from saying it? Nope.

Is it going to help?

As far as we know, a beard doesn’t have an impact on baseball performance. If Harper gets back on track, it’s likely due to other factors.

The extremely small sample returns might indicate Harper needs to grow the beard back soon. In the team’s games Monday, Harper went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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