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Friday, April 23, 2010

Nightengale: MLB’s barber blends charisma, clips, charm, with benefits

The Barber of Mudville (wonder if he works out of Dr. Bartolo Colon’s house of cuts…).

Angel Lucas Pena, a wiry man in braids, hustles through the lobby of a Copley Square hotel in Boston to the elevator. He gets off at the 33rd floor and walks to a room where he gives a secret knock.

Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Carl Crawford is waiting, although Pena can’t stay long because he has three more players to see — Rays first baseman Carlos Pena and the Texas Rangers’ Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz. When Angel Pena is done, he rushes into a cab, only to be blocked by the Boston Marathon, so he runs several blocks to the condo of Boston Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

The next morning he waits in a bank parking lot for Red Sox slugger David Ortiz to pick him up. They drive to Fenway Park and set up shop outside the team’s clubhouse since MLB security has barred locker room access to outsiders. Soon Pena heads to Logan International Airport for a flight to Seattle, where Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley is waiting.

You won’t find Pena’s name in a program or media guide. He has no background in baseball and is not a trainer, team executive or agent, but he is trusted by virtually every star in the game. Pena, nicknamed “Monster99,” is the barber of baseball.

“Everybody around the league knows who he is, and everybody loves him,” says Ortiz, who has a barber chair in his garage courtesy of Pena. “Everybody is cool with him because he’s so cool. I’m telling you, he’s got a relationship with everyone.”

Repoz Posted: April 23, 2010 at 01:01 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: special topics

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   1. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: April 23, 2010 at 05:38 PM (#3512115)

Pena was plenty busy in Boston on Monday when the Rays and Rangers were simultaneously in town to face the Red Sox. Then he got an urgent text message from Bradley. "I NEED YOU ASAP," it read. Bradley was desperate for a haircut before the Mariners started a road trip in Chicago, where he spent an acrimonious 2009 playing for the Cubs. If you are going to get booed, you might as well look good.

If I got an all-caps text from Milton Bradley like that, I'd throw my phone in a river and go into hiding.
   2. McCoy Posted: April 23, 2010 at 05:44 PM (#3512121)
The "with benefits" is steroids. He's a mule.
   3. Austin Kearns: The Spy Who Shagged Flies Posted: April 23, 2010 at 07:19 PM (#3512225)
I thought it was like "friends with benefits." That's not something I'd want from my barber, even if it seemed to work out pretty well for Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

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