n the visitors clubhouse at Fenway Park, on the top shelf of a green locker, sits a Ziploc bag filled with Darnell McDonald’s hair
Snipping the dreadlocks was a clubhouse requirement for the former Sox outfielder. He is with the New York Yankees now.
Designated for assignment on Saturday with the Sox in Seattle, McDonald spent the next few days waiting at his Boston house. His agent then called and said the Yankees claimed him. When he talked to Brian Cashman, the New York GM told him to stay put. Just wait until the Yankees get into town, he said.
Now McDonald is on the other side for this weekend’s four-game series, with a locker between Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher.
“It’s another one of those situations, it’s a dream,” McDonald said. “I’m playing against my old team. Not many times when that happens, when you get released and get a chance to play against the team that released you. To be able to come to another historic franchise like the Yankees is, again, it’s a dream come true for me.”
In 38 games with the Sox this season, McDonald was hitting .214 with 9 RBIs and a .678 OPS. But when Boston needed to activate Josh Beckett off the disabled list, McDonald became expendable.
“It was out of the blue,” McDonald said. “Obviously we had some guys who were coming back. It’s the nature of the business. I’ve been in this game a long time and understand the business side of it. It’s a tough thing to deal with, but just got to keep pressing on.”
After Beckett pitches in Friday’s series-opener, the Sox will throw Franklin Morales, Felix Doubront and Jon Lester, all lefties. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the righty McDonald will likely get playing time, especially with a Saturday doubleheader.
“It’s a great group of guys over here,” McDonald said. “Still playing the same game, so that makes it easier to make that switch. But it’s a great clubhouse over here. They welcome me over here. I cut my hair off, and starting a new chapter.”
The haircut was a necessary move for McDonald. For Sox manager Bobby Valentine, his necessary move involved something more baseball-related.
“Darnell was one of the guys that knew the signs when he was here,” Valentine said. “So we’re going to change them.”