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Pence, Blum break out RallyHawks

Pence, Blum break out RallyHawks

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HOUSTON -- One month into the season, it's obvious that things aren't exactly going well for the Houston Astros.

They entered Friday's game with an 11-17 record, good for last place in the National League Central. While team morale still appears to be at a healthy level, the players didn't see anything wrong with taking matters into their own hands and shaking things up a bit. And that's where Hunter Pence stepped in.

Enter the RallyHawk.

Pence and Geoff Blum walked into the clubhouse Friday sporting the new 'do, which looks like part mohawk, part buzz cut. It's short on the sides and high on the top, where a longer strip of hair goes from the front part, near the forehead, all the way to the back, above the neck.

Pence came up with the idea for two reasons: to give a shout out to the Rockets, who are sporting their own "Vonhawks" -- named after guard Von Wafer, who has a similar haircut -- and to hopefully bring some of the Rockets' karma into the Astros' clubhouse.

Ron Artest was the second Rocket to sport the "Vonhawk," and now, it's filtered over to Minute Maid Park.

"We've gotten all excited about Artest doing it after they made it through the first round," Pence said. "We support them, and [hope for] a little rally for us. Hopefully fire us up and lighten the mood a little bit."

Throughout Blum's career, he's had a myriad of hairstyles, from buzz cuts to the Billy Idol spiked 'do. So when he heard about Pence's idea, following suit was a natural step. The two picked Cut Loose on Westheimer in Houston to do the cutting honors.

"I've had a history of hair issues," Blum said. "I figured he needed some support, so I offered my hair expertise to back the program. Hopefully it works. [The Rockets are] in the playoffs, they're winning, they're playing hard and if we can blame it on a haircut, why not?"

Now comes the hard part -- getting their teammates on board. Wesley Wright, who wears his hair very short, said he'd try to grow it out a little this week and then revisit the opportunity. Blum surmised Tim Byrdak would be the toughest to convince to obtain the RallyHawk. Logistically, it just might not be possible.

"The guy's already follically challenged," Blum said.

Byrdak, whose head of hair won't be mistaken for that of, say, Tom Selleck's during his Magnum P.I. days, didn't sound enthused about the notion of cutting even a little off the sides.

"I've got two brothers that are bald," Byrdak said. "I'm trying to hold onto my hair as long as I can."

Lance Berkman might be a hard sell as well.

"If you look like a goon, is it worth it?" he asked. Then, acknowledging his .184 batting average, added, "At this point, I don't need to be drawing any undue attention to myself."

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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