So this is what it comes to.

An American athlete adopts the Mustached American lifestyle, enjoys the warmth and attention it brings to his upper lip, and then decides to abandon it, shaving his lower nose forestation, which, of course, kills an angel in heaven (as the Dead Sea Scrolls, Leviticus, and the Book of Mormon suggest).

After abandoning said lip garment, his athletic prowess—once bold, powerful, and ruggedly attractive while living lipfuriously—takes a precipitous plunge.

This is a trend the research department at the American Mustache Institute has seen, very sadly, hundreds of times.

“It’s a sorry state of affairs,” said Dr. Dan Callahan, AMI director of research. “At some point Americans must realize that our lust for performance cannot be periodic or fleeting, but consistent and unflinching.”

Thus the case of St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan.

Last year, long after the rest of his team shaved off their unity mustaches, Ryan’s labia sebucula (Latin for “lip sweater”) remained and thus fueled a breakout year for the former utility also-ran.

Flash-forward one year, after an offseason during which he had wrist surgery due to his penchant for self-pleasure, and even more concerning, he forcibly removed his upper mouth carnival.

So it stands to reason that Ryan, as first reported by R.B. Fallstrom of the Associated Press, decided to try facial hair again in an attempt to recapture his previous superiority as he struggles along.

“I’m doing anything possible to make some good things happen,” Ryan told Fallstrom. “Whatever it takes.”

It appears that “anything possible” refers to the same path that catapulted Ryan’s batting average near .300 in 2009, raised former teammate Rick Ankiel’s batting average 70 points last year, and pushed Jason Giambi near All-Star status while with the Yankees in 2007.

Minus his dental curtain, Ryan landed on the bench Sunday with just a .167 batting average and only six RBI, combined with erratic play in the field that included consecutive two-error games during the last home stand.

Ryan first tried to revive his swing by shaving his head, but clearly, he now plans to dig deep and bring back “the closer”—his mustache.

“We’ll go with the ’stache,” he said after last Thursday’s game while wearing the “Respect the Stache’” T-shirt.

Ryan should do more than just respect his ’stache. He should indeed embrace it, as history and statistical analysis have demonstrated there is no greater performance-enhancing instrument of destruction in the world of athletic performance.

Carry on.

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