Some might say the promise of Joe Ryan's debut (An 8-pitch, all-strikes first inning! Five innings of relative competency!) was marred by the 3-run dinger he surrendered to Frank Schwindel, the only runs scored in yet another Twins loss, this one 3-0 to the Chicago Cubs.
Some are full of crap.
Joe Ryan's truly wondrous hair was the star of Wednesday's game and should be rewarded handsomely. Pun intended. I know the rules say he can't be given the win, as his team lost, he gave up all the runs, and he was the pitcher of record. But! The rules didn't stop the Houston Astros from whaling on garbage cans like a child and their first drum set or the New York Mets from hoovering every drug known to man in 1986. Rules are flexible and our governing bodies impossibly corrupt. Giving both Ryan and the Cubs a win may not be legal, but it feels as right as the shampoo-and-conditioner regimen Ryan follows to give his hair that healthy body and luxuriant shine.
That said, I understand that this radical, if obviously correct, solution will be seen as too much in some quarters. What I propose instead is a day of recognition for Ryan's remarkable hair and what it's done for the team, the fans, and the entire community.
Every September 1st, we celebrate Joe Ryan's hair.
If you normally wear a hat or put your hair in a ponytail, let it go free on Joe Ryan Hair Day. Free like a stallion galloping over the open, untrammeled prairie, with nothing but the wind and the sun as companions. If you're bald or keep it shaved, consider a sassy wig, knowing that even your more hirsute pals will also fail to approach the majesty of Ryan's mane. The Twins could do their part, giving out free combs and hot oil treatments to the first 10,000 customers at Target Field. Give a young Twins fan a novelty baseball cap and they have a hair solution for a day. Teach a young Twins fan to establish a cleaning-and-styling routine with the proper tools and they have a hair solution for a lifetime.
In a summer filled with disappointment and outright misery, the calendar turned to September and blessed us with Joe Ryan and his substantial, inspiring flow. This rare gift of hope ought not to be squandered. Thank you, Joe and/or your stylist. Thank you.