Say it ain't so, Johnny. Say it ain't so.

It was bad enough, Johnny, that you jumped ship from the legendarily accursed Boston Red Sox to that team's millennia-long rival, the New York Yankees. But the Faustian part of your bargain was in taking the razor to your beard.

How could you?

You see that guy at the top of this column? Yeah. That guy. With the beard.

Go ahead, just take a pen out of your fancy-shmancy New York Yankees carry-on bag and rip it through his face, why don't ya?

Guys with beards have feelings, too, Johnny. You know how many of us bearded guys are out there? I mean, not counting the ones in the hills? That's right, not many.

You were a hero. With your hair hanging down to your shoulders and your beard as bushy as the Berkshires, you stood apart. Guys in baseball do not look like that. They look like what you look like now. Presentable.

Oh, there is the tasteful goatee here and there. To which I say, "Ptouie." Which is a sound I know you know well, it being the sound of spitting, which is what baseball players do all the time. What's up with that, anyway?

But we're not here to talk about spitting. We're here to talk about Eisenhower.

That's right: In one fell shave, you returned us to the Golden Age of Conformity. We had been sensing its coming for a while now. Things just didn't feel as freewheeling as they used to.

As if to confirm it, here, now, is your clean-shaven face. You know what happened after you shaved? The Florida Marlins manager said that he wants to see no facial hair whatsoever on his players - no goatees, no mustaches, no beards, no nothing.

Happy about what you started?

Yes, yes, yes, I know you've shaved your beard off before. But that was for charity. This? This is for … the New York Ya … I can't even say it.