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A farewell ode to Jeff Karstens and his unforgettable pitch face

If you weren't paying attention, a piece of sad news came out this week: Jeff Karstens retired. 

"So," you ask, "What's the big deal?"

What's the big deal? Sure, Karstens' career wasn't very long or notable -- going 26-40 with a 4.44 ERA before a shoulder injury eventually ended his career after the 2012 season. 

But that's ignoring the poetry of Karstens -- that his fastball rarely broke 90 mph; that he walked just 1.8 batters per nine innings over his last three seasons; and that his pitch face was the most beautiful thing on the field. 

Today we honor that man ... with a poem. Please play this song as you read: 

To the mad genius Karstens

On this day we honor

Your fastball wasn't fast

And now you are a goner

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But you were so much more

Than just a simple pitcher

With skin that stretched and moved and wriggled

We are all the richer

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Like a cross between that

Alien from "Men in Black,"

Some ghoulish zombie,

And potatoes in a sack

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Your face took on 

The hopes of a nation

That was lost amidst 

An endless recession

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You lifted and guided

And carried our dreams

With a puppet's face

Where we could see the seams

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We're all the richer

For having borne witness

As you hurled that ol' horsehide

With your physical fitness

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So, shine on, you

Beautiful gem

As we imprint your visage

Onto our brain stems.

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