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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


But you were so much more

Than just a simple pitcher

With skin that stretched and moved and wriggled

We are all the richer


Like a cross between that

Alien from "Men in Black,"

Some ghoulish zombie,

And potatoes in a sack


Your face took on 

The hopes of a nation

That was lost amidst 

An endless recession


You lifted and guided

And carried our dreams

With a puppet's face

Where we could see the seams


We're all the richer

For having borne witness

As you hurled that ol' horsehide

With your physical fitness


So, shine on, you

Beautiful gem

As we imprint your visage

Onto our brain stems.