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Terry Felton, Patron Saint of Lowered Expectations

Once upon a time, there was a man. That man was me, although I had a stupid pseudonym back then. And there was another man, woman, child, or self-aware robot defense system reading this, and that was you. You probably didn’t have a pseudonym, and were better for it. And for almost a full year, we were kept apart. But now, thanks to the questionable judgment of your reluctant hipster overlord Carson Cistulli, we’re back together again, bonded forever by our shared love of me, Vin Scully’s magic powers, Wally Moon’s unibrow, and Don Zimmer’s average face. And so shall it ever be.

If I was the same man I was a year ago, I would be over the moon to be back with you all, so sure of the bright future that awaits us all, like a whispily mustachioed Terry Felton back in Spring Training of 1982.

Oh the puppy-dog like earnestness in Felton’s face! The optimism! The certainty that his mustache will kick in and fill out before too long, like his talent.

Alas, it was not to be. Felton spent the entire season in Minnesota and went 0-13 to finish his career 0-16 with a 5.53 career ERA. No one else in baseball history has ever started their career with 16 straight losses. No one else has finished their career worse than 0-12. He was never again to throw a pitch in anger, joy, fear, or lust for a Major League team.

Why do I tell you this? Why do I bum you out even further on a day where we’ll surely find out that no one has been elected to the Hall of Fame? Because despite what early 1982 Terry Felton might think, life is full of disappointment. His mustache will forever be inadequate, as will his fastball. Your Hall of Fame will be short one Bagwell, Biggio, Piazza, Raines, and Trammell for at least another year. People you are counting on will fall short of your expectations, just as you fall short of theirs. Get used to it. Don’t get your hopes up. Set your sights low.

There. Now with our meager expectations, the only way we can go is up. Together. Like Sylvester Stallone and plucky band of survivors in Daylight. Some of us will make it, but a bunch of you are going to die along the way. Sorry. Excelsior.