Dear Clayton
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Clayton, I hope this doesn't end up in your spam folder. Anyway, let me start off by apologizing. It was silly for me to trade you. I realize that now.

But I was desperate. My team (edit: our team) was decimated by injuries. Bryce Harper, Brandon Belt and Matt Adams were all hurt at the time and I needed a middle infielder in the worst way. Trust me, you'd want an upgrade too if your fantasy shortstop was Andrelton Simmons.

When I found out Troy Tulowitzki was available, I made the decision I felt was best for the team. It was a moment of weakness and I still haven't forgiven myself for it.

I know things ended awkwardly between us, but would you mind taking it down a notch? I'm supposed to be a fantasy expert over here. Meanwhile you're 8-0 with a 0.78 ERA since the trade.

That hurts my brand. Who's going to buy my "Jesse knows best" shirts now? CBS will probably pass on my pilot because of you. I'll end up on Fox, or even worse, the CW, lined up next to re-runs of How I Met Your Mother. I'd rather take hitting lessons from Dan Uggla than share a network with Ted Mosby.

To make matters worse, Tulo got hurt. His recovery is taking longer than Pablo Sandoval in the buffet line. What's the holdup here? It's a strained hip flexor, not a severed limb. Get with the program, Troy.

It feels like you're rubbing it in. I mean come on, Clayton. A 0.64 WHIP over your last 69 innings? Who do you think you are, Randy Johnson?

And what's with the 10.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio over your last nine starts? That's preposterous. Justin Verlander wasn't that good when he won the MVP a few years ago (4.39). You're putting us all to shame.

It makes me cringe watching lefties bat against you (.161 AVG in 87 at bats). Why haven't they just given up? It's like using a butter knife to cut down a tree. Even if it falls, it probably took you your whole life to knock it down. In other words, it's just not worth it.

You win, Clayton. You can have your cake and it eat it too. But do you have to eat it right in front of me? I saw that look you gave after you threw that no- hitter. I know it was meant for me.

You make it look so easy. Think about it. You just threw 41 consecutive scoreless innings. That's unheard of. I ate 41 Chips Ahoy cookies one time. It didn't end well.

But why does it have to be like this? I know it was only a few months, but I thought we had a great time together. Was I too strict? Did it freak you out when I repeated punch lines from Seinfeld? Did it bother you that I put Tabasco sauce on spaghetti?

To be fair though, what happened during those first few months? When I traded you, your ERA was only 3.32. Now it's 1.76. It's like you found the fountain of youth and refused to stop drinking from it. You must be pretty hydrated.

Let's cut to the chase. I want you back, buddy. Seeing you pitch for someone else makes me sick. Tell your boss he can have whoever he wants. Robinson Cano, Yasiel Puig, Johnny Cueto ... I'll do whatever it takes to make this right.

You could be like LeBron James. He came back to Cleveland and now everyone loves him again. And what's better than being loved?

Please consider coming back to my fantasy team. I promise I'll shut up during Seinfeld.

Sincerely,

Jesse




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Jesse Pantuosco at jpantuosco@sportsnetwork.com.

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