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Dear JJ,

I write to you not out of anger, but out of concern. We're worried about you. All of us. Even the best are entitled to an off day every once in a while, but these last two outings, you haven't been you. You haven't been close to you. We've been conditioned to expect such great things that even the slightest misstep is cause for alarm, and while I might just be making mountains out of molehills, I'd like to ask something of you.

If you're still hurt, let someone know.

This may simply be rust. You missed a few weeks there, and God knows you looked awesome in your return, so if you're just trying to get into a groove and this all blows over in a few days, then forget I ever said anything.

But if you're still hurt, let someone know.

We admire your fire and we admire your competitive spirit. The intensity you bring to the mound is contagious, and if ever the Mariners had cobbled together a roster of 25 guys with your determination, there would probably be another banner flying out there in right field. But if, in an effort to get back to helping the team as quickly as possible, you returned from the DL too early, you need to let someone know.

This isn't the time to try and prove your heart. We know you have the biggest heart on the team. Every last one of us. This is about doing what's best for the Mariners, and if you're still feeling lingering pain in any way, what's best for the Mariners is that you sit out until you're completely healthy. Better to have no JJ for one or two months than to have no JJ for six. I know it's tough to sit on the sidelines wishing you could be out there making a contribution instead of wearing a jacket in the bullpen, but what this team needs is for you to pitch at 100%, and if you're not capable of doing that right now, it's better that you sit out until you are. Pitching hurt doesn't do anyone any favors.

I hope you're okay. I hope this is just a rut, or you're sick, or you couldn't get a good grip on the ball, and that you work yourself out of it over your next few appearances. I'd love nothing more than to be able to look back on this in a few weeks and think "man, what a stupid thing to write." If your rib feels fine and you're just trying to shake off a little rust, then by all means, don't pay attention to me.

But if you're still hurt, let someone know.

Yours,

Jeff Sullivan

5_1_08_medium

Biggest Contribution: Richie Sexson, +29.4%
Biggest Suckfest: JJ Putz, -29.3%
Most Important AB: Sexson homer, +33.4%
Most Important Pitch: Cabrera single, -34.1%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -29.9%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -36.9%
Total Contribution by Opposition: +16.8%
(What is this chart?)

I don't have any bullet points, because I was barely able to catch any of the game.* So instead I'm going to put up a completely unrelated post in a little bit in the interest of moving on.

* - I'm not penning letters to the rest of the players on the team because they suck