Dear, Blue Jays: Thank you for starting Marcus Stroman

O's heading to Toronto for wild-card game (1:29)

The Baseball Tonight crew looks ahead to Tuesday's Wild Card game between the Orioles and Blue Jays in Toronto. (1:29)

The following letter reportedly was discovered on Monday afternoon by Canadian authorities. The document, which allegedly was found inside an empty National Bohemian bottle on the shores of Lake Ontario, is addressed to Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins and is believed to be an authentic communication from the Baltimore Orioles.

While we are unable to confirm the validity of the memorandum, our forensic experts have concluded that it appears to be some sort of thank you note. Here is the letter in its entirety:

Baltimore Orioles
333 W. Camden Street
Baltimore, MD, 21201

October 3, 2016

Mr. Ross Atkins
General Manager
Toronto Blue Jays
1 Blue Jays Way, #3200
Toronto, ON M5V 1J1, Canada

Dear Mr. Atkins:

Thank you very much for selecting Mr. Marcus Stroman to pitch against us in Tuesday’s American League wild-card game.

We realize that when it comes to starting pitchers, you have a plethora of wonderful options from which to choose. While we fully understand that several of your more desirable charges (Messrs. Happ, Sanchez and Estrada) were unavailable due to scheduling conflicts, we were somewhat perplexed that you passed over Mr. Liriano. That said, the purpose of this missive is not to complain, but rather to express our most sincere gratitude.

First and foremost, you’ve spared us the torture of having to face a left-handed starter. As you may or may not know, southpaws are to us what Tom is to Jerry; what Wile E. Coyote is to Road Runner; what Swiper the Fox is to Dora the Explorer. Put quite simply, lefties are the bane of our existence.

In the interest of full disclosure, no American League team has a lower batting average (.234) or OPS (.692) against left-handers than we do. It’s an odd phenomenon that we’re not able to fully explain, given that many of our best hitters are right-handed. Nevertheless, it is a thing, so thank you for making our Tuesday evening -- at least the early portion of it -- infinitely more manageable in that regard.

Secondly, our previous interactions with Mr. Stroman, especially the more recent ones, have been quite positive. On the four occasions we’ve done business with him during the present year, he has been exceedingly generous, allowing us to produce an average of over seven runs per nine innings that he pitches (7.04, to be exact).

It’s quite a contrast to the curmudgeonly nature of Mr. Liriano, who, in his lone interaction with us -- you might recall it, seeing as how it occurred a mere six days ago -- forbid us from manufacturing any runs whatsoever. Please note that our Messrs. Trumbo, Kim and Wieters, whose experiences with Mr. Stroman have been exceedingly enjoyable, are looking forward to personally thanking him in Toronto. In fact, Mr. Wieters -- who was particularly productive this past weekend in New York and in all likelihood did not need any additional external assistance to aid in his performance -- is considering hand-delivering a fruit basket to Mr. Stroman.

Lastly, we’re grateful to you for allowing to us to deploy both Mr. Kim and Mr. Bourn on Tuesday night. As you’re probably well aware, both are left-handed hitters. Although Mr. Bourn has been surprisingly effective against left-handed pitchers recently, over the course of his career that hasn’t been the case. The same can be said for Mr. Kim, who in point of fact has a grand total of zero career hits against left-handed pitchers.

By selecting Mr. Stroman to start Tuesday evening’s affair, you’ve presumably enabled us to (A) leverage the unique competitive advantage that Mr. Kim affords us (contact hitting), (B) improve our defensive alignment by positioning Mr. Bourn in right field (instead of Mr. Trumbo, who can now focus exclusively on his hitting responsibilities) and (C) distribute our human resources in more or less the exact same manner as we’ve done over the past week or so -- and with excellent results, we might add.

In closing, we’d like to once again thank you for selecting Mr. Stroman to pitch against us in Tuesday night’s American League wild-card game. We realize that depending on the early outcomes of said contest, you and/or Mr. Gibbons may choose to reassess this decision and potentially relieve Mr. Stroman of his duties. We also realize that, in the event that happens, Mr. Liriano may be called upon to perform. Although we would not condone such action, we fully understand it, as this is a one-game, single-elimination competition.

Best of luck to you and your esteemed organization.


The 2016 Baltimore Orioles