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Orioles 4, Mariners 2: The Declaration of Competence

IN BIRDLAND, July 4, 2012

The unanimous declaration of Camden Chat,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one Chris Tillman to dissolve the optional bonds which have connected him with Norfolk, and to assume among the teams of Major League Baseball, the place in the starting rotation to which the Laws of Baseball and of Baseball's Gods entitle him, a decent respect to the opinions of Birdland requires that fans should declare the causes which impel him to the rotation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that some pitchers are not created equal, that some are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Velocity and a 12-to-6 curveball. That to secure these rights, Rotations are instituted among Baseball Teams, deriving their powers from the consent of the manager, that whenever any Sort of Pitcher becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Manager to alter or demote it, and to institute a new Rotation, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to him shall most likely effect his Victory and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Rotations long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that Birdland is more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by demoting the pitchers to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and abominations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such a Rotation, and to provide new Pitchers for their future victory. Such has been the patient sufferance of this Fanbase, and such is now the necessity which constrains their manager to alter their former Starting Rotation. The history of the present Starting Rotation is a history of repeated injuries and abominations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Worst Rotation over this Fanbase. To prove this, let these Facts be submitted to a candid world:

BRIAN MATUSZ has refused his Ascent to Front-of-the-rotation Starter, the most wholesome and necessary for the team's good;
He has forbidden his Team to win Games of immediate and pressing importance;
He has refused to win other Games for the accomodation of large districts of Birdland, unless those people would relinquish the right of Rooting for a Winning Team, a right inestimable to them and formidable to terrible pitchers only.
He has called himself a major league pitcher in ways unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of the Oriole Way, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his incompetence.

TOMMY HUNTER has been demoted to Norfolk repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness the right of the fanbase to Root for a Winning Team.
He has refused for a long time, after such demotions, to cause others to take his spot in the rotation; whereby the Managerial powers, incapable of Designation For Assignment, have returned Hunter to the rotation; the Team remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of losing from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of this Fanbase; for that purpose pitching Games obstructing the Goal of Victory; refusing to win others to encourage their good feelings hither, and raising the conditions of new Comebacks with Five Earned Runs Surrendered.
He has obstructed the Administration of Victory, by refusing his Assent to Pitches that do not end in Home Runs.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Pitcher whose character is thus marked by every act which may define an AAAA pitcher, is thus unfit to be in a major league rotation.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our prospect brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their efforts to extend an unwarranted losing streak upon us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our fanbase and rooting here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common history to disavow these abominations, which, would inevitably interrupt our winning streaks and competence. They too have been deaf to the voice of strike-throwing and not giving up millions of home runs. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which announces their Demotion, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Minor Leaguers until August; in September, Excess Bullpen Arms.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united Peoples of Birdland, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of Birdland for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of this Fanbase, solemnly publish and declare, That these Fans are, and of Right ought to be Free from Terrible Pitchers; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the Norfolk Rotation, and that all sentimental connection between them and the Demoted, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent Fans, they have full Power to root for Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta (should he be worthy) and to root for whatever other Spot Starter that their Favorite Team may of right employ. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of our Divine Catcher, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Fandom.