In 2017, the United States won the World Baseball Classic. Marcus Stroman was named the tournament MVP after pitching 15 1/3 innings with a 2.35 ERA, including six shutout frames in the championship game against Puerto Rico.
With the WBC set to return in 2021, Stroman is already eyeing another title. And, in a time of social distancing, that means taking to social media to put together the next world champion.
After MLB Network posted a video of Adam Jones' home run robbery against the Dominican Republic in 2017, the Mets starter got on the recruiting trail. After securing commitments from fellow 2017 Team USA stars Christian Yelich and Eric Hosmer, he set his sights on infusing the team with some new talent.
Like any championship-aspiring general manager, he dreamed big.
@mookiebetts @MikeTrout @Cody_Bellinger @TheJudge44 @buehlersdayoff @BoFlows @BauerOutage #Story who else am I missing!? Tag who should play for @USABaseball! https://t.co/Ae9uNd2ylL
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) March 19, 2020
As it turned out, all he had to do was ask: Between Stroman, Trevor Bauer and Walker Buehler, the Team USA rotation could be enough on its own to make the team a contender.
I’m 10000000% in https://t.co/GinpnHV7c3
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) March 19, 2020
— Walker Buehler (@buehlersdayoff) March 19, 2020
Any good roster is built to win in multiple ways, and Stroman's early efforts at assembling Team USA also hint at an offense capable of doing some real damage. A team anchored by Pete Alonso, Cody Bellinger and Trevor Story — in addition to the returning Yelich and Hosmer — is going to hit its fair share of home runs.
The World Baseball Classic doesn't give out an Executive of the Tournament award, but they may need to make an exception in Stroman's case.
If @USABaseball named me to the national team, I might cry. I tried out for the 18u team a while back and didn’t make it. It would be an honor to put the red, white, and blue on and rep the Stars and Stripes
— Pete Alonso (@Pete_Alonso20) March 19, 2020
Let’s gett it!! https://t.co/i4gmCkm7fn
— Cody Bellinger (@Cody_Bellinger) March 19, 2020
In a heartbeat
— Trevor Story (@Tstory2) March 19, 2020
Thanks to Stroman's Thursday afternoon recruitment efforts, the 2021 Team USA looks to be in good hands. If the team ends up as good as it is starting to look on paper, he could be looking at a promising future as a general manager whenever he ends his playing career. In fact, one could make the case that he is already serving as a de facto GM of Team USA.