Eleven questions for 2011
As the calendar flips over to 2011, there are many unresolved issues in the Old Republic
Wiffle Ball League this offseason. Here are eleven questions to be answered as the league heads into its fifth season of play. 1. Will Denis Jedrysek return to the Pterodactyls or will he actually retire? Rumors have been swirling around the league that the Pterodactyls slugger is contemplating retirement. Jedrysek, a four-time All-Star, led the 'Dactyls to the 2009 ORWBL Championship. He has twice been the All-Star Game MVP (2007, 2010). Manager Jared Emmons claims that Jedrysek is just "Brett Favre-ing it." 2. Can the Pterodactyls survive without Jordan Smoroske for the regular season? Smoroske will miss the regular season while serving in the Marines. However Emmons will keep him on the roster, hopeful that Smoroske could return for the playoffs. Getting there may prove to be difficult without one of their top hitters and the number-two man in their starting rotation. 3. Will the Newts lure Scotty Jurczak away from the Banana Slugs? The Newts have put a lot of money on the table to sign Jurczak, but he is leaning towards re-signing with the B-Slugs. The Newts may need to land Nick Arndt as well in order to bring Jurczak to New Carlisle. 4. Can We've Got the Runs repeat as National League champions? The Runs have plenty of youth and talent, which could equate to a long run atop the National League. They do not appear to be a one-season wonder, as Shane Anderson and company have had continued success in the City Championship since 2006. 5. Can Emery's Army finally knock off the Newts in the NL East? These two teams have been neck and neck since EA entered the league. It took a one-game playoff to decide the 2009 division championship, and the 2010 race came down to the last weekend of the season. In both years, the Newts prevailed. 6. Will anybody go to Ellam Field to play the defending champion Sour Wowers? The Sour Wowers have racked up multiple wins in the past two seasons because of teams not travelling to South Bend to play. Now they have a target on their backs as defending champions. 7. Can the Mill Creek Minutemen be a legitimate contender in the tough AL East? The Minutemen have come a long way from the 2009 season, when they were known as the Marmosets. Unfortunately for Mill Creek, they play in arguably the toughest division in whiffleball. Owner Matt Gard may need to make a splash this offseason in the free agent market. 8. What Banana Slugs team will show up (or not show up) in 2011? One of the most talented teams in the league, the Banana Slugs are also one of the most inconsistent. Perhaps the biggest problem for Brad Schmitt's squad is getting to the ballpark. Their forfeit losses last year proved to be the difference in an AL West race that was decided by one game. 9. Will anybody be able to match Sox pitcher Keith Ludwig's perfect game? Ludwig pitched the only perfect game in league history last season against the crosstown rival Bombers. Considering the offensive dominance of a slow-pitch league, this may be the most difficult feat to repeat. 10. Can the Bombers build on the momentum from their first season to make the playoffs? The Bombers fell just short of a Wild Card spot in its first season in the league. While they may not have the firepower to compete with The Runs for a division championship, they could give EA or the Newts a tough race for the Wild Card in 2011. 11. Where is Rod Colanese? Outside of a few brief appearances for the Newts in 2008 and 2009, the ORWBL legend has not seen regular action since the 2007 season when he played for Cornhole. The crafty veteran committed to play for Emery's Army in 2010, but did not appear in any games.