SU Bye Week and The Business Of Baseball
Greetings from The Booth
After last week’s 49-31 win at Ferrum, the Hornets are now 5-3 and if they can steal one next Saturday from Washington & Lee on Senior Day, SU will have a real shot at a 7-3. The last 7-3 regular season for Shenandoah University football was the NCAA playoff year of 2004. Considering the pre-season predictions from the rest of the ODAC, 7-3 should (but probably won’t) earn Scott Yoder Coach of the Year honors. Even 6-4 would be quite an accomplishment.
Last week I mentioned freshman quarterback Chris Sonnenberg, who entered the game in the first quarter of the Emory & Henry game and almost led the Hornets to a comeback win. Sonnenberg followed that 340 yard effort with, oh nothing, just 21-27 for 393 yards and 6 touchdowns (and no picks) against Ferrum in a 49-31 rout. I know it’s a small sample size, but he seems to have a grasp of the offense, and isn’t overthinking things.
With a much-needed bye week, the Hornets will have some extra time to get Sonnenberg prepped for one of the better teams in the league in W&L in the ODAC finale.
I also wanted to weigh in on what comes next for the World Series Champion Washington Nationals, who “finished the fight” with the Houston Astros by winning all 4 of their WS games on the road. With the giddy post-game celebration and the championship parade now in the rear view mirror, it’s time to get down to the business of baseball.
The Nationals will now have to deal with the free agencies of a number of players, including MVP candidate Anthony Rendon, and Series MVP Stephen Strasburg, not to mention “face of the franchise” Ryan Zimmerman.
If I had to predict, I would say Rendon is as good as gone. He has been noncommittal about returning to the Nationals, and being from the Houston area, would entertain an offer from the Astros. There is also talk that the Dodgers are prepared to offer Rendon $40 million per year, which would be hard to turn down.
There is a better chance that Strasburg will re-sign with the Nats. He just moved his family to the DC area from the West Coast, so if you’re looking for something to hold on to, there’s that.
In a perfect world, the whole gang would get back together for the 2020 season for more group hugs, baby sharks, and improbable wins. It doesn’t work like that. Dynasties are few and far between in modern day sports, with the exceptions being the New England Patriots and those Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls. Front offices have to deal with budgets, luxury taxes, and sports agents.
In reality, you can’t re-create 2019. It was a special year with it’s own magic. The baby shark thing, as fun as it was, might seem a little forced in 2020. Can the Nationals repeat next season? Absolutely. They have been contenders in most every year since 2012, and will have a great core group back for Spring Training.
For now, let’s just enjoy the incredible 2019 season, and a long awaited baseball championship for the Nation’s Capital.
Until next visit…enjoy the bye-week, and GO HORNETS!