Is Washougal's Championship Window Closing?
A couple days ago Ty & Brock Johnson (league co-commissioners) brought up an interesting thought on the debut of a new JAL show "Meatballs." Their thought was "is the Wrecking Crew's championship window closing?" and we've decided to explore it further....
The Washougal Wrecking Crew first entered the league in JAL 13, so they've existed for 3 seasons. From then to now their roster has hardly changed. Last season was the only time it ever has when the Crew picked up another player (pitcher), Scott Coleman. But besides that, Aaron Deister, Michael McElroy, Jaden Jantzer, and Sean Guthrie have been the members of the team for all 3 seasons. Guthrie currently is a free agent, but all indications are pointing toward him re-signing with the team in the near future.
...The point is, Washougal believes in what they've got, and what they've got is proven to be a good team. Though they didn't make the playoffs in JAL 13, they've made it in the last 2 seasons as the #2 seed in what's been a brutal American Conference. Both seasons though, Washougal failed to win in the postseason, each time being knocked out early in the AC Semifinals.
As of now the Wrecking Crew have 4/5 roster spots filled, but as stated above the 5th will soon be filled with the re-signing of Guthrie. According to the team, no additional changes are wanted because it would require cutting ties with someone... And why do that when this roster can win a title right? Maybe...
Had they made it to the AC Finals last season and showed continued improvement this probably wouldn't even be a discussion. Instead most people would probably predict that this team, with this roster, has several seasons of opportunity ahead to win a title. But the fact of the matter is that they didn't make the AC Finals. They finished last season with the same result as the season before, and it's only fair to wonder now if the Wrecking Crew (with this roster) have peaked.
If that's the case nobody is suggesting that these guys can't still win a title. Afterall, last season they went toe-to-toe with the eventual champion Missouri Express and even beat them 1 out of 3 times. All we're saying is that if in fact this Washougal team has peaked then that means their margin for error to win it all isn't very big, and consequently their window to win a championship might be limited to only JAL 16 & 17 as oppose to as far out as JAL 19 or even 20; because in this growing league that continues to bring in more and more talented players each season you can't help but wonder: How much longer can this roster keep Washougal hanging on to its "contender" status.