Originally Posted by BigRedChief
So, anything less than a National league pennant is a failure?
Depending on the competition cycle, yeah. If you're rebuilding and you get a lot of good experience for your players, build on some stuff and charge up for next year - then it's a success regardless of the outcome (the Nats, for instance.
If you're a team like the Cardinals and you have all the talent this squad has, when the season begins you should set a pretty decent goal for yourself. I don't think WS or bust is fair, but I do think that the goal for this Cardinals team should have been a pennant. Otherwise you're setting your goals too low.
If you don't reach that goal, the season can't be a true success, though you could certainly get around not calling it a failure.
Did the Braves have a successful season? I don't think the die-hards would say they did. The Phils? Marlins? Mets? No, not at all. Reds? Nope 98 wins and a first round loss isn't a successful season, not with the veteran stars they have on the roster. I don't think anyone else in the Central can consider this a successful season either. The Bucs collapsed down the stretch again and the Brewers underperformed so badly early that they made re-building trades that bit them when they finally got their !@#$ in order.
The Giants are probably going to call this season successful after getting through to the playoffs even after their injuries/suspensions. The D-Backs can't possibly like it, nor can the Rox. Maybe the Padres with their strong finish, but that's a 'rebuilding' squad under the rebuilding rules.
If the Cards lose the NLCS, I'll consider this a fine season, but not one I would call a 'successful' one. An entertaining one and one where some guys developed, but this isn't a building squad - it's a championship caliber one and should be held to that standard.