Re: Don't underestimate the importance...
Just glancing back on the various championship teams the Reds have had, I will say those teams didn't generally have many older players; although I think more players are playing later than in previous times. I'm not certain of that, but I remember a thread here recently on a higher percentage of players playing into their late 30's and early 40's.
I did see that the 1919 Reds had a 35 year old Jake Daubert in his first season with the Reds. In 1922 it appears to me that he broke the club record for most homers in a season (12) and nearly broke the record for triples (he had 22) - not bad for a 38 year old. He finished his career in the 1924 season, falling ill towards its end. He died in October of 1924 following complications in surgery at the age of 40 (my grandfather had the same thing happen some 10 years later). But during his five years with our club, he was a pretty good ballplayer. (It should be noted that 40 back then was like Julio Franco still playing at nearly 50).