Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
Theoretically speaking, which would you choose:
1. Reds win the World Series, gut the team the next year and proceed to lose consistently for the next 6-7 years.
2. Reds win consistently for the next 5-6 years -- make the playoffs every year, but never win a World Series.
I'd pick #2 without hesitation. Years of quality baseball and excitement trump one flourish followed by a near-decade of soul-crushing awfulness. I figure enough of us have enough direct experience with this. You don't hear people complaining about 1977-81 (outside of MLB fixing the system against the Reds in 1981). We could have mammoth threads about good memories from 1985-89 and 1992-96. Conversely, 1982-84 and 2001-2009 were brutal.
I like that the Reds matter again. May they matter for a very long time. And if they do that but fall short of a World Series it will only be a slight disappointment that tinges my otherwise good memories.
The good news is that your best chance of winning a World Series is to make the playoffs a bunch of times. Plus, the crapshoot nature of the playoffs means you really can't plan to win a World Series. Theoretically the Reds had everything they needed to do it this year and it didn't happen.