I keep hearing comparisons about the 99 team and this year's team which got me thinking about this question: If this year's team makes a serious playoff push, or even makes the playoffs, do you think you will remember it as fondly as you do the 99 team. I mean, the 99 team was something special, and they didn't even technically make the playoffs. They were over-achievers. Add in the group of guys on the team, and you have a lot of people with a lot of fond memories of that season.
On the other hand, the 99 team didn't even make the playoffs. How special can a team be that doesn't even make the playoffs? I mean, why does everyone view the 99 team as being so special when on paper all you see is a team that just made the playoffs?
I have my own reasons for remembering that team so fondly, as you have yours, and in some ways I don't know that everyone will view this team as being as special as the 99 team. That being said, there is almost half a season to go, and I don't know that the 99 team had such a special feeling about it at this point in the season, so maybe people will look back at the 06 team and say "that team was special." I mean, this team is evolving into a solid unit.
Defense is lacking, but getting better. The bullpen is being rebuilt and could be close to respectability with a solid arm in Majewski, and the possibilities of Bray, along with a solid closer. Throw in the potential of Coffey, and you have the makings of a solid bullpen. Starting pitching is doing its part, and IMO is one solid pitcher away (middle of the rotation guy) from being very respectable. Offense, as always in recent history, is going to be above average, despite trading away Kearns and Lopez. A good mix of young guys and veterans with post season experience all around. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but all together I think this team may be just one solid middle of the rotation pitcher from being the most complete team the Reds have had in a long time. But is that exactly what could make this team not as special as the 99 team?
The reason I liked the 99 team so well was that the team seemed to be a group of regular guys who played the game with a lot of heart, and made a run against all odds. It is oddly similar to this year's Bearcat team. They were expected to loose because of the talent level of the players. Instead of giving in, they went out and just played. Just to watch the team's heart and determination throughout the season was something special. Both teams just missed the post season (playoffs, NCAA tourney), and both are going to be remembered by Cincy sports fans for a long time. Little talent, big hearts. Thats why the 99 team was so special.
That was a long post for such a simple question, but I pose these questions to you. Why was the 99 team so special to you? Even if the 06 team makes the playoffs, will it be as special as the 99 team?