In the recent past the Reds were never going to contend. The only way they'd be in the hunt is if every single thing fell perfectly in place, a couple of people had better than normal years and the other teams fell apart.
Now, there's a possibility that the team is relevant and it doesn't rest on hopes, dreams and perfection. I still think it's unlikely the Reds are relevant past late July but it isn't going to take every single star in the universe to align for it to possibly happen. The odds are much more in their favor that they *could* do something.
Having your odds go from 1 in a billion to 1 in a couple hundred thousand gives a hope starved fan-base the preliminary tingles of interest.