Success is a weird word. It’s a weird word because it’s so specific yet so vague. It means to accomplish something you set out to but because different people have different goals what’s considered success varies from person to person. In sports success also varies from team to team.
Every baseball team wants to win the World Series. Every season 29 teams don’t win the World Series but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have a successful season. That’s where expectations come in.
Let’s start at the top of the expectations ladder. The New York Yankees have won the World Series 27 times by far the most of any team. The Yankees make the playoffs year in and year out so making the playoffs for the team and the fans isn’t even considered an accomplishment. If they get eliminated in the first round they don’t say it was a good season. For the Yankees a successful season is considered at least a competitive ALCS. The Yankees got swept in last season’s ALCS and the New York media and fans were calling them losers. If the Toronto Blue Jays got swept in the ALCS the Toronto media and fans would be popping champagne.
The Boston Redsox despite missing the playoffs the last 3 seasons and coming off a 93 loss season that included a fire sale to the Los Angeles Dodgers always have playoff expectations but realistically if the Redsox win 80 something games or manage to stay in the playoff race till September it would be a successful season. Just like Yankee fans, Redsox fans are spoiled and would probably consider that a bad season despite what happened last season.
If you’re team has been in contention in September or made the playoffs in recent years anything less than making the playoffs in 2013 would be considered a failure.
If you’re the Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets, Miami Marlins, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies you can try to contend in 2013 but after the struggles they’ve gone through in recent years finishing 500 or above would be considered a successful season. If any of these teams managed to contend until September or make the playoffs there seasons would be considered a huge success.
The Pittsburg Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays both have unique circumstances going into next season. The Pirates haven’t had a winning season in 20 years but at the same time stayed in contention for the majority of 2012. It would be a success for them just to finish above 500 but at the same time be a success for them to stay in contention till the end of the season because they almost did that in 2012.
The Toronto Blue Jays have one of the most unique situations of all 30 teams. The Blue Jays have always been a slightly above average team playing in the AL East where it’s always assumed that they’ll finish above 500 but that they won’t be good enough to contend with the other teams in the division. It’s like there hasn’t been any expectations for them. The Blue Jays have now made some offseason moves that has Blue Jays fans expecting them to at the very least be fighting for a playoff spot in September. For the first time in a long time Blue Jays fans have a realistic expectation and have something they can consider a success with anything less being considered a failure.
P.S. Forget everything you read in the last paragraph. For once let’s be obnoxious and feel entitled. Give us playoffs or give us death. LETS GO JAYS!!