They say second place is the first loser. That means fourth and fifth place are the fourth and fifth losers, respectively. But the excitement inspired by a second, fourth, and fifth place finish in the Rookie of the Year voting (even if one of them wasn't technically a rookie) is more excitement than you'll ever see in some other second, fourth, or fifth place finish.
I'm not feeling the same foolish optimism I had last year. We have one outfielder, no catcher, and half a shortstop. We're missing half a team, something an awesome pitching staff won't overcome. Walt passed on Holliday (or the Rockies passed on Walt), so there goes that idea. I am not looking forward to seeing Jim Edmonds suit up for the Reds in centerfield next year.
Yet - I still feel hopeful. Something is happening here. Something is being erected before us. Something to keep us warm during this long, cold, dark, gloomy, football-laden winter.