Reason for optimism in 2006 was we thought we were a starter and bat away from contention in what was at the time a 2-team race.
Reason for optimism now is a combination of:
- The fact that the division is more up for grabs than ever before (in the last 10-12 years), with Tampa and Baltimore showing its possible to breakthrough, and the Red Sox in decline.
- Excitement over acquiring pieces we sorely lacked, being rotation depth and bench depth. Not to mention guys who can wreak havoc on the base paths.
- The playoff drought that we've experienced
- The fact that we still have alot of good farm talent
But as people above have rightfully said, you need to play the games. As a Jays fan, I too prefer the 2012 team on paper far beyond the 2006 team.