As the Chicago Cubs try to end the month of June without any more devastating injuries, they have the best record in baseball and sit atop the National League Central Division by four and a half games. They have also won six times in their last ten contests.
Meanwhile, they have been able to slide players in to fill the holes left from their big weapons Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano. But even when they come back can the Cubs go deep in the playoffs? Do they have a team with leaders that can take them to the World Series?
The Cubs have few players with deep post-season success and among their top starters and reserves they have only 15 World Series appearances between them. Other than maybe Zambrano, they just don't have that one go-to guy that will put the team on their shoulders.
Of the players with post-season success, they are mostly guys who have yet to truly provide the leadership skills needed to push a team past adversity. Guys like Jason Marquis, Jim Edmonds, Alfonso Soriano and Derrek Lee have not been locker room motivators.
The other problem facing the Cubs is the age of their team. Right now they have an average age of 30.1 and 12 of their players have more than ten years in the majors. While that doesn't sound too old, they may need a win now or never attitude.
When age doesn't provide a team with more leadership, they are doomed for another first round playoff defeat at the hands of a team younger and more disciplined.
All of this coupled with the fact that the Cubs are cursed, makes for an interesting and nail biting run to the end of the year. But hey, why not this year during the 100 year anniversary of the last World Series win.
My prediction is the Cubs will get through the first round but fall short in their pursuit of a World Series title.
What do you think?