The Cubs' 2010 season was so depressing that manager Lou Piniella retired six weeks early. No one pooped in the dugout this time around, but in all other ways the final chapter of Piniella's tenure mirrored that of Dusty Baker before him: Both men oversaw great teams their first season, equally great ones the second year, a mediocre squad for which much went wrong in their third year and a budget-saving fire sale in July of their final year after the team fell far from contention.
Hoping to break that cycle, GM Jim Hendry hired a non-celebrity manager for 2011, Mike Quade. Hendry also made several moves that could vault the team back into contention, or could do little to change the state of the organization. Only time will tell.
The Cubs have youth, upside risk at a number of positions and the chance for one of the best bullpens in Major League Baseball. Still, most pundits have them finishing third or fourth in the NL Central this season. They could certainly outperform those prognoses, and in the non-powerhouse that is the Central they could even emerge victorious. For that to happen, though, and certainly for the team to advance at all through the NL playoffs, these 10 things have to go right.
This is the fifth in a series of pieces listing 10 things that would have to go right for each MLB team to win a pennant this season. To find out when your favorite team's article comes out, follow me on the twitter @MattTrueblood, or sign up for your team's Bleacher Report newsletter