This has to do with some threads on the ORG and the Sundeckers. I think most of us agree that at least part of the problem this year is a lack of urgency, motivation, "good vibes" or whatever you want to call it. A couple of posters on the ORG like Dougdirt say there is no such thing as veteran leadership or team chemistry.
This reminds me of one time I sw an interview with Bill James, the famous SABERMETRICS guy. He said that after he was hired by the Red Sox as a consultant and started to actually be around the game, he realized that chemistry and attitude were actually VERY important and that he had always underestimated their importance. He said that he would rather have a good "clubhouse" guy over a better player with a bad attitude. Coming from a guy who made his bones as a stats guy, I thought this was pretty significant.
I think that players like Orlando Cabrera are very important. In pro sports where everyone is a millionaire, it is very easy to coast through games. How many players really want to WIN? I think there are some ultra-competitive guys who just have that desire to win. They talk about how to break down a pitcher in the dugout. They say "don't give up" when your dow a couple of runs. They focus on winning. I don't think it is coincidence that everywhere Cabrera goes the teams win and make the playoffs. Some players have the "aura of winning." Some have a relaxed attitude that keeps everyone positive.
Of course you could also say that winning breads a good attitude. But I do believe that chemistry is a big part of sports, and if you talk to people who are actually in the game they will say the same thing.