ST. LOUIS (AP) — The lessons begin in rookie ball.
Every team emphasizes fundamentals and preparedness, both physical and mental, in the hope it all becomes second nature as players climb through the system.
One organization's philosophy always seems to stick out. Everyone knows about The Cardinal Way.
Even before opening day this year, St. Louis was hit hard by season-ending injuries to longtime ace Chris Carpenter, closer Jason Motte and shortstop Rafael Furcal. As the summer wore on, the setbacks kept coming.
But the Cardinals kept dipping into the minors for replacements who did more than their part for a team that's back in the World Series for the fourth time in 10 years.