The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

October 3, 2013

MLB playoff notebook

(Continued)

The 36-year-old Beltran believes mentoring isn't difficult because the Cardinals are a perennial contender. That makes prospects hungrier to carve out a niche.

"The guys know this organization is serious about winning, and as a player that's what you dream of," Beltran said. "They just come here and they just go out and do it.

"It seems like they don't feel like they have to do anything different. They just want to fit in and do the job."

Beltran, making his fourth postseason appearance, said his initial experience in the majors was the opposite. He broke in with the Royals in 1998 expecting to be on a losing team.

"When you grow up in an organization where every year you lose, you get used to it," Beltran said. "Every year over there we lost 80, 90, 100 games.

"You don't even think winning is part of that scenario."

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POSTSEASON FLOPS: While much is made of the Atlanta Braves' long list of playoff failures, the Dodgers haven't exactly been a postseason powerhouse, either.

At least since 1988, when Los Angeles won its last World Series title.

That's an even longer drought than the Braves, who won the championship in 1995.

"I was born in '88," said Clayton Kershaw, who will start Game 1 of the NL division series in Atlanta. "We hear it every day from somewhere or another."

This is the seventh playoff appearance for the Dodgers since their last World Series title. Four times, they've lost in the division series. Two other times, they made it to the NL championship series before succumbing.

"We get it — we haven't won a World Series in a long time," Kershaw said. "We understand the history and we respect it. But we're trying to make some of our own right now."

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