A big thanks to my friend Bill Martin who tweeted this article on Culture and it's role with his beloved St. Louis Cardinals. It's a great column written by Mike Bauman of Cardinals.com and you can read it here in it's entirety. Here are some great points that I took from the article:
"I think a lot of it has to do with experience and having some guys who have been there before," manager Mike Matheny said. "But there are other teams that have been through it and know what it takes. It all comes back to leadership -- and I'm talking about our veteran players, who have been very consistent in how they prepare and go about the games. Then, it's an easy model for the younger players to follow."
The Cardinals have leaders of unquestioned stature, not only within the clubhouse but within the entire sport. Catcher Yadier Molina is an obvious example. Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright would be another. He returned to the top of his form with a complete game on Sunday for his 17th victory.
On other teams, you may hear talk about taking their play up a level or two in September. That's not the Cardinals' approach. Their idea is that a club should have been at its competitive best since the day the season started, and for every day of the season that followed. If that level is actually attained, there is no need for a late-season adjustment.
"I'm thinking of other teams I've been on that have been in postseason contention and it seemed like there was this message: 'We've got to do something bigger, better,' down the stretch -- instead of staying the course," Matheny said. "I think when a bunch of young players hear that, I don't think they turn up their level. I think they put more on themselves -- and I think that's counterproductive."