On The Yellow Pad: “That’s something George Kissell started years ago. He literally walked around with a yellow pad of notes and quotes to share with the players. We still use the term today, though our managers aren’t literally teaching off a yellow pad anymore.
“It’s really about teaching and reviewing game situations. Whether something happened in the game last night or might happen in the game today, how should we react? How can we proactively stay one step ahead of the game? It might be, ‘On this batted ball, with this many outs in this inning, you didn’t aggressively go for the extra base. Given the situation, you maybe should have and here’s why.’ It’s a reviewing of game situations.
“During batting practice, when you’re throwing a bullpen, and when you’re taking infield, you’re practicing physical skills. Mental skills, like discussing the strategic implications of plays, is something all of our staff does well. We want our players to be students of the game. When you get to Busch Stadium, you have to be more than physically gifted, you need to be mentally ready.
“We showed that this year. We brought up a ton of young guys and they didn’t perform like young guys. That’s a credit to our player development staff. They focused on these sorts of things. Minor league guys are going to make mistakes. That’s one reason they’re down there, to make mistakes and learn from them. Our job is to help make sure they learn, so they don’t repeat them.”