The Cubs-Cardinals rivalry isn't quite new school vs. old school, but it is "fun" vs. "boring," in a sense.
The Cubs are a bunch of kids who hold dance parties in the clubhouse after each win and are all about having fun (which can be easy to do with Joe Maddon as a manager).
The Cardinals are in the postseason almost every year as one of baseball's consistently elite franchises. They handle the playoffs in a professional - almost boring - manner and they don't plan on changing that in advance of Game 3 of the National League Division Series against Jake Arrieta and the Cubs Monday evening for the first playoff game at Wrigley Field in seven years.
"[We'll approach this] the same boring way we've been doing it all year," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said before his team's workout Sunday afternoon. "Guys who have been here before and been able to play in different settings - maybe not necessarily at Wrigley - but they've been in a lot of other cities where it's a lot of excitement.
"Part of it is the experience of understanding as much as it's built up that we go play the game. We don't deny this stuff is special. We don't deny that not everybody gets to play on this stage, so don't be afraid to look around and take advantage of the atmosphere and take advantage of how unique this is.
"But when it comes down to it, it's baseball and our best chance to be successful isn't to try and be superhuman. It's to go out and do exactly what we've been doing all season long. We have enough voices that are kind of repeating that same story to how they've been successful in the postseason that I think the younger players buy in."
The Cardinals understand the culture of winning. Apart from a few curtain calls in front of their home fans at Busch Stadium after big home runs during the first two games of the NLDS, this team isn't very flashy and doesn't spend a lot of time celebrating on the field.
"Obviously, boring meaning we're professional about it," Cardinals reliever Carlos Villanueva said. "We do what we do. A lot of people might not like it. Other people might want to see it more exciting, more showmanship.
"But we just don't operate that way. We're confident in our abilities. There are guys out there that are fiery and yell and roar every time they get somebody out or get a hit. I was told, 'just act like you've done it before.' Or, 'don't act surprised when you get a big out.'
"Get your guy out, do your job, high five and cheer on the next guy. I think this is a philosophy that's instilled in these guys from the time they sign until the time they get here [in the big leagues]. And you can't argue. It works."
Villanueva spent the last two seasons on fifth-place Cubs teams before signing with the Cardinals as a free agent over the winter.
You probably won't see him fist-pumping or beating his chest out on the mound.
"I can't act surprised when I get the job done on what I'm needed to do," Villanueva said. "That's just the approach we take. Your job is to go out and stop the game right there and after you're done, you can celebrate at home.
"On the field, we're business. The difference for us is taking care of what we need to do to win a ring. Anything else falls short of our goal."
The Cubs go about things in almost the opposite way. Whether it's Pedro Strop letting out a roar and pounding his chest after a big out or Anthony Rizzo rubbing his helmet after a big hit or the entire team clapping along to Starlin Castro's uber-catchy walk-up song, the young Cubs enjoy having fun on the field as much as they do in the clubhouse after victories.
A lot of that is on Joe Maddon, a manager who marches to the beat of his own drum, lets players just be themselves and drops Michael Scott quotes from "The Office" or describes his Steak 'n Shake order in press conferences.
"Joe has been a huge part of [the loose, fun-loving persona of the team]," Jake Arrieta said. "We've bought in to the way he likes to structure his coaching style, how he likes to manage the season and he lets the players dictate kind of how things run.
"He allows us to hold each other accountable, and I think we've thrived in this environment."
Maddon is as quirky as big-league managers come, his big personality creating the perfect distraction for the Chicago media away from the young players who have enough pressure as an inexperienced group getting used to life in the majors.
After back-to-back bold calls on squeeze bunts to help jumpstart the Cubs offense in Game 2 of the National League Division Series, Maddon talked a lot about how he's been keeping things light since spring training, where he made the team work on fundamentals over and over and over again.
While the Cardinals spent almost two hours on the field working out and taking batting practice Sunday, Maddon kept the Cubs' workout to less than an hour and instead devoted time for his team to get breakfast on Wrigley Field and watch NFL action on the big video board in left field.
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"Part of it is the camaraderie component, the bringing the group together and having them relax and just being normal human beings," Maddon said. "I just think that sometimes, we overreact to our game and our status in the world. It's just a baseball game. It's a game.
"We're trying to win the World Series. We're trying to be the best. But at the end of the day, it is a game, and I want our guys to come out here and be themselves, be normal.
"I think if we do that, they're going to play the better game of baseball. That's where I'm coming from."