About the only thing that never changes with the St. Louis Cardinals are the expectations.

"I like how our fans demand winning," third baseman David Freese said. "That's cool to be part of. They expect it out of you. They're used to it. There's nothing better than winning."

That's why this Spring Training is no different from any other for the Cardinals. Just win, baby.

"I've been in other organizations, and they talk about competing," manager Mike Matheny said. "That's a different message. We honestly say our expectation is to win. That's it. That's why we're here. That's what this organization is about. Does that put a target on you? Probably."

The Cardinals are a reminder that great organizations endure even as players -- and managers -- come and go. That was true last season in the wake of manager Tony La Russa's retirement and first baseman Albert Pujols departing via free agency.

Ace Chris Carpenter and first baseman Lance Berkman were injured for most of the season, but the Cardinals rolled on anyway, making the playoffs for the ninth time in 13 years and getting to Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.

"The way the St. Louis Cardinals have always worked is they do what's in the best interests of putting together a winning team," Freese said. "They did it last year in bringing in Carlos [Beltran] and keeping the train running. You win the World Series, and then get to Game 7 of the NLCS. That's a special two-year run."

And this is where the 2013 season begins. The Cardinals came to Spring Training with very few questions and have enjoyed a relatively headline-free camp.

Shortstop Rafael Furcal will be gone for the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but 24-year-old Pete Kozma has had an outstanding camp.