Lawrie rejoices over Canada's gold-medal win
DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP)
Brett Lawrie can claim bragging rights inside the Blue Jays clubhouse.
The Toronto third-baseman celebrated Team Canada's 3-0 win against Sweden on Sunday to capture its second straight Olympic gold medal in men's hockey.
Lawrie, who is the lone Canadian-born player on the Blue Jays' roster, said he couldn't watch the entire game because of spring training commitments. But the native of Langley, British Columbia, made sure he received score updates.
''It was exciting,'' Lawrie said. ''I probably would have been a little more excited if I watched the full game. But every time I'd peek back (at the television) and we just kept going up another goal, another goal. It's very positive and, obviously, Canada is very pumped up about it, too.''
While Lawrie didn't grow up an avid fan of hockey, he has always enjoyed and respected the sport and cheered for his home country.
He tried to keep his trash-talk to a minimum around the clubhouse during the Olympics, in fear of being laughed at by teammates if Canada didn't prevail.
''I guess everybody was on point a little bit, just kind of nervous, because nobody knew,'' Lawrie said. ''If Canada loses, obviously they're going to slam me and if America loses, I'm going to slam them.''
But after the United States was defeated by Canada 1-0 on Friday and then ousted from medal contention in a 5-0 loss to Finland on Saturday, Lawrie didn't hold back.
''They're just going to have to suck this one up,'' he said of his teammates that were rooting for the United States to win. ''They knew. They knew Canada was going to win it the whole time. So, they're just going to have to wear this one.
''When you're the underdog you've got to kind of keep quiet, because there's too many of them,'' Lawrie added. ''I just waited for my turn and I got my opportunity.''
Japanese-born infielder Munenori Kawasaki also was rooting for Canada to win it all.
''I said Canada would win,'' Kawasaki said. ''3-0? That's strong, very strong. Very good game. Congratulations, Canada. Congratulations.''
Lawrie said it's good to see the support that people have for all Olympic sports and is eager to see what Canada will do at Rio de Janeiro in August 2016.
''We crushed the Winter Olympics, so, we're very good in the winter and we'll have to see what we can do when the summer ones come around,'' Lawrie said. ''Hats off to all of Canada for their great work in Sochi and great support in Canada as well. It's awesome.''
NOTES: RHP Esmil Rogers will leave the team after Monday's full-squad workout and fly to Denver for the birth of his first child. He is expected to return on Wednesday. . Manager John Gibbons said the Blue Jays will play a four-inning scrimmage on Tuesday in preparation for the exhibition opener against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday. . RF Moises Sierra took reps at first base during infield drills on Sunday. Gibbons said he's not opposed to giving Sierra a chance to play in the infield, but does not plan on it being a long-term move. ''We wanted to look at it a little bit and see if he's on the team, if he got in a pinch, could he do it,'' Gibbons said. ''I wouldn't anticipate seeing a whole lot of it. We're just looking at it and he doesn't look too bad out there, but it's just practice.''