DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Brett Lawrie has some bragging right in the Blue Jays' clubhouse after Canada took home the gold medal in men's ice hockey at the 2014 Winter Olympics on Sunday morning.
Lawrie is the lone Canadian out of 60 players at Toronto's big league portion of Spring Training. Catcher Mike Nickeas also has ties to Canada but spent most of his life in the United States and was understandably torn between his allegiances this week.
The 24-year-old Lawrie doesn't share the conflict of interest, so he was the only one on the Blue Jays' roster who was able to come away with the last laugh when Canada defeated the United States on Friday and then beat Sweden, 3-0, on Sunday in the gold-medal game.
"I guess everybody was on point a little bit, just kind of nervous, because nobody knew [which country would win]," Lawrie said. "If Canada loses they're going to slam me, and if America loses I'm going to slam them. Obviously, I won."
Lawrie grew up playing baseball and basketball, so there wasn't much time for hockey, but he said he has always respected the sport. There also wasn't much of an opportunity to watch the gold-medal game because he was busy working out and getting treatment prior to another day at the ballpark, but he kept tabs on the score throughout the morning.
Back home in Canada, the country came to a standstill with all eyes glued to the television. Hundreds of miles away in sunny Florida there wasn't quite the same level of anticipation, but the Olympics were always on in the clubhouse as players kept an eye on the results.
"It probably would have been a little bit more exciting if I had watched the full game, but every time I peeked back, we just kept going up another goal," he said. "Very positive, and obviously Canada is pumped up about it too, so it's good."
Shortstop Munenori Kawasaki had a lot of fun joking with reporters this week about the tournament and predicted a 2-1 victory for Canada in the gold-medal game. He got the winning team right but came up with the wrong score and was prepared to eat his words after the result.
"My bad," said the Japanese infielder, whose son was born in Toronto last summer. "My son is a canuck. I said Canada would win. ... Strong, very good game. Congratulations Canada."