A couple of Royals played big roles for baseball’s new world champions.
Team USA beat Puerto Rico 8-0 in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer and pitcher Danny Duffy were key contributors throughout the tournament.
Hosmer batted .385, with three doubles, a home run and five RBIs, while Duffy was 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA. He had eight strikeouts and one walk in eight innings.
It was the first WBC title for Team USA, but both Royals players know a little something about winning. They were on the 2015 World Series championship team and the 2014 AL pennant winners.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
After the game, Hosmer was asked about what made this year’s Team USA different.
“I think what’s so special about this is it’s all fan bases, especially throughout the United States, that come together, no matter what team you like or represent,” Hosmer told reporters. “You come together for the United States. I mean, we had All-Stars, superstars all across our roster, and they’re doing roles they’re not really used to doing, but that’s what it was.
“Every single day everybody comes to the field, staying ready and doing whatever they can to help the team win. When you’re a part of a group like that, a lot of special things tend to happen, and that’s exactly what happened. We brought home gold for the USA, so it was extremely fun to be a part of.”
Duffy was on MLB Network after Wednesday’s game and said the WBC gave him an opportunity to see the game through the eyes of someone in another country.
“This is a different brand of baseball,” Duffy said. “You see it with the Latin American countries and their fans are just phenomenal. I’ve just had such a blast getting to be a part of this for that reason too. I never played winter ball. I never went down south. We were really fortunate to experience this in this atmosphere, because you don’t necessarily experience it in America during the season.”
Duffy also talked about what he will take from the tournament and said he hopes it will help the Royals this season.
“Just the amount of noise and passion and energy that’s in this stadium speaks for itself, but you have to get the job done in every situation here,” Duffy said. “Obviously throughout the season there’s times that you’re going to fail and you’re going to fail here as well, but everything is so much amplified here. But as I’ve said, I’ve learned so much. I’ve been saying it the last three days. I’ve learned so much. I’m going to take so much back to the clubhouse, to the team, when we get back to Kansas City.”
Here is Duffy’s interview on MLB Network: