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October 13, 2015

Eric Hosmer

Kansas City, Kansas - Workout Day

THE MODERATOR: Before we take questions, we're going to let Eric say a couple words.

ERIC HOSMER: Just on behalf of the Kansas City Royals and myself included, we just want to let everybody know that our thoughts and prayers are with the Kansas City Fire Department. Obviously it's very crazy what happened last night, and for me, personally, it hits really close to home, having a father being a firefighter for 29 years. And just remember plenty of times on the phone with him and him having to hang up and go on a run. And as a family, it's always a tough time and you're always a little nervous to wait for a call back from him and see what's going on.

So, I was fortunate to never have a phone call from the fire department saying something crazy happened, so can only imagine what the families are all going through.

But that's a special thing about Kansas City and this team, this city, the bond that we have with our fans and in our community is really something I've never experienced before being from a big city like Miami.

And we just want to just extend our prayers to the family and let everybody know that obviously there's nothing we can do to make this go away or make this disappear, but as a team, as a city we're all going to unite and just try and get through these times with each other. And, like I said, we just want to extend our prayers to them and on behalf of myself and everybody in that locker room.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What fire department did your dad work for?
ERIC HOSMER: City of Miami. It's a pretty rough area in Miami, actually in Liberty City, it's a pretty rough area to work, but he worked there for 29 years.

Q. When did you guys -- did you hear about it when you landed? And my understanding is the fire department sent you guys the shirts and hats?
ERIC HOSMER: I first heard about it this morning, actually, just kind of on my phone, looking through Twitter and reading the whole entire story and stuff.

So, I've met a couple of the firefighters that work here throughout the stadium, and as my dad came and visited he's gotten to know a lot of the guys as well. So it's a tough time, but we're all in it together. And this is was what makes Kansas City such a special place, is everyone rallies up for times like this and really just lean on each other for support.

Q. Given your situation, what does it mean to you to have this platform to be able to extend your thoughts?
ERIC HOSMER: Well, it's something that it hits really close to home for me personally. It's terrible to wake up and see the news, especially around this time of year with a lot of exciting stuff going on in Kansas City.

But that was the reason we all wore the shirts today and we all wore our hats, was just to let everybody know we're behind them a hundred percent and we're going to try and get through this as a city, as community, all together.

Q. How old were you when you realized that your dad was a firefighter and that was a dangerous job?
ERIC HOSMER: Well, that's one thing my parents really did well with my brother and I, was we never realized how dangerous the job actually was until becoming a little older and actually knowing what a firefighter does and what the job consists of.

It's nerve-wracking, because my dad would work 48-hour shifts and be off for 24 hours, and, like I said, whenever you're talking to him on the phone and you can hear the bell ringing from the station, that he's got to go and he has a run, and there's always a little just slight nerves that something crazy can happen.

And, like I said before, fortunately enough for me and my family nothing like that he's ever happened. So just can only imagine what they're going through. I know being in the locker rooms and at the station, at the firehouse, these guys have similar relationships to what we do in the locker room in there, so I know they're going through tough times right now. And, like I said, we just want them to know that we have their backs a hundred percent.

Q. With your living close to this in a lot of ways, through your father's life, how much were you ever around the firehouses yourself and did you have some impulse to get in this line of work if baseball wasn't what happened?
ERIC HOSMER: Yeah, for me personally, if I didn't become a baseball player, that was the career I was going to pursue. I grew up in a firehouse. My dad worked about 30 minutes from where we lived back home, and my grandparents lived close to where my dad's work area was, so any time we were in the area we would always stop by the station, always go and visit the guys. And just seeing the bond that they have is there's a lot of similarities to the bond we all have in the locker room here.

And just seeing my dad interact with some of the firefighters around here, and it's the same terms that they all use, everyone, they say hello to each other, and before they leave everyone says "stay safe." And it's the common term that the firefighters all get, it's obviously a huge fraternity that -- it's something I remember when the Marlins were battling the Cubs in 2003 I believe in the playoffs, my dad telling me how the city of Miami had a fun bet going on with Chicago's fire department and whoever won the series would send them shirts.

So you know how close the firefighter community around the world is, so just something that me growing up in a firehouse just wanted to reach out and let them know we're behind them.

Q. In the world of sports, the word "hero" gets thrown around a lot. You guys have heroic moments in games and all that. But could you talk about was your dad a hero to you because of what he did, and how much are firefighters heroes maybe in your mind?
ERIC HOSMER: Yeah, just that's funny you say that, because you look at guys throwing a game-winning touchdown or hitting a game-winning home run, and we all want to classify them as heroes. And to some extent, obviously, it's fun to watch sports and how they interact like that, but when you're talking about real-life situations and houses burning down and people willing to sacrifice their lives and put their lives behind somebody else to go in and save them, it just truly defines what true character is. And any time -- for me personally, any time you put your life at risk to try and save somebody else's, that just alone I think explains the type of person that you have to be to be a firefighter.

Q. Your team has been very good in elimination games, except for the last game of the World Series, having won pretty much all of them. Can you speak to just to the resolve of this team, does it help you when you go into these games now having that experience?
ERIC HOSMER: Yeah, I think that one thing this team does very well is every game we play we just go out and play our game and stick to our game no matter what the situation is, no matter what happens early on in the game.

I think we realize that if we just try and focus on playing a full nine innings and continue to stick to our game plan even if we go down to an early lead or have our backs against the walls, we always feel like we're in the game some type of way.

And this team has been tested plenty of times with our back against the wall, with our season on the line. And I think it's a situation -- I don't know I would say if we feel comfortable with it, but we respond well when it comes to that.

Q. Could you just talk about the dugout yesterday, what was going on from Mike coming in and saying he's not ready to go home through five consecutive hits and all the craziness that happened?
ERIC HOSMER: Yeah, well, you look at that 8th inning and you're down four runs and just realizing as a team, as an offense everyone's pretty much got one at-bat left, and I just remember everyone saying: Just make it count. You realize you're down four runs in that situation and not one guy can get us back in the game by himself, so the trust that we all have in each other and just the at-bats that everyone was putting in that 8th inning, you can just tell that that was the mentality was there, was it was just fight, fight, fight. Season is on the line.

And you got guys like Drew Butera coming off the bench, obviously it's been a little while since his last at-bat and you put him in a pressure situation like that off a closer, to see the pitches he's fouling off and laying off, it's just -- it's something that this team has really just has this trust in each other and continues to play with no nerves and just let it all out there and let it all happen. And it worked out for us yesterday.

Q. With the Astros, do they remind you of you guys at all with their youth and their intensity and their energy? They seem to have a lot of Royals in them, in a complimentary type of way.
ERIC HOSMER: Yeah, they definitely do. The way these guys are playing right now, this is a tough team to beat and no lead's safe with these guys right now, the way they're swinging the bats. I think they have that same -- they play with that same mentality that we play with, and it's basically no fear and nothing to lose.

Obviously nobody predicted them to be in the position they're at right now and all the stuff they have overcame throughout the season and all their development and maturity of their young guys coming up and making such a huge impact right away, just says a lot about their veteran guys and their manager that they can create a situation and an environment for these guys to come and get comfortable with.

And it's hard to come up at 21, 22 years old and play a meaningful game, let alone Postseason and still play with that loose, relaxed mentality, and I think they do a really good job of that.

Q. Ned Yost has said that over time he's exerted less control over the players and has let you express more of your individuality that way. Have you seen that? And if you have, what kind of difference has it made?
ERIC HOSMER: Yeah, really, if you just look back at the whole process and just kind of put yourself in Ned's shoes in those first couple years and you have a bunch of young rookies coming up in the Big Leagues with a lot of talent and just certain guys you can lean on for veteran leadership who have only had three or four years in the Big Leagues, it makes the manager's job a lot harder. You have to kind of teach guys on how to go about your day and how to create your routine on how to prepare for a game.

I think over the years he's saw us mature and he saw each and every one of us create a different routine and saw how we prepared for games and just had that trust in us and held us accountable for going out and being ready to play every single day.

Q. Last year you guys had a lot of magical moments in the Postseason, dramatic home runs and such. This year, not so much really until that 8th inning. When that ball skimmed off Correa's glove, what was the reaction in the dugout there? Was that like there's our big break? Or how did you react to that?
ERIC HOSMER: Yeah, that's definitely how I reacted, I was on first base running and really it's the -- when you're talking lucky breaks or good fortunate, I think that's one of the first ones we have had all series.

You look at some of the stuff that's happened and some of the balls in the first couple nights we hit that we lost were right at guys or some guys are just missing pitches and just skying them in the air. Not taking anything away from what Colby has done, but Colby hits the ball yesterday, hits the foul pole and hits the ball the other day and hits the roof up top and just stuff didn't seem like it was really going our way until that ball kind of hitting off of Sipp there, and taking a funky hop to Correa, and we're hoping that's the turning point for us as a team.

It definitely -- if we weren't awake by then, it definitely woke us up. And hopefully we can come out tomorrow and just play our best brand of baseball, and hopefully that takes on to the next round.

THE MODERATOR: All right thanks, Eric. See you tomorrow.

ERIC HOSMER: All right.

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