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March 22, 2017

Brandon Crawford

Eric Hosmer

Los Angeles, California

USA - 8, Puerto Rico - 0

Q. A lot of players from teams like Japan, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, they were having big plans for this tournament, trying to win it. Was it like that for you since the beginning, or did you just keep growing that feeling during the tournament?
BRANDON CRAWFORD: I think we had big plans too. We put together a pretty good team. Joe Torre and everybody that went into that did a good job of putting the team together, and we put together a pretty good team. So I think we had pretty big plans coming into this too.

For me, it was fun and a great experience just to be on this team and around all these guys. They're All-Stars, our Gold Glovers, our Silver Sluggers, all that on this team. Just to experience that and get to know these guys and kind of pick their brains and compete with them and kind of see how each player ticks, that was a lot of fun for me just to be a part of it. But the winning makes it even better. It was a lot of fun.

Q. How do you compare winning the World Series and winning the World Baseball Classic?
BRANDON CRAWFORD: They're different. They're definitely different. I mean, this was definitely a lot of fun. Like I said, just playing with a bunch of All-Stars on that team and getting to know each other. But this was like a three-week thing.

Winning the World Series, you're with your teammates for six, seven months at least. I mean, you're going through the grind of a 162-game season, through the ups and downs with your teammates. It's a little bit different in the end, I think. You're in it for the long haul. This was a few weeks, and it was awesome and it's an experience that I'll never forget, for sure. But it's definitely different.

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Eric Hosmer.

Q. America's pastime is called baseball, yet until this year the U.S. had never even been in the World Baseball Classic final. You now win it. Was there a bit in the back of your mind that this is something that America should win?
BRANDON CRAWFORD: I mean, it was from the beginning definitely something we wanted to win. I think for me personally, it doesn't matter what it is, if it's playing basketball in the backyard or video games or the WBC, I want to win.

So I think we had a group of guys like that in this clubhouse that wanted to win. I think it makes it even a little bit more special that America hadn't done it before. But, I mean, I don't think that was something we were all thinking about. We just wanted to win every game.

ERIC HOSMER: Yeah, like Brandon said, anything you do, we're competitors, and we want to win. So it is special to know that we're the first team for USA to win the World Baseball Classic. We know this is going to go on for a long, long time. So to know that we're the first team for USA to bring home the gold is a special feeling.

I just think it was a good group. It was a good group of guys that had a lot of playoff experience, have been in situations like this, and really embraced the situation. It's fun. It's fun to put yourself in this kind of situation in March or whatever it is.

As baseball players, you can't get too hyped. You have to learn how to control your bodies in this type of atmosphere. So it really worked out well, and I think we're all just glad to be a part of it.

Q. Not only do you beat Puerto Rico, but you shut them out. What did it take to do that? That seems like a huge feat, a grand accomplishment.
BRANDON CRAWFORD: Great pitching. Stroman had it from the very first inning. He was working that sinker, keeping them off balance with his off-speed stuff and then kind of mixing up his delivery where they really couldn't time any pitch that he had going, and he was locating.

So as an infielder, that's a lot of fun to play behind, especially with that sinker. He's getting a bunch of ground balls for us. He was working at a good pace. I mean, that was it. We didn't have to work too hard on defense today. I mean, then our bullpen coming in and shutting them out the last few innings, that was great too.

Q. You were part -- both of you are part of other US teams. What is different from the other teams than this one?
ERIC HOSMER: Well, the tournament a couple years ago there wasn't really much different. Everybody tried to come in and tried to do what they can to win.

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. 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.

BRANDON CRAWFORD: For me, I played on the US team in college, so that made it a little different. But I was playing with a lot of great players. I mean, that team has a lot of current Big Leaguers on that roster, and we took home the gold too. So that's a similarity, I guess. That was a lot of fun.

But that summer I think we were really the team to beat. Everybody was kind of looking at us as like we were the top dog. Everybody wanted to beat us. Where here I don't want to say we were overlooked, but people talked about the Dominican, Puerto Rico, Japan a lot. They went undefeated for the first couple of series, and they got a lot of the hype. And I think we kind of slid under the radar a little bit here. We played good baseball and brought home the gold.

Q. It's four years until you get a chance to defend your title, but that's an awful lot of time for developments within the Team USA program. It's a lot of time for both of you guys who will still be in the prime of your career to get guys excited about it. What are your thoughts looking forward over the next four years?
BRANDON CRAWFORD: I hope I'm in my prime. I'll be 34. I'll be old by then (laughing). I mean, that's a lot of time. There's a lot of time in between that. I'm sure we'll think about it when that fourth year ends of our regular season, and we'll go out, and me personally, I'm looking for a World Series win now. We've gotten a little practice here with a playoff-type atmosphere, and now I'm looking to go back to Giants camp and get ready to hopefully be playing in October.

ERIC HOSMER: Like Brandon said, we have 162 games we've got to go back and get ready for. I think that's what as players you go home and every off-season you get ready for the up-and-coming season.

This off-season was different. You had to get ready a little bit earlier because of the World Baseball Classic. But I think that's what's so special about the group we have here. Every guy that was on the team really wanted to be a part of this. And not sacrifice, but started their off-season program a little earlier, started doing things maybe hitting-wise or playing as many innings as we did in Spring Training early enough to get ready for this. So that's something when the time comes, whenever that year hits, I think we'll know a little bit better about it when that comes.

Q. Will you miss this team, your teammates?
ERIC HOSMER: Well, we see each other so much competing against each other throughout the league. Baseball's really a fraternity. I think we'll never forget these times we had. To be the first team to represent USA to bring home the gold is something we're all going to take with us and something we'll never forget.

So I think we'll all remember the fun times and the experiences we had during this, but that's the crazy part about this. As soon as we go back and we play for our respective teams, we'll just get back into the season mode and do what we can to put our organizations in the playoffs and hopefully in the World Series.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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