MESA, Ariz. -- Ryan Kalish felt nearly as bad as the U.S. women's hockey team after it lost to Canada in the finals of the Winter Olympics on Thursday. Kalish, a non-roster invitee in Cubs camp, trained with some of the U.S. women a year ago.
"They were fun to be around," Kalish said Friday. "These women, they train so hard for their sport and they don't get paid any money. It's all about passion. Obviously, I'm very passionate about baseball and there's big money in it, so it's a lot more appealing [for me]. They're working for every four years.
"They were so ready to go every day, early mornings, trying to push themselves, lifting weights, running, the whole nine," the outfielder said. "And that was only the beginning of their day because they had [hockey] practice later."
Kalish, who was with the Red Sox organization prior to signing with the Cubs in December, worked out with the women at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning near Boston. Boyle is a consultant to the Red Sox and designed a program for the women's hockey team.
"[Boyle] loves hockey, so he did a lot of the training for free out of the kindness of his heart," Kalish said. "It was so cool to be around them. They're working for a medal, for the love of the game. Being around that was awesome for me.
"Their passion was just inspiring," he said.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.