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Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie throws out Chicago White Sox Tyler Greene (not seen) during the eighth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto April 17, 2013. 

Reuters

There were injuries, the infamous helmet-throwing incident and the way that Brett Lawrie would sting the palms of his teammates with exuberant high-fives in the dugout after clubbing a home run.

There were pressures for a young Canadian kid trying to make his way and learn his trade playing in his home country after he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010.

And Lawrie, now a member of the Oakland Athletics following a big five-player trade over the weekend, said he wouldn't have had it any other way.

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"I was a young kid in a really big city, one of the biggest cities in all of North America," the Langley, B.C., native said during a conference call Monday night. "So for me, with all those people on you and whatnot, you just kind of have to grow up fast. I liked it."

Lawrie described the pressure as "baseball pressure," something he said he enjoyed and thrived on.

"That's a different kind of pressure," the 24-year-old said. "That's just fun for me; that makes me play better. It almost makes you a little bit uncomfortable, and I've always done my best when I'm a little bit uncomfortable. I've hit a few skids on the road with some injuries and whatnot, but I wouldn't change a thing."

The infielder was traded to the A's on Friday night along with three minor-league prospects in exchange for Josh Donaldson, who is considered one of the premier third basemen in the league.

And Lawrie will now have to deal with replacing a player in Oakland who was not only considered the A's best, but was also a fan favourite in the Bay Area.

"I can't look at it like that," Lawrie said. "I got to look at it as a new situation for myself and … go out there and be me. I can't fill someone else's shoes, and I'm sure that's not what's expected of me. I'm expected to go out and be Brett Lawrie, and that's what I'm going to go do."

Lawrie made quite a splash in Toronto when he made his MLB debut late in the 2011 season. Over the final two months of that regular season, Lawrie appeared in 43 games and stroked 21 extra-base hits, including nine home runs, in 150 at bats for a .293 batting average. That, along with his gung-ho, take-no-prisoners style of play, suggested real all-star potential.

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His edgy manner also landed him in hot water during an incident in 2012 when he flung a helmet in anger after a called third strike, and it bounced and struck umpire Bill Miller. Lawrie received a four-game suspension.

Even in 2011, the injuries started to surface as he missed the last two weeks of the regular season after he fractured a finger. In 2012, a strained oblique muscle limited him to 125 games at third base, and in 2013, a strained left ribcage injury and then a left ankle sprain held him to only 107 games. This past season, the oblique injury reared its ugly head again, and his season ended after just 70 games. Lawrie said he is hoping that getting off the Rogers Centre's artificial turf will help keep him healthy.

"I really do think that turf has a lot to do with it [the injuries]," he said. "I'm wound tight, my body is wound tight, just being a high-energy guy and being a quick-twitch guy."

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