I called jbox and jonny dub on Saturday to tell them the news about running into some of the Astros players during a visit to Chicago. First thing jbox says is "dude, put this in the blog." Fine.
My visit wasn't planned around the WS, just by chance that we're there for the first WS in Chicago in 46 years. I will tell you that this predominantly Cubs town has turned into Sox nation overnight. I've spent plenty of time in the Windy City, sure most of it north of the loop, but never have I seen more Sox gear on the North Side. I'm guessing there are a ton of fair-weather fans or they were too embarrassed to wear Sox gear in a Cubs part of town. We were at Giordanos (famous Chicago pizza restaurant) on Rush St watching game 1 and when the Sox would score there was virtually no reaction from those watching. Maybe it was all tourists, but it was real weird.
Basically, everyone had the gear and the city was showing the black & white colors, but I didn't get the feeling that people we're psyched about the Sox being in the series. There is this debate in Chicago that if the Sox win, they'll be the only team in Chicago that people root for. I say if the Sox win, Cubs fans will still hate the Sox.
So Friday night, we're at the Westin on Michigan Ave ( which by the way is where Daryl Kile from the Cardinals died in his sleep ) and the lobby is insane with people and security. As I'm checking in I look over my shoulder and see Andy Pettitte. He looks frustrated since there's only one person checking everyone in and says "can someone get me a room key here?" I asked for his autograph and said good luck in the series. He said nothing.
I look over and see Chris Burke in line so I go to grab a pen from concierge and on my way literally bump into Jeff Bagwell. It might have been his bad shoulder too. I go up to Burke and ask him for his autograph. They guy looked real surprised that I recognized him and he started signing without hesitation. I asked him if he knows Brooks Conrad (Dex's brother-in-law) from the Astros AAA team and he said "yeah, I know Brooks, good guy and he's doing well down there." I told him thanks and said good luck in the series. He was very appreciative and friendly. Good guy.
I'm heading into the elevator to go up to the room and it's just me, Bagwell, and some dude. I overhear Bagwell telling the guy that his shoulder is hurting him and he's not sure if he can DH. Other dude gets off on his floor and it's just me and Bagwell in the elevator together. I ask him for his autograph and wish him luck in the series. He says thanks, but looks real tired. That guy looks just like Chuck Norris, and he's shorter than I imagined.
I tell my wife about the Astros being at our hotel and we head back in the elevator. The elevator stops and my wife says, "who is that hot guy?" Sure enough, it's Brad Asmus. I tell her it's Asmus and he looks up then the doors close. I look over and my wife is faint.
On Saturday we see some of the other players walking in and out of the lobby and it's still weird to think that they're staying at this hotel. It's nice, but not Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton nice. We get back around 4pm and their team bus is just leaving for Comiskey. We get to the elevator and out walk Pettitte again and then Burke. He stars running toward the bus. I think they were waiting on Burke... rookie.