We just had our workout at Wrigley Field. It was cloudy and cool and the place was empty and I can imagine what it’s going to be like tomorrow when the playoffs start. We flew into Chicago yesterday and I had a four-hour flight to think about what this team has done and what we’ve gone through to get to this point. You could just sense from the way the guys were acting on the plane that this wasn’t just another trip.
Last night I had a steak at Hugo’s on State Street with some friends and when I got back to the hotel the Twins were just rolling in for their playoff game with the White Sox and I ran into a couple of their players that I know, Nick Punto and Delmon Young. I got up to my room and around midnight I got a text from Dustin Pedroia. We went to Arizona State together. He had just gotten to Anaheim for Boston’s series there. He sends me a message, ‘This is where champions are made — Let’s go.’ Dustin’s always got corny sayings, but they’re at the right time. He put this in perspective when he used the word, champion. That’s what this is all about. We’re one of eight teams left and one of us will be champion.
Today I walked the Michigan Avenue Magnificent Mile, picked up some gifts for myself and my family and enjoyed a really nice Chicago day, without the tension and anxiety of a game day. Just took a breather. Tomorrow I’ll just try to go through my normal routine, a little breakfast, lunch before going to the park, then gear up for the atmosphere and excitement. I’m sure it will be building as the day goes on.