Pedroia and Quinn had never met before last November. Then came the moment that opened eyes at the Athletes Performance Institute in Tempe, Ariz., and started a friendship.
“We were playing ping-pong and he kind of walked by me,” Pedroia said. “So I was kind of yelling at him, ‘I’ll kick your (butt)!’ Then we started playing and I was hitting balls off his forehead and stuff. It was so funny.”
It also left a lasting impression on two of Pedroia’s workout partners at API, Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons of the Orioles.
“That caught us all off guard,” said Roberts of Pedroia’s initial run-in with Quinn. “Dustin asked him if he wanted to play and Quinn said, ‘I can’t right now.’ Dustin says, ‘Yeah, I didn’t think so. I’ll put this ping-pong ball right upside your head.’ And he didn’t even know him. . . . We had a good group, a lot of fun.”
Said Gibbons: “He doesn’t know Brady Quinn at all and this guy is 6-5, 250 (pounds) and you have a guy Pedroia’s size yelling at him during ping-pong, saying, ‘You want a piece of me meat?’ It became a really good friendship.”
I'm sorry...we could all go to a sweat lodge in isolation for two weeks with an unlimited supply of mind and mood-altering substances as well as copies of Caddyshack, Major League, Bull Durham and Slapshot to help us brainstorm, and we would never...ever...IBW that little scenario. Ever.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to spend the rest of the day cackling over what Brady Quinn's face must have looked like when Pedroia dinked a ping-pong ball off his forehead. And also the stellar "mean face" Pedroia must have worn for the occasion.