Two Major League Baseball pitchers from teams on opposite sides of the country were traded for each other near the end of June. What are the odds that the two relievers would run into each other as they traveled to meet up with their new teams?
It sounds like a long shot, but odd things happen.
After leaving Kansas City, where the Angels were at the time of the trade, Frieri had a layover at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Ironically, Grilli also had a layover in Chicago on his way from Pittsburgh to Kansas City.
Even if the two were in the same airport at the exact same time, it still seems unlikely that they would run into each other, given the size of O'Hare Airport.
Here's what Frieri told Singer about the crazy coincidence:
I'm waiting for my next flight, so I just went to a bathroom to wash my face. First thing, I look at this guy washing his hands next to me, and I thought, 'I think I know this guy.'
I looked again, and he's looking at me and goes, 'Really? Well, I guess this is when we get to meet each other.
This is baseball. Life is crazy. That's a huge airport, and we just got traded for each other and that's how we meet
Out of the 100-plus bathrooms at O'Hare Airport, the two players who had just been traded for each other hours earlier just happened to be in the same one at the same time.
Grilli also spoke about the bathroom meeting:
I just said, 'Wish you luck over there, lot of good people, you've got a lot of good friends; make the most of it.' For me, it was difficult leaving good friends. That's always the hard part, and it sounded like that's what it was for him.
Both players were leaving their former teams, so it was probably a tough time for them. Between getting situated in a new city and getting to know new teammates, players may have some trouble getting used to their new team.
Frieri was at least able to give Grilli some information on the Angels.
"Congratulations, you're going to a really good team," Frieri said. "Good teammates."
Grilli and Frieri had never met before, but thanks to a trade, they have now.