Brandon Inge arrived in the Pittsburgh Pirates clubhouse on Thursday on roller blades, wearing a Mario Lemieux jersey, a hockey helmet and big, thick pads on his legs.
No, he didn't wake up with sports amnesia and think he was a hockey player. He decided to dress like one to support the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are currently playing in the NHL Playoffs and hope to, on Friday, close out a best-of-seven series with the Ottawa Senators. The Penguins — led on the ice these days by Sidney Crosby rather than Lemieux, who is the owner — are ahead of the Senators 3-1.
The Pirates beat the Cubs 4-2 on Thursday and had planned to wear Penguins jerseys when they traveled to Milwaukee after the game. Inge, apparently, wanted to take things a bit further.
He explained himself to USA Today:
"Just showing my support," said Inge, a big hockey fan who's never played the game but has two sons who do. "Man, I'm sweating already and all I did was a 40-second shift and had a goal scored on me. I don't know how those guys do it."
Inge swapped his hockey helmet for a catcher's mask and stood in front of a hockey net in the middle of clubhouse as teammate took shots – using sticks stashed in the clubhouse area shared by Inge and second baseman Neil Walker.
The results? "That's why I'm not a goalie," Inge said.
What we want to know is whether prankster teammate A.J. Burnett tried to pull Inge's jersey over his head and land a haymaker.
BLS H/N: Deadspin