If you have, say, a proton it has gluon field fluctuations around it. Those flux tubes between the quarks suppresses the gluon field fluctuations and create a true vacuum between them(correct me if ...
A pion is made out of a pair of up and/or down quarks. A neutron or proton is three up or down quarks. So naively I'd expect a pion to be about 2/3 the mass of a nucleon. In fact it's less than 1/6 ...
I am just looking on the TopQuark production via proton antiproton collision and strong interaction. There seem to be three basic possibilities. $q + \bar q \rightarrow Gluon \rightarrow t +\bar t ...