The Yankees held their annual team bonding event on Friday. Players wrapped up their workouts early and moved into a pavilion tent next to the practice fields. Aaron Boone and the rest of the coaches constructed a March Madness-style, 64-person ping pong tournament.
The team has held this type of event every year for a while now. It is a good opportunity for returning players to reacquaint with one another and for new players to get to know their new teammates. One of the new guys is Gerrit Cole. “It’s a cool environment for everybody to disarm them a little bit,” the $324 million man said. “We’re not all experts at ping pong, so we can all kind of relate in that sense.”
In the early rounds, multiple matches were occurring simultaneously. Who knows exactly how the seeds were determined, but most of the well-known names were knocked out early. Only four players who are locks to make the Opening Day roster (or are highly likely to) made it to the round of 16 (Mike Ford, Brett Gardner, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Gleyber Torres).
The final four consisted of Kyle Holder, Winston Sawyer, Jonathan Holder, and Dan Otero, with Kyle Holder eventually claiming the title.
I asked Aaron Boone just before 12:30pm who his pick was to win the team Ping Pong championship. He said Kyle Holder. Including the Super Bowl, that makes @AaronBoone 2 for 2 in the prediction biz. Full 64-man bracket is below. pic.twitter.com/STegfedlBw