FORT MYERS, Fla. — The ritual of rookie dress-up day has been outlawed. No longer are teams able to engage in activities “requiring, coercing or encouraging players” to dress up as women or in costume.
But in the long days of spring training, major league players still find the means to blow off steam.
The Boston Red Sox recently invested in a pingpong table for their clubhouse in Fort Myers. It’s been a big hit, according to MassLive.com.
The table, purchased by Dustin Pedroia, has sparked rounds of intense competition, including brutal punishments for the losers.
According to MassLive.com’s Jen McCaffrey, “the defeated player had to stand with his back to the end of the table while the winner slapped a high-speed pingpong ball at his bare back.”
McCaffrey said the punishment elicited enthusiastic squeals from those in the clubhouse.
Though pingpong tables are prevalent in most major league clubhouses, namely the Dodgers’ Camelback Ranch complex, this form of punishment seems to be unique to Boston’s camp.
With spring training in full swing, it may soon be difficult to decipher whether red welts on player’s backs are the result of a mere cupping session or a tough loss at the pingpong table.