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#pounditThursday, July 7, 2022

Joc Pederson reveals what his fantasy football dispute with Tommy Pham was

Joc Pederson in a batting helmet

May 24, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Joc Pederson (23) watches his two-run home run against the New York Mets during the third inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

It was an eventful Friday evening in Cincinnati as the San Francisco Giants battled the Reds. But long before players took the field, fireworks erupted when Giants outfielder Joc Pederson and Reds outfielder Tommy Pham engaged in a physical pregame altercation.

Pham approached Pederson during player warmups and after a brief exchange, slapped Pederson across the face.

After the game, Pederson explained the situation. And as it turns out, the entire event was spurred on by a fantasy football disagreement from more than a year ago.

“Unfortunate situation,” Pederson told reporters. “Kind of stemmed from a fantasy football league we both were in last year. I put a player on the injured reserve when they were listed as out and then added another player. And then there was a text message in the group [chat] saying that I was cheating because I was stashing players on my bench.

“Then I looked up the rules and sent a screenshot of the rules, how it says that when a player is ruled out, you’re allowed to put them on the IR. That’s all I was doing. It just so happened that he had a player, Jeff Wilson, who was out. He had him on the IR. I said, ‘You literally have the same thing on your team, on your bench.’ … So it feels very similar to what I did. And that was basically all of it. There’s not much more to it.”

That’s really wild when you think about it. Pham held a grudge over a fantasy football transaction for more than a year and Will Smithed another man over it.

Following the slap, the Giants requested Pham sit out the game. And after a two-hour rain delay, the Reds eventually conceded.

Now Major League Baseball is investigating.

“MLB is investigating the incident that occurred before the game involving Mr. Pham,” an MLB spokesman said. “Mr. Pham agreed to not play this evening, pending the results of MLB’s investigation.”

Pham’s aggression isn’t exactly new, either. Earlier this season, he challenged San Diego Padres first baseman Luke Voit to a fight after Voit collided with Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson, resulting in a concussion.

Ironically, Pham’s slap of Pederson wasn’t even the most bizarre moment of the night for the Giants and Reds.

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