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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Braves players reveal how Joc Pederson avoided Tommy Pham in 2021

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

At first, it seemed hard to believe that Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham had been planning to slap Joc Pederson for over a year over a fantasy football grudge. The more we learn, the more we realize how serious Pham has been about it for quite some time.

The latest evidence comes from Atlanta Braves pitchers Josh Tomlin and Tyler Matzek, both of whom played with Pederson in 2021. Matzek revealed that when the Braves played a series in San Diego against Pham’s Padres in late September, Pederson actually avoided going on the field prior to the games so he would not get slapped.

“This was going on all last year,” Matzek admitted in an episode of “The Chris Rose Rotation.” “We would hear about this in our clubhouse before this ever happened. The biggest one was when we went to San Diego, end of the year, and he literally did not leave the clubhouse. Joc did not leave the clubhouse because he knew Tommy Pham was out there and Tommy Pham wanted to slap him and beat him. So he just stayed inside the clubhouse, didn’t take BP for three days, just hit inside the cage, and then would come out to the game.”

Matzek suggested that Pederson had gone out and encountered Pham this season because he assumed the issue had blown over. Pederson was obviously wrong, especially when you consider how determined Pham was to get his revenge.

The Braves did play in San Diego from Sept. 24-26 lsat season. Just imagine if Pham had gotten his chance then. The whole ordeal could have impacted an actual playoff race.

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