Giants slugger Joc Pederson detailed what led to his altercation with Reds outfielder Tommy Pham on Friday, explaining that the spat was indeed the result of a fantasy football disagreement.
Speaking with reporters after San Francisco’s 5–1 loss, Pederson revealed that he had no advance notice that Pham was going to approach him during the series in Cincinnati. As the Giants warmed up in the outfield, Pham confronted Pederson and slapped him in the cheek before the pair was eventually separated.
“It was a surprise,” the Giants outfielder said, per NBC Sports Bay Area. “There was no real argument. He kind of came up and said, like, I don’t know if you remember from last year and I was like fantasy football. He was like, yeah.”
Pederson said that Pham accused him of cheating in a fantasy football league that both MLB players were participating in by placing a player on injured reserve and replacing him with a fantasy football free agent. According to Pederson, the player had been put on IR, which made his move legal. Pham did not agree, despite supposedly executing a similar swap within his own fantasy football team.
“I sent a screenshot of the rules, how it says that if a player’s ruled out, you’re allowed to put him on the IR and that’s all I was doing,” Pederson said. “He literally did the same thing. That was basically all of it.”
After the slap, Pederson said he removed himself from the area to prevent the situation from escalating. He also explained that he has no interest in retaliating later in the series.
“Violence isn’t the answer. It’s over as far as I’m concerned,” Pederson said. “I won’t talk to him. I don’t think he wants to talk to me, I don’t know. It was a weird interaction.”
Pham was scratched from the lineup just before the game began on Friday night. Major League Baseball is investigating the incident, per The Athletic, and Pham agreed not to play pending the results of the league investigation.
The Reds and the Giants will play again on Saturday, but it remains unclear if Pham will be in Cincinnati’s lineup when the game gets underway. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET.
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