Tommy Pham Suspended 3 Games for Slapping Joc Pederson over Fantasy Football Spat

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 28, 2022

Cincinnati Reds' Tommy Pham runs the bases during a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Cincinnati, Monday, May 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
AP Photo/Paul Vernon

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham said he received a three-game suspension for slapping the San Francisco Giants' Joc Pederson during a dispute about fantasy football before Friday's game.

Pham told reporters Saturday that Pederson made "disrespectful" comments about the San Diego Padres, the Reds slugger's former team, in addition to their fantasy football issues, which he alleged came down to Pederson "messing with my money."

"I'm a big dog in Vegas," Pham said. "I'm a high roller at many casinos."

Pederson provided a detailed version of the events from his perspective after Friday's contest, a 5-1 Reds victory. He explained the pair were in disagreement about how he handled the use of injured reserve in their fantasy league:

SF Giants on NBCS @NBCSGiants

Joc shares details of what happened in his fantasy football league that started his altercation with Tommy Pham today <a href="https://t.co/d9NBTwPVoG">pic.twitter.com/d9NBTwPVoG</a>

Earlier in the day, players from both teams had to intervene when things got heated between the outfielders during batting practice:

Chad McCormack @mccormack_chad

BREAKING: 96.3/92.5 The Big Jab has obtained exclusive rights to a never before seen video of Tommy Pham slapping Joc Pederson (via Chad McCormack’s sources) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JocPederson?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JocPederson</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pham?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Pham</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/tommypham?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#tommypham</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Joc?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Joc</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MorningJab?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MorningJab</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MannixBrothers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MannixBrothers</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ThePMJab?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ThePMJab</a> <a href="https://t.co/0oXBwDDRdH">pic.twitter.com/0oXBwDDRdH</a>

If Pederson's version of events is true—one of his players was ruled out before the start of the game and he then placed them on IR in an ESPN league—he's in the right, unless the league made a special rule about those instances prior to the season.

ESPN allows fantasy managers to utilize IR for any player who's ruled out in a given week, even if it's only a one-week injury.

Pham didn't say how much money he lost in the fantasy league, but MLB confirmed he'll pay an "undisclosed fine" for inappropriate conduct in addition to the suspension.

He sat out Friday's matchup while the situation was under review, so he'll be required to sit out the remainder of the teams' three-game series.

He'll be eligible to return Tuesday when Cincinnati visits Fenway Park for a two-game set.

Pederson played Friday, going 1-for-3 with an RBI, and didn't face discipline from MLB.