Major League Baseball suspended Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham for three games Saturday after he slapped San Francisco Giants player Joc Pederson on Friday over a dispute stemming from a fantasy football league they competed in over a year ago.
The MLB said in a statement Pham was suspended for “inappropriate conduct” and was fined an undisclosed amount.
The suspension was retroactive to Friday, when Pham agreed to sit out of the game following the slap, and goes until Sunday.
Pham told reporters he would accept the suspension and fine, but he said he felt Pederson had “f–ked with my money,” referring to the fantasy football dispute, and that he “had to address” comments Pederson made about the San Diego Padres, Pham’s former team.
Pederson said Pham walked up to him on the field Friday while the Giants were warming up, adding the slap was a surprise and “there was no real argument.”
Before the slap, Pederson said Pham “kind of came up and said, ‘You remember from last year?’ and I said, ‘Fantasy football?’”
Pederson told reporters he had placed a player on injured reserve when they were out, and replaced him with a free agent player last year. Someone in the fantasy football group accused Pederson of cheating, but Pederson said he looked up the rules that said when a player is listed as out, you can put them on the injured reserve list, and sent a screenshot to the group. Pham also had a different player on injured reserve, and Pederson said he told Pham, “You literally have the same thing on your team, on your bench.” Pederson said he found out Pham was playing in two fantasy leagues, and in one of them the player was on injured reserve and in one of them, he wasn’t, so there may have been some confusion. “That was basically all of it, there’s not much more to it,” Pederson said.
Reds’ Pham suspended for 3 games for slapping Pederson (Associated Press)