Cincinnati – The story of the night in the baseball world continued on Saturday, when Tommy Pham addressed why he slapped Jock Pedersen over a fantasy football brawl.
Pham faced Pedersen during batting practice on Friday and slapped his hand in the open across his face, an action Pedersen did not respond to. Following an MLB investigation, the league suspended Pham for three games for his “inappropriate conduct” before Friday’s game, which Pham said was “pressured” by MLB to sit him out.
After Pedersen explained his side of the events that took place on Friday night, Pham told media in Cincinnati before Saturday’s game that Pedersen had “disrespected” Pham’s old team, the San Diego Padres, in a group text message. ” had commented.
“I slapped Joke. He said something [expletive] I do not agree. I had to address it,” Pham said.
Pedersen – who has yet to address the allegation of abusive text messages – felt that a dispute with Pham had arisen over whether football players deserved to be placed on injured reserve, which Pham called “sketchy”. [expletive]Pedersen specifically highlighted the 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. as a football player who was at the center of a controversy among baseball players.
“There was a text message in the group saying I was cheating because I was hiding players on my bench,” Pedersen said on Friday. “I looked at the rules and sent a screenshot of the rules that say when a player is kicked out, you are allowed to put him on the IR. That’s all I was doing.
“It just so happened that he had a player – Jeff Wilson – that was out, and that was him on the IR. I said, that’s really the thing on your team. … It sounds a lot like what I did . That was basically all of it. There isn’t much to it.”
It seems that this elite fantasy football league brings together many baseball players from around the MLB and is a high money league. Pham said Saturday that there was “too much money on the line” and that “he was messing with my money.”
“I’m a big dog in Vegas,” Pham said. “I’m a high roller in many casinos.”
While Pedersen was not predicting the event with certainty, he regretted that it may have played a factor in the Giants’ 5-1 loss to the Reds.
“It was an awkward conversation. Bad luck. You show up here, and it’s hard to lock back. It was a tough day,” Pedersen said Friday. “We’re a little melee, so that just makes things worse, and it’s just an added distraction. You want to eliminate them as much as you can because this game is so hard. Like I said, we lost.
“Looks like what happened was unfortunate, but it’s still a huge distraction for other people here. We didn’t play a good game tonight. If I have anything to do with it, being a distraction, It makes me feel really bad because I’m here to help this team win, not as a distraction.”
Pham said he was not appealing the suspension, quipping, “It looks like if I appeal, it will get worse.” He won’t face the Giants in Cincinnati all this series, but he could be on the field when the Reds travel to San Francisco for a three-match series from June 24-26.