Angels star Mike Trout laughs at questions about ‘legendary’ fantasy football league

NEW YORK—Baseball’s best player, and greatest of his generation, Mike Trout faced a bank of TV cameras and a stack of iPhone recorders. Finally, after 12 seasons, nine All-Star games and three MVP titles, a flaw has surfaced in his Hall of Fame resume: He may not be, according to at least one contemporary, football’s most capable fantasy commissioner.

“Would I quit? I don’t know,” Trott said Wednesday afternoon before the Angels played at Yankee Stadium. But every commissioner I know is always booed.”

Trout looked more amusing than shy when questioned about his leadership of Major League Baseball’s most famous fantasy league, the competition at the center of the recent feud between Cincinnati Reds player Tommy Pham and San Francisco Giants player Jock Pederson. Disagreement over injured reserve rules and etiquette for group conversations led to Pham slapping Pedersen before the match on May 27.

In the aftermath of the incident, Pham accepted a three-match suspension. Both men broadcast separate sides of the story. Pederson said Pham accused him of tampering with the rules of the list. Pederson insisted that his maneuver was legal, and Pham himself used it. Pham suggested that Pederson said “disrespectful bullshit” about Pham’s former team, the San Diego Padres. “That’s right, I actually sent a GIF making fun of Padres,” Pederson said in response. “If I hurt anyone’s feelings, I apologize for that.”

Returning from suspension Tuesday, Pham revealed another layer of the story. He explained that part of the blame fell on the feet of the commissioner of the Association. Pham said that man was Michael Nelson Trout.

“The trout have done a terrible job, man,” Pham said Tuesday. “The trout is the worst commissioner in fantasy sports. Because he let a lot of nonsense go on and he could have solved everything.”

The full list of the 12-player league, which required a $10,000 sign-up and included an additional $10,000 fine for whoever ranked last, is unclear. Other contenders include former All-Stars such as Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and Mike Mustakas, the athlete mentioned. Pham said the responsibility to run the league fell to Trout because “nobody wanted to be commissioner. I didn’t want to be the damn commissioner. I had other things to do. He didn’t want to do that. We put it on him.”

The lack of thanks for the job became even more apparent after Pham publicly mentioned trout. On several occasions prior to Wednesday, Trout refused requests from the athlete To discuss rumors of his involvement in the league. (Fame called Trout to apologize for revealing his role, according to a person familiar with the conversation.)

The trout preferred not to talk about the cracks. But the angels had already organized a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. This weekend, the team visited Philadelphia, which is located near Trout’s childhood home in Millville, New Jersey. Several reporters traveled north to ask Trout about homecoming. Trout expressed his delight at playing again at Citizens Bank Park and expressed his delight with the Eagles’ beloved off-season moves. He was less excited when asked about Fam’s comments.

“I’m not talking about fantasy football,” Trout said.

Then, in a shy but gentle manner, he proceeded to talk about fantasy football. Trout indicated that he spoke with both Pham and Pederson. He lifted the slap with chalk to the heightened emotion caused by the excitement of the competition.

“Everyone is competitive,” he said. “Everyone loves fantasy football. Who wouldn’t?”

He added, “Tommy, everyone who was involved in that, is so passionate about fantasy football. So many people put their hearts into it. I do that too. I lost that league.”

Trout was less forthcoming about the details of the argument that Pham and Pederson had fought. The initial charge from Pham was that Pedersen illegally stashed someone from the injured reserve and picked up an extra player. Pederson responded that Pham was doing the exact same thing with Jeff Wilson Jr. of the San Francisco 49ers, and on Tuesday pointed out a difference between what’s allowed in ESPN’s fantasy football app and the league’s own governing rules.

The commissioner refused to adjudicate the case. Did Pederson, as Pham suggested, break the rules?

“I don’t answer them,” Trout said.

Was Trout surprised that this story has now entered its sixth day in the news cycle?

“I think you guys are pulling it forward,” Trout said.

Can Trout admit the welcoming nature of the situation? Pham had just gotten a suspension, worth three games cut from his $7.5 million salary, due to fantasy football.

“I don’t comment on that,” Trout said.

After a while, a spokesperson for the Angels asked reporters to change the subject. Trout strongly agreed to this suggestion. He was eager to proceed, to a game against the Yankees, for the weekend in Philadelphia, for anything other than more questions about his role in the sport’s most ridiculous story of 2022.

“It was in the past,” Trout said. “You guys pull it off. But it’s a legendary fantasy football league, that’s for sure.”

(Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *