BOSTON – As Tommy Pham headed toward the dugout at the conclusion of batting practice on Tuesday, the Reds’ player signed autographs for some fans on the left line at Fenway Park. When he finished, he continued walking toward the bunker. There, a fan shouted “Jock deserved it!”
Fam stopped and signed his autograph for the fan.
Days after Fam slapped Giants player Jock Pederson over a fictional football dispute, the incident – in which the nine-year veteran received a three-game suspension and an undisclosed fine – is still in the minds, even as he is now attracting the game’s best player. Baseball in controversy.
Up to this point, both Pederson and Pham had exchanged their version of the story, and had not conflicted with each other on the basic facts; It is the interpretation of the league rules and the extent of Pederson’s perceived disrespect for Pham that appears to be in dispute. However, Pham felt that his side of the conflict was not fully aired.
“Jock gave half the story, I don’t like it,” Pham said shortly before Tuesday’s game at Fenway Park.
But Pham added that no matter how the situation developed, the fantasy league commissioner could have put an end to it all, early on, and shifted part of the blame to the most senior commissioner in all sports, fantasy or otherwise: Mike Trout.
“The trout did a terrible job, man,” said Pham, with a hint of a smile. “The trout is the worst commissioner in fantasy sports. Because he let a lot of nonsense go on and he could have solved everything.”
Pham seemed somewhat sympathetic to Trout, admitting at least that he didn’t want the job in the first place.
“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. It was kind of our fault, because we made him commissioner,” Pham said.
Trout declined to comment on his tenure as league commissioner for the athlete On Tuesday afternoon, he accepted Pham’s statements about his role.
Part of the reason the incident resonated over the weekend despite often paying little attention to public discourse was the incredibly deep arguments Pederson put forth in defense of his roster moves and his use of the league’s injured roster. According to Pedersen, Pham accused Pedersen of cheating because he was “hiding players on the bench”. Pederson said he looked into the rules the league used and thought he was right, and that Pham was doing the same with a player on his team, 49 players backing off Jeff Wilson Jr. Which sources said featured MLB players from several teams including Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, and secured an initial subscription of $10,000.
Joc shares details of what happened in the fantasy football league that started his fight with Tommy Pham today pic.twitter.com/d9NBTwPVoG
– SF Giants on NBCS (NBCSGiants) May 28, 2022
Pham also said that Pederson said in a text message “some disrespectful bullshit” about his former team, Al Padres. After the final game of the Giants-Reds series, Pedersen showed reporters a GIF he sent to the league text thread mocking Pham’s former team, the Padres.
Pham said on Tuesday that in fact, Pederson sent “a few. There was more than one, and I got screenshots to prove it. He sent more than a few texts or jokes to me or the Padres. This was just one. It was.” There are four or five.” Pham said that several members of the Fantasy League have reached out to him to support him: “They know what’s up,” he said.
He also stuck to his interpretation of the league’s international relations rules.
“We had rules for the IR, you know?” Fam said. “I know the rules of the ESPN application, we have our own individual rules.”
In addition to the jokes that Pham did not appreciate, he also noted that the money involved was a big deal. Not only was there an initial $10,000 sign-up, but the last-placed in the 12-team league had to pay another $10,000. Pham was knocked out of the league mid-season, noting that he was in second place when he left the league.
“I looked at it like he was having sex with my money besides being disrespectful,” Pham said Saturday morning after announcing his three-game suspension.
A former teammate said Pham, who was born in Las Vegas, is serious about his fantasy football. Nor did he appreciate the way Pederson behaved in the league.
“Tommy talked about it so much that I thought Jock was a teammate,” joked the player, who said he enjoyed having Pham as a teammate.
Sometime last year, Pham wrote in the script that the next time he saw Pederson, he would give him a “pimp slap.”
Pham was good at his word. On the left field at Great American Ball Park during the Reds’ batting practice on Friday, he approached Pedersen barefoot.
“I said, ‘I haven’t forgotten that bullshit,'” Pham said. “And I went up to him and slapped him.”
Players immediately run out of their hideouts and boards. One giant pitcher had to be restricted. Pham, who challenged Padres’ Luke Voight to a fight earlier this season after Voight inflicted a concussion on the Reds’ catch, was ready to take on anyone who wanted to fight.
Major League Baseball contacted the Reds almost immediately, sources said. The Giants were also in quick contact with the league office.
San Francisco asked the Reds to withdraw Pham from the squad. The Reds initially disagreed, infuriating Giants officials and those in Major League Baseball’s office, according to multiple sources.
If Pham was absent on Friday, the Reds wanted this match to be part of his final suspension. Major League Baseball did not initially offer this, and ordered the Reds to withdraw Pham from the squad without any guarantees.
The match was originally scheduled to start at 6:40 p.m., but was delayed by more than two hours due to rain. About half an hour before the game eventually kicks off, after a call from the Major League Baseball Players’ Association to Pham, the Reds’ player agreed not to play that night. He was eventually suspended for three games, with Friday’s game included in the total.
The Giants were not aware of Pham’s exit until about 10 minutes before the match started. Each manager initially sent a coach to exchange squad cards, but home board referee Hunter Wendelstedt required both managers to come and exchange cards. Oddly enough, during that exchange, Reds coach David Bale noticed that the Giants had not put left-back Jake McGee on the card, making him ineligible to play in the match; McGee is activated from the injured list before the match. When the Giants called up McGee in eighth, Bale cited McGee’s absence from the squad card that was exchanged before the match, requiring the Giants to call up Jose Alvarez instead as the Reds advanced 3-1. Alvarez gave up two games, and the Reds won 5-1.
The next day, Pham’s suspension was announced and Pham spoke to the media about what had happened.
“Yesterday I slapped your jock,” Pham said in his usual tone of voice. “He did some bullshit that I don’t condone. So I had to handle it.”
Pham spoke for several minutes that morning, explaining his issues with Pederson, and talked about the fantasy football league, expressing his appreciation for the team’s support.
After the trial, Pham went to take some hitting exercises. As he walked out of the club into the batting cage, he walked past Mustakas’ locker and said, “Go and sweep those damned ones!”
The Reds won that day, but blew up a late lead the next day, narrowly losing the chance to sweep without Pham, who have beaten third place in every game they’ve started this season.
Pham initially returned to the squad on Tuesday to claim the Reds’ 2-1 victory over the Red Sox, but felt a tightness in his left calf during early hitting practice. It was eventually scratched. Pham said it was a proactive move to avoid any further wasted time.
Other than that, he said, he feels fine.
“My body is fine. The hand is good,” he said before holding the part that was of great interest.
(Top photo of Fam: Charles LeClaire / USA TODAY)