Joc Pederson amazingly explains Tommy Pham’s bizarre punch on fantasy football

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham punched Giants hitter Joc Pederson in the face for fantasy football.

It really happened. That’s a fact.

During batting practice prior to the Giants’ 5-1 loss to the Reds, Pham and Pederson reportedly engaged in an altercation that involved physical contact and the reasons Cincinnati got Pham off the game just minutes before the first pitch scratched on Friday.

Pederson stayed in the San Francisco lineup and earned the Giants’ only run by being hit by a base-loaded pitch in the eighth inning. It turned out to be Pederson’s second punch to the upper body Friday night. After the game, he confirmed he was punched in the face by Pham over an argument from a fantasy football league both players were in.

For real?

“We were in a fantasy league together,” Pederson told reporters after the game. “I put a player on injured reserve when he was listed as ‘out’ and added another player. And then there was a text message in the group that I was cheating because I was hiding players on my bench.

“Then I looked up the rules and sent a screenshot of the rules, how it says if a player gets banned you are allowed to put them in the IR. That’s all I did.”

49ers running back Jeff Wilson found himself in the middle of the controversy at the Great American Ball Park.

“Coincidentally he had one player, Jeff Wilson, who was out. And he had it in IR. And I said, “You literally have the same thing on your team, on your bench.” I guess he was in two leagues. In one of them [Wilson] was on the IR and not on the other. So maybe that was a mix-up. But in the ESPN league we were there [Wilson] was listed as off. So it feels very similar to how I did it.”

Pederson was surprised by Pham’s slap, especially since the two players hadn’t been in touch since exchanging group text.

“No, there wasn’t really an argument,” Pederson said of the moments before the slap. “He kind of came up to me and said, ‘Remember last year?’ And I was like, ‘Fantasy football?’ And he says, “Yes.”

And then Pham placed his palm on Pederson’s cheek.

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“I didn’t get emotional,” Pederson said. “I don’t think violence is in the answer, I think you can say. … It was an unfortunate situation because of a fantasy football league rule, it wasn’t a rule.”

If Pederson and Pham end up back in the same fantasy league, the Giants outfielder might want to make sure he’s the acting commissioner.

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