Before Friday night’s game in Cincinnati, reports surfaced that there was an altercation on the field between Giants outfielder Joc Pederson and Reds outfielder Tommy Pham.
Well, beefs between teams and/or individual players are not uncommon in baseball. We know that. However, the Pham Pederson thing appears to be new.
Apparently Pham Pederson hit and the problem stems from a fantasy football league.
Yes, both the Reds and Giants are hitting The Athletic writers report that the issue between Pham and Pederson arose in a fantasy football league that includes multiple players from many different MLB teams. It seems Pham was angry enough to punch Pederson.
In serious matters, the Reds removed Pham from the lineup Friday and MLB is investigating the matter, allowing for a suspension.
In less serious matters, we must examine the Fantasy Football component here. This season added the extra week to the schedule, allowing most fantasy leagues to add a game to their regular season, and that pushed the playoffs a little deeper into the calendar than usual. Still, no one should be playing meaningful fantasy football in the final week of the NFL regular season. Everyone knows that. That means the Fantasy Super Bowls should have been played in week 17, which is Sunday, January 2nd and Monday, January 3rd.
Even if Pederson did something to infuriate Pham during the Super Bowl, we’re talking about holding on to those negative feelings — to the point of physical confrontation — for nearly 20 weeks. Twenty!
Now, chances are there were issues due to trades or possibly nefarious abandon wire activity (that’s why you should only play with your most trusted friends). There might even have been collusion (Joc and another owner just traded all their stallions to one team?), which to be honest is just plain unforgivable.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that it’s actually money, since maybe Pham won money via the league or side bets and Pederson never paid? In this case, the anger—but obviously not the slap—is entirely reasonable.
Or was it just trash talk? If so, Pham needs to loosen up.
Regardless, this seems like a story worth pursuing. There’s the serious front where it’s possible Pham could be disciplined by the league. That is certainly important. However, given that the Reds have by far the worst record in baseball, I need an inside story on fantasy football crime.