MLB investigating on-field brawl between Reds’ Tommy Pham and Giants’ Joc Pederson over fantasy football dispute

Ahead of Friday night’s game in Cincinnati, reports surfaced of an on-field altercation between Giants outfielder Joc Pederson and Reds outfielder Tommy Pham. Pederson himself later confirmed the reports.

Now, beefs between teams and/or individual players are not uncommon in baseball. We know it. The Pham-Pederson brawl seems new, however. Apparently Pham slapped Pederson and the problem is in a fantasy football league.

Yes, the Reds and Giants beat The Athletic writers report that the issue between Pham and Pederson came about in a fantasy football league that features multiple players from many different MLB teams. It looks like Pham was angry enough to slap Pederson.

Indeed, Pederson himself explained the incident and, consistent with earlier reports, he alleges that Pham not only slapped him, but also did so over, yes, a dispute with Fantasy Football. Here is an overview of Pederson’s remarks:

The Reds removed Pham from the roster on Friday and MLB is investigating the matter, so a suspension may follow.

In less serious matters, we have to look at the Fantasy Football component here. There was the extra week on the schedule this season, so most leagues were able to extend their regular season by one game and that made the playoffs a little deeper in the schedule than usual. Still, no one is expected to play meaningful Fantasy Football in the final week of the NFL regular season yet. Everyone knows that. This means that the Fantasy Super Bowls should have been played in week 17, which was Sunday January 2 and Monday January 3.

Even though Pederson did something to infuriate Pham during the Super Bowl, we’re talking about holding onto those negative feelings — to the point where a physical confrontation occurred — for nearly 20 weeks. Twenty!

Now, as Pederson explained above, the dispute from his point of view stemmed from waiver/IR activity – nefarious waiver activity according to Pham, but standard rule-compliant behavior according to Pederson. (That’s why you should only play with your most trusted friends.) Of course, there are two sides to every story, and so far, we only have one. Maybe there’s a possibility that it’s actually more money, like maybe Pham made money through the league or side bets and Pederson never paid? In this case, the anger – but obviously not the slap – is perfectly defensible.

Or was it just foul language? If so, Pham needs to relax.

Either way, it seems like a story to follow. There is the serious front, where it is possible that Pham will be disciplined by the league. It certainly matters. Considering the Reds have the worst record in baseball by a pretty decent margin, however, I’m going to need a full Fantasy Football crime investigation.

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