If you missed the *ABSOLUTELY BONKERS* story of the night, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham and San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson got into it before the teams’ game last night, with Pham *SLAPPING* Pederson because of a *FANTASY FOOTBALL-RELATED* disagreement. I cannot believe what I’m typing.
The two were separated quickly by the other players on the field, and the Giants urged the Reds to hold Pham out of the lineup, which they eventually agreed to do. Pham also apparently agreed with the decision, though we have not yet heard his side of this story.
The league is going to investigate now, and as silly as the story is, a physical bit of violence like that is likely to result in some heavy punishment for Pham. You may recall that Pham recently also got into an argument with the Padres about a home plate collision (talking about being willing to fight), and also had the scary incident where he was stabbed. None of that is to say there is a definite relationship here to the current story, but only that Pham has been involved in some wild stuff. We’ll see what the league decides.
In the meantime, you can hear Pederson explain the whole thing – right down to the specific issues Pham took with Pederson’s use of Injured Reserve to “stash” players – and it’s incredible how long he held it together in the explanation before laughing at the absurdity:
Joc shares details of what happened in his fantasy football league that started his altercation with Tommy Pham today pic.twitter.com/d9NBTwPVoG
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) May 28, 2022
“Unfortunate situation. Kind of stemmed from a fantasy football league we both were in last year. I put a player on the injured reserve when they were listed as out and then added another player. And then there was a text message in the group [chat] saying that I was cheating because I was stashing players on my bench.
“Then I looked up the rules and sent a screenshot of the rules, how it says that when a player is ruled out, you’re allowed to put them on the IR. That’s all I was doing. It just so happened that he had a player, Jeff Wilson, who was out. He had him on the IR. I said, ‘You literally have the same thing on your team, on your bench.’ … So it feels very similar to what I did. And that was basically all of it. There’s not much more to it.”
I don’t know what’s more incredible – the fact that it was about fantasy football at all, the fact that it was about a single player being stashed on IR for a single week, or the fact that Pham apparently held onto this for over a year. What Pham just waiting until the two saw each other again for this opportunity?
I guess the lesson is to be careful in your leagues out there. You may have to decide if hanging onto that WR4 is worth the risk of an open-hand slap from a league-mate two years later. (If it’s Darnell Mooney, it’s totally worth it.)
Also, this will almost certainly spur debates about whether using your league’s IR to stash a player who isn’t on the NFL’s IR is a cheap move, or just a clever way to use the league’s rules to your advantage.