MLB hits Pham with 3-game ban for fantasy slap

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Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham on Saturday said he agreed to a three-game suspension for slapping San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson in the cheek over a fantasy football dispute prior to Friday’s game.

The suspension began with Friday’s game — after Pham had confronted and smacked Pederson while the Giants warmed up in the outfield. The pair had to be separated.

On Saturday, Pham said the dispute also stemmed from a text sent by Pederson to the fantasy league’s group chat in which Pham says Pederson disrespected his teammates on the San Diego Padres, for whom he played last season.

“I slapped Joc,” Pham told reporters Saturday. “He said some s— I don’t condone. I had to address it.”

On Friday, Pederson said he was accused of cheating for placing a player on injured reserve and replacing him with a free agent in a fantasy football league. Pederson said the player he put on IR had been ruled out for that week, which made it a legal move. He said Pham had executed essentially the same maneuver with his own team.

Pederson said he had no advance notice that Pham might confront him during the series in Cincinnati.

Pham threatened violence to settle an on-field score with San Diego’s Luke Voit in April, challenging the slugger to a fight after Voit injured Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson with a hard, ugly slide into home.

Source: ESPN MLB


Author: Ellen Garcia