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MLB Suspends Player for Slap Over Fantasy Football

Tommy Pham struck Joc Pederson before their game began
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2022 4:24 PM CDT
Updated May 28, 2022 4:30 PM CDT
Slap Brings Suspension for Ballplayer
The Giants' Joc Pederson watches his two-run home run leave the field Wednesday in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Tommy Pham's handling of a disagreement over the rules for fantasy football, and tension over the money riding on it, has cost the ballplayer more than $100,000. The Reds outfielder slapped Joc Pederson of the San Francisco Giants during batting practice Friday, before their game in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. The two are involved in the same fantasy league. Major League Baseball suspended Pham for three games and fined him. The amount of the fine wasn't disclosed; Pham's lost salary amounts to $111,111.

Pham approached Pedersen in the outfield about the dispute, which began over an old fantasy league roster move. Pedersen said they'd never spoken in person before, per the Athletic. "He kind of came up and said like 'you remember from last year?'" Pederson said, adding that he asked if Pham was referring to fantasy football. The answer was yes. "I slapped Joc," Pham said. "He did some (expletive) I don't condone, so I had to address it." The Giants asked the Reds to sit Pham out, and they pulled him just before the game began after a two-hour rain delay.

Another issue was a text message from Pederson about his former San Diego Padres teammates that was "disrespectful," Pham said. "We had too much money on the line," he said, adding: "You're (messing) with my money and you're going to say some disrespectful (expletive), there is a code to this." Pederson said he was surprised by the slap and didn't react to it. Players from both teams rushed out to the two. Reporters saw the slap, per the AP, but fans had not yet been allowed into the stadium. (Read more slap stories.)

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