MLB bans Reds outfielder Pham three games over fantasy slap

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 29 2022 09:22 AM


A post shared by Tommy Pham (@tphamlv)

NEW YORK -- Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham received a three-game suspension and undisclosed fine from Major League Baseball on Saturday after slapping San Francisco's Joc Pederson over a fantasy American football league dispute.

The 34-year-old American was banned for "inappropriate conduct" during batting practice at Cincinnati before Friday's game, which Pham missed.

The ban was retroactive to Friday, meaning Pham will miss games Saturday and Sunday against the Giants.

Pederson said Pham smacked him in the face over issues from a fantasy football league both took part in last year, a move that led to both dugouts and bullpens emptying to support their players in the spat.

"Unfortunate situation," Pederson said after the Reds defeated the Giants 5-1.

"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 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."

Pederson pointed out Pham also had a player on IR in the game, adding, "And that was basically all of it. There's not much more to it."

Giants manager Gabe Kapler said the team reported the incident to MLB while Reds manager David Bell had no comment after the contest.

Pederson said he doesn't expect to play in another fantasy football league with Pham but says the matter is behind them.

"It's over, as far as I'm concerned," Pederson said. "I don't think I'll speak to him. I don't think he wants to speak to me, I would assume. That was, I think, the first time we ever spoke in person.

"It was a weird interaction and unfortunate. It was a tough day."

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