A fantasy football dispute has led to Major League Baseball handing Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham a three-game suspension.
Pham confirmed today that he’s been suspended for slapping San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson. Pham told reporters that Pederson “said some disrespectful shit” and “fucked with my money.”
The dispute centered on a fantasy football league that both Pederson and Pham were in last season. Pederson said he and Pham had a dispute about whether Pederson was gaming the injured reserve rules, and that spilled onto the field during batting practice before yesterday’s game.
“We were in a fantasy league together,” Pederson said. “I put a player on 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 him on the IR. That’s all I was doing. It just so happened that he had a player, [49ers running back] 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.’ Then I guess he was in two leagues and one of them he was on the IR and one of them he wasn’t, so maybe that was the confusion, but the ESPN league we were in he was listed as out, so it feels very similar to what I did. And that was basically all of it. There’s not much more to it.”
Fantasy football is known to be one of the most popular activities in MLB clubhouses, but this is the first time we’ve heard of two baseball players getting in a fight over a fantasy league. However much money Pham lost to Pederson in the fantasy league, it figures to pale in comparison to the $111,111 Pham will lose for the suspension, which is three games’ worth of his $6 million salary.