Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham was suspended three games by Major League Baseball on Saturday, a day after he slapped San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson over a fantasy football league dispute.
Pham, 34, was also fined. The suspension is retroactive to Friday and the player will purge the last two games this weekend.
As the Giants warmed up in the outfield before Game 1 of the series, Pham confronted Pederson and landed the punch. The other players had to separate.
On Saturday, Pham admitted there was something “off” about the fantasy football league, adding that Pederson also made a “disrespectful” comment about his former team, the San Diego Padres.
“There was a lot of money at stake, so I look at it like there’s a code,” Pham said.
Pham also indicated that Pederson “was playing with the money.”
After Friday’s game, Pederson said he was accused of cheating by putting a player on the disabled list and replacing him with a free agent in fantasy football. Pederson indicated that the player he put on the disabled list had been ruled out that week for what was a legal play.
He confirmed that Pham had practically performed the same maneuver with his team.
“I sent him a picture of the rules, which say if a player is ruled out you are allowed to put him on the disabled list. That’s what I did,” Pederson said. “He literally did the same thing. That was basically it.”
Pederson said he had no idea Pham would confront him during the Cincinnati series.
“There was no argument, he really reached out and said ‘remember last year?’ and added ‘Fantasy Football?’”, recounted Pederson