CINCINNATI — Major League Baseball suspended Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham for three games after he slapped Joc Pederson.
Pederson, who played for the Atlanta Braves last year, confirmed Pham slapped him during an argument over their fantasy football league.
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New video circulated social media over the weekend that showed the confrontation between the two players and slap.
Pederson said the fantasy football beef was over placing a player on the injured reserved and replacing him with a free agency. He said the move was legal because the player had been ruled out for the week.
“I sent a screenshot of the rules, how it says that if a player’s ruled out, you’re allowed to put him on the IR and that’s all I was doing,” Pederson. “He literally did the same thing. That was basically all of it.”
Pham said Saturday there was some “sketchy” stuff going on with their fantasy league, and Pederson also made “disrespectful” comments about Pham’s former team, the San Diego Padres.
“We had too much money on the line, so I look at it like there’s a code,” Pham said.
Pederson confirmed to reporters on Saturday that Pham was telling the truth and a lot of money was involved, although neither confirmed the amount.
He also showed reporters the messages he sent in a group chat with the Padres about their struggles late in the season while Pederson and the Braves were seeing success.
“In the group chat there was also some — there was more than one Padre, there was four or five that, I’m kind of close with a couple of them,” Pederson said. “It was supposed to be a friendly thing, just making fun of them were playing bad, and just talking back and forth. And yeah, (Pham) did not like that and he responded, `Joc, I don’t know you well enough to make any jokes like this.’”
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This weekend was the first time Pederson and Pham would have faced each other with their new teams. Pederson said he didn’t know that Pham would do something like what happened Friday.
“There was no argument. He kind of came up and said, ‘You remember from last year?’ and I said, ‘Fantasy football?’” Pederson recalled.
Pham served a 3-game suspension over the weekend. The league also fined him.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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