“I Slapped Joc … There’s A Code To This” | Cincinnati Reds’ Tommy Pham Chin Checks Joc Pederson Over Fantasy League Fail

SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 18: Tommy Pham #28 of the Cincinnati Reds plays during a baseball game against the San Diego Padres on April 18, 2022 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Word to the wise, don’t mess with Tommy Pham’s fantasy league. The Cincinnati Reds outfielder slapped San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson after he said he broke the fantasy league “code.”

“I slapped Joc,” Pham said to the media after the Reds’ 5-1 win against the Giants on Saturday. “He did some sh*t I don’t condone, you know, so I had to address it.

“Look, you know there was some sh*t that went on in fantasy, you know, but what he forgot to tell you guys, too, you know, is he said some disrespectful sh*t in a text message, and I called him out on it, so it’s regarding my former teammate.”

What Did The Hand Say To The Face?

As a result, Pham walked over to Pederson and slapped him on the field. A video of the incident went viral.

“I didn’t like that, and I didn’t like the sketchy sh*t going on in the fantasy; too much money on the line, you know, so you’ve got to look at it like there’s a code. You f**king with my money, then you’re going to say some disrespectful shit. There’s a code to this.”

As a result, Pham was suspended for three games for the incident.

“Me getting pressure from MLB. I’m definitely suspended. I agreed to three games. I don’t talk to him this was strictly just about some money or winning some money gambling. Sounds like if I appeal, it might only get worse.”

What’s Beef?

Pederson did not expect that Pham still had beef with him but he made it known when they saw each other.

“That happened, that was the only physical part,” Pederson said to the media on Saturday. “We were in a fantasy league together. I put somebody on injured reserved when they were listed as out and added another player, and then there’s a text message in the group saying that I was cheating because I was stashing players on my bench, and then I don’t know.”

However for Pederson, there was a bit of hypocrisy in Pham’s accusation.

“I looked up the rules and sent a screenshot of the rules how it says that when a player is out, you’re allowed to put them on the IR, and that’s all I was doing, and then it just so happened that he had a player, Jeff Wilson who was out and he had him on the IR, and I said you literally have the same thing on your bench.

“Then I guess he was in two leagues and on one of them he was in the IR and one he wasn’t so maybe that was the confusion but on the ESPN league we were in he was listed as out so it felt very similar to what I did and that was basically all of it; there’s not much more to it.”

Fantasy Fail

Pederson pointed out that the fantasy league incident occurred over a year ago, but Pham chose violence.

“We never had any more contact; the only time we texted was in the group text, and it was over a year ago. It was a surprise. There was no real argument. He kind of came up and said, like, ‘You remember from last year?’ And I was like, ‘fantasy football?’ and he was like ‘yeah.’”

He Chose Violence

At that point, Pham’s hand said to Pederson’s face: SLAP! However, Pederson didn’t feel the need to escalate the conflict.

“There was a decent amount of people around, and I didn’t get emotional. I don’t think violence is the answer, I guess you could say, so I kind of left the situation, and some of the players were out there, and it wasn’t benches cleared, but it was batting practice, and there’s nothing more to it. Like I said, it was an unfortunate situation over a fantasy football league rule that wasn’t a rule.”

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.