Fantasy football dispute leads to on-field fight between MLB players

USA Today

Fantasy football is a popular pastime in Major League Baseball clubhouses, but a dispute in a baseball players’ fantasy football league led to an on-field fight between the Cincinnati Reds’ Tommy Pham and the San Francisco Giants’ Joc Pederson yesterday.

According to Pederson, Pham hit him in the face during batting practice before the game, all because they’d had words about Pham’s accusation that Pederson broke the rules of their fantasy football league.

“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.”

Pham was pulled from the lineup just before the game. Pederson played as usual. Several players from both teams got involved in the fracas between Pham and Pederson, but Pham’s slap appeared to be the only instance of physical contact. Major League Baseball announced an investigation.

“MLB is investigating the incident that occurred before the game involving Mr. Pham,” said an MLB statement. “Mr. Pham agreed to not play this evening, pending the results of MLB’s investigation.”

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