Two MLB players were part of an altercation prior to a game on Friday, and the fight reportedly had nothing to do with their respective teams.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham allegedly slapped San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson following a disagreement over fantasy football, according to The Athletic.
Pederson confirmed Pham slapped him on the cheek during an interview with reporters after Friday’s game.
“It was a surprise,” Pederson said.
The players, the sports news outlet reported, are among a number of MLB players in the fantasy sports league.
In an interview, Pederson said he put a football player on the injured reserve list during league play last year although the player was listed as “out” in the league. He said he added another player to his team before someone accused him of “stashing players” on his fantasy football team’s bench.
Pederson said prior to his interaction with Pham there was “no real argument” and the opposing player brought up the fantasy football issue before the slap.
“There was a decent amount of people around, I didn’t get emotional,” Pederson said. “I don’t think violence is the answer, I guess you can say ... it was an unfortunate situation.”
You can watch Pederson’s explanation to reporters below.
The Giants asked for Pham to be scratched from the lineup on Friday, The Athletic’s sources said, and the Reds replaced him prior to his start.
Giants’ manager Gabe Kapler, during media availability prior to the game, said the team is “investigating” the matter.
“[We’re] learning as much as we can about the incident, I don’t really have much more than that for you right now. I sense we’ll have a clearer understanding after the game,” Kapler said.
“[We’re] taking it very seriously and learning as much as I and we can as quickly as we can.”
Prior to the game, the two had to be separated in left field during batting practice, according to Reds’ beat reporter Mark Sheldon.
In a series of tweets, Sheldon said the scene was “diffused without an escalating incident” and shared video from the field.
The Reds said Major League Baseball is investigating the slap and Pham won’t play until the investigation’s results are clear, The Athletic reported.
Pham has played in the MLB since 2014 and joined the Reds this season. The player went on to play professional baseball after being diagnosed with keratoconus, a rare vision disorder, in 2008.