Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham and San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson had to be separated prior to Friday night’s scheduled game between the two clubs in Cincinnati.
According to a report in The Athletic, multiple sources indicated that Pham slapped Pederson across the face in a dispute that stemmed from a fantasy football league that includes players from multiple teams.
Reds and Giants players, coaches and staff members all helped diffuse the situation.
Eyewitness accounts pegged Pham as the instigators, but Pham told reporters afterward that Pederson started the incident.
Pham was later scratched from the Reds’ starting lineup, after the Giants requested that he should not play pending the conclusion of an Major League Baseball investigation that already was underway.
Pederson declined comment shortly after the confrontation, saying he had to go take batting practice.
“We’re investigating it and learning as much as we can about the incident,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “I sense we’ll have a clearer understanding after the game.
“We’re taking it very seriously. Until we have a clear understanding of what happened, not willing to discuss it.”
The San Jose Mercury News reported that approximately 20 people associated with the Reds and 10 with the Giants were in the outfield while the two players were separated.
The start of the game was delayed due to rain.
Pham, 34, is in his first season with the Reds and was batting .233 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 42 games through Thursday. He also has played with the St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays and San Diego Padres during a nine-year major league career.
Pederson, 30, was batting .260 with 11 homers and 24 RBIs in 35 games ahead of Friday in his first season with the Giants. He also has played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves during his nine seasons.
–Field Level Media