BOSTON — Tommy Pham is no longer suspended, but he remained out of the Cincinnati Reds’ lineup for an additional game Tuesday.
Pham was scratched from the Reds’ lineup because of left calf discomfort, which he felt when he took swings in the batting cage prior to his team’s series opener against the Boston Red Sox.
“It’s just precautionary,” Pham said. “The last thing I wanted to do was try to play something and sacrifice one game for a longer stint. Just make sure everything is right.”
Otherwise, Pham feels great after returning from his three-game suspension.
“Hand is good,” said Pham, smiling.
Pham hasn’t played since he slapped San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson in batting practice before Friday’s game. The altercation stemmed from their high-stakes fantasy football league – Pederson was accused of cheating, he said, when he put a player who was listed as out on his team’s injured reserve to add an additional player – and a group text where Pederson made fun of the Padres not making the playoffs.
Pederson said the swipe he took at the Padres was meant to be lighthearted and apologized if anyone took offense to it. It was a video with three weightlifters and team logos of the Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Padres above each of them. The weightlifter under the Padres logo was hit by the oversized kettlebell and fell over after throwing it in the air.
“Joc gave out half the story too, man,” Pham said. “I don’t like that.”
Which part wasn’t the full story?
“He’s sent a few,” Pham said. “It’s more than one and I’ve got screenshots to prove it. He sent more than a few jokes aimed at me or the Padres. That was only one. There was about four or five. And we had rules to the IR. I know the ESPN app rules. We had our own individual rules.”
Pham’s altercation with Pederson became a national story in NFL media because of the fantasy football implications. Pham dropped out of the league following the injured reserve argument with Pederson.
Enforcing the rules is usually the job of the league’s commissioner. That was Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout in the league with Pham and Pederson.
“Trout did a terrible job, man,” Pham said, laughing. “Trout is the worst commissioner in fantasy sports because he allowed a lot of (stuff) to go on, and he could’ve solved it all. I don’t want to be the (bleeping) commissioner; I’ve got other (stuff) to do. (Trout) didn’t want to do it. We put it on him, so it’s kind of our fault too because we made him commissioner.”
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Pham declined to discuss specifics with the other texts. His suspension is over, which included pay for the three games he missed besides the undisclosed fine, and he says he’s looking ahead.
“That’s something you really just put behind you,” Pham said. “Everyone in that group chat, everybody knows. I’ve had some of those guys reach out to me. They already know what’s up.”