The Tommy Pham-Joc Pederson story did not end the Friday before Memorial Day. For those who still need to scrape the barbecue, or whatever else, from their brains to think back that far, Pham slapped Pederson in broad daylight on a baseball field, before the game even started. Pham raged on Pederson due to a dispute that Pederson explained in great, deadpan humor detail. A fantasy football IR move gone wrong is what Pederson described as the impetus for Pham to slap the fillings out of his molars.
Pederson was accused by Pham of stashing players, because he put a player who was listed as out in one of his IR spots and added another player. Pham thought that move was bush league, but it’s not the only reason he took a poke at Pederson.
On Saturday, Pham admitted that the IR move bothered him, but it was another faux paux from Pederson that pushed Pham over the edge. Pham said that Pederson put a meme in their league’s group chat. That meme was of three people attempting to throw a very heavy kettlebell. Over the heads of the people in the meme were logos of the Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers — the team that Joc Pederson spent most of his career with — and San Diego Padres — the team that Pham played for in 2020 and 2021. The person with the Padres logo had the unfortunate result of the kettlebell landing right on top of her head. Pham saw zero humor in this.
“He said some shit I don’t condone. I had to address it,” Pham said to the media on Saturday. “.. It was regarding my former team. I didn’t like that and I didn’t like the sketchy shit going on in the fantasy. We had too much money on the line, so I look at it like there’s a code. You’re fucking with my money, then you’re going to say some disrespectful shit; there’s a code to this.”
I thought we were done with codes once the Golden State Warriors-Memphis Grizzlies series was over. Anyway, once reporters went back to Pederson with Pham’s comments, while looking like a 2022 sophomore in high school skateboarder, he scrolled back in the chat and showed the meme he sent in that group chat, and Pham’s alleged response which read “Joc I don’t know you well enough to make any jokes like this.”
As descriptive as Pederson was on Friday, he left out a major detail into why Pham was upset. It doesn’t excuse the slap or make the three-game suspension appear unjustified, but it does explain why Pham responded to what he felt was a two-piece from Pederson with a one-hitter-quitter. Pham gives off the vibe of someone you want don’t bump into at the bar and spill his drink. I could see him looking dead at somebody and saying the words you do not ever want to hear, “I paid for mine just like you paid for yours.” If a person ever says that to you in a situation, buy them a replacement beverage and either leave the establishment or go to the opposite end and avoid them like the first person you heard cough in public after March 11, 2020.
Pham already challenged Luke Voit to a sanctioned rumble last month. He didn’t like the way that Voit slid into Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson, and said, “If Luke wants to settle it, I get down real well. Anything. Muay Thai, whatever.” Pham even mentioned that he knows someone that will let him use a gym.
Poor Pederson. He just made a quick joke that many of us would make, not realizing that even though he knew some of the Padres, he did not know all of them. That one Padre he didn’t know had this to say after getting attacked and stabbed and the wound took 200 stitches to heal.
“I don’t know what I could have done different,” Pham said to USA Today Sports. “The video shows more than one guy showed up at my car, and I chose to defend myself. I guess I could have run, but I don’t fear any man like that.”
To be clear, Pham was not the aggressor and would later win a lawsuit. That being said, wow. You picked the wrong one Joc, and I feel bad because you weren’t even trying to mess with that man. It was just a misunderstanding. But folks let this be a time to reflect on the words of the great philosopher Herm Edwards.
Most of the time your smart ass remarks won’t hurt you, but sometimes you bump into the wrong one.