UPDATE: 5pm Eastern: Major League Baseball announced Saturday it has suspended Cincinnati Red’s Tommy Pham for his slap Friday on Giants outfielder Joc Pederson, reported Yahoo Sports.
Video emerged on social media of the actual slap which occurred before Friday’s game between the two teams.
Pham told CBS Sports he accepts the punishment. The suspension began Friday night and will extend two more games-both against the Giants.
Pedersen Friday said Pham slapped him over a dispute over fantasy football.
The Giant told NBC Sports Bay Area that Pham accused him of cheating when he put a player on injured reserve and substituted him with another.
The Giants outfielder said the disagreement happened a year ago over a group text. He chuckled when asked where he got hit, pointing to his cheek.
“I don’t think violence is the answer so I kind of left the situation and some of the players were out there,” Pedersen said. “The benches cleared, but it was batting practice. There was nothing more to it. It was an unfortunate situation over a fantasy football rule.”
“I said, ‘I didn’t forget about that [stuff]’, walked up to him and slapped him,” he recalled to MLB.com.
He said Pedersen failed to tell reporters that he had been disrespectful in a text to him about his former teammates. Pham was a San Diego Padre at the time of the incident.
“What [Pederson] forgot to tell you guys too, he said some disrespectful [stuff] in a text message, and I called him out on it.”
Pedersen went onto play in Friday’s rain-delayed game while the Reds scratched Pham from the line up.
Reds manager David Bell said he would keep all details of the investigation by Major League Baseball private.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler said Pederson handled it well.
I don’t think that anybody exemplified that better than Joc did yesterday across the board. He was able to manage everything that happened on the field with Tommy and then come into the clubhouse and have to deal with a lot of conversations after that and then get ready to compete in the batter’s box.
Pham is one quarter Vietnamese born to a mother who is Vietnamese.
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