Pham, Pederson scuffle a good reminder that pro athletes aren’t immune to amateur outbursts


Sometimes, the unnatural talents of professional athletes can be deceiving. The fact that they can do so many things the rest of us cannot makes them rare by definition.

But this doesn’t mean the pro athlete can’t be exactly like us in other ways. In some sense, it makes them more relatable.

Major League Baseball players Joc Pederson and Tommy Pham are great examples of this after their week-long dispute stemming from a pregame outfield incident between the two veterans made headline news.

Pham, who plays for the Cincinnati Reds, slapped Pederson of the San Francisco Giants before a May 27 game between the Reds and San Fran. Why was Pham so upset he felt the need to slap a Joc? Well, the reasons came out after the game, when Pederson said the scuffle was because of a Fantasy Football dispute between the two league-mates from last year.

FANTASY. FOOTBALL!? Yep. Two grown men. Two professional athletes. One very funny thing to argue about. If you haven’t heard about this story yet (which seems impossible) now would be the time to stop reading your favorite column, and go do some research. It’s worth it. Although, it’s only the second most infamous slap of 2022, so far.

It’s important stuff, after all. The dispute of Pham/Pederson arose after Pederson was accused of illegally managing his team’s injury list slots. Pham had lobbed the first accusal grenade in the league’s group chat, another tricky piece of territory which we’ve all found ourselves in at one time or another. Pederson responded in kind by sending a GIF of Padres players (Pham was one at the time) stumbling into each other.

“It is true, I did send a GIF making fun of the Padres,” Pederson said. “If I hurt anyone’s feelings I apologize for that.”

What a great apology. But it is the kind that gets you slapped. You know it. We all do. “I’m sorry if I offended you” is the apologetic equivalent to slapping someone squarely across the good cheek. Anyone who has ever played in a fantasy football league can relate to group chat chat disputes and feelings coming into play.

It’s just part of the game, even for the pros.

Let’s hear from the league’s leader. The most hated man in every fantasy football league: The Commissioner. In this case, the $10K buy-in league was run by Mike Trout. That’s right, the best player of his generation, is also the commissioner of his fantasy football league.

“(Trout) did a terrible job, man,” Pham said. But although he may have a major scandal on his hands, Trout doesn’t seem worried.

“Every commissioner I know gets booed.”


The Savannah City Amateur Championships are scheduled for June 25-26 at Bacon Park Golf Course. A 36-hole event at the Donald Ross designed course, the City Am routinely attracts 100+ entrants. There are several divisions, including men’s championship, men’s flighted, ladies championship, ladies flighted and several senior divisions. Fred Roberts is the defending men’s champion after carding a two-round total of 9-under (133) in 2021. For more information on this year’s championship, or to register, visit or call 912-354-2625.

Georgia Southern Baseball saw its season end over the weekend in the NCAA Regional round in Statesboro. The Eagles (41-20) were the nation’s No. 16 overall seed in the 64-team postseason format, but losses to Notre Dame and Texas Tech eliminated coach Rodney Hennon’s club. GS had never hosted a regional before this season, making 2022 one of the most successful years in program history.

In Savannah high school sports news … The new baseball field at Jenkins High School was officially named last week after school board approval during a June 1 regular meeting. The “Terry Webb Baseball Field” is named for the longtime coach and faculty member (1983-1999) at the school who was devoted to the improvement of the baseball facilities at the school. Webb died in November 2021 at the age of 72 after battling with cancer for many years

About The Author

Travis Jaudon

Travis Jaudon has been writing in Savannah since 2016 and is host of Hot Grits Podcast.
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