Tommy Pham slapped Joc Pederson on Friday. It has been nearly a week and details continue to trickle out with each one seeming dumber than the previous. The story is both engrossing and funny because of how uniquely lame and uninteresting it is.
First and foremost, this is a story about fantasy football. As the old saying goes, "no one cares about your fantasy team." Yet here we are going on a week discussing something that happened in a fantasy football league that none of us are involved in. And it's now June. How messed up is it that the biggest story in baseball is about what the Boys of Summer do on the Internet in the Fall?
Over the weekend Joc Pederson attempted to give some context to the slapping incident by sharing a gif that he had posted in the group chat.
On Tuesday, as Tommy Pham prepared to come off his fantasy football slap suspension, he spoke with Bob Nightengale and did not let the story die. Via the Cinicinnati Enquirer:
“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.”
Just look at that collection of words. What an utterly ridiculous thing to say to someone who you know is going to write it down and put it both in a newspaper and on the Internet. Pham wants the world to know that he slapped a man not over one gif, but four or five gifs. Gifs that were jokes about the San Diego Padres, a team that lost 19 of their final 24 games last season to finish below .500 and missed the playoffs.
And the end of that quote is where it gets really interesting. Sorry, I meant at the end of the that quote it continued to be very uninteresting because we're seriously talking about fantasy football rules right now. Anyway, this is the part of the story where one of the best baseball players ever comes into play. Pham actually blames this all on Mike Trout who is somehow the commissioner of this clownshow. Via The Cincinnati Enquirer:
“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.”
He's laughing now, but a few days earlier he literally slapped someone he hadn't talked to in months over this. Here's the video.
I swear there are parts of this story where I'm convinced its some kind of high-concept comedy bit. Mike Trout is kind of the anti-celebrity baseball star, but does he really have so little going on in his real life that he's the guy running the fantasy football league? Pham says (jokes?) that he has too much going on to be commissioner, but Mike Trout doesn't? Come on. Then there's this quote from Pham last week about being a "big dog" and "high roller" at Vegas Casinos. He's not even the highest paid guy on the Cincinnati Reds.
Seriously, how can you read that and think this isn't some sort of elaborate prank? A guy on the Reds who thinks he's a high roller slapped somebody from his fantasy football league for making fun of the Padres last year and then blamed the guy from the frozen pretzels box.
This has to be the end of this story. There is just nowhere it can go from here.