Tommy Pham says he has ‘no regrets’ over slapping Joc Pederson


The Punisher.

The Punisher.
Image: Getty Images

It seems like any and all TV and film studios are willing to green light content remotely resembling IP. We’re getting universes that we didn’t know existed — think the Warner Bros. expansion from Toon Town to every movie they’ve ever made in Space Jam 2. So, if an exec bereft of creativity could please get started on a spinoff mini-series of The League, with the wrinkle that it’s loosely based off of the Joc Pederson-Tommy Pham slap drama, that’d be great.

The Cincinnati left fielder finally spoke about the incident that got him suspended for three games where he open-hand slapped another man over a shady use of the IR list in a fantasy football league. Speaking with the USA Today over breakfast burritos, which is a fantastic way to unfurl one’s reflections involving a dispute of this nature, Pham said, “You know what, I’ve got no regrets. None at all.”

I imagine him saying with half a bite of egg, tortilla, sausage, and cheese in one of his cheeks like it’s a piece of chaw. Then gulping it down, wiping his mouth, and uttering something to the effect of, “Joc deserved to be slapped” — which is what the fuck he actually said.

Hahahaha. Thank you… thank you so much. I’ve seen some pretty reasonable men lose their shit over a fantasy football beef, and if the worst that’s going to come from it is a slap then so be it. At least it wasn’t a spear tackle into a kiddie pool at a social gathering, or taking an upper decking shit in someone’s john, though I wouldn’t put that past Joc. He seems like the kind of guy who would retaliate through toilet humor.

Other funny shit Pham said included the tidbit that he was looking to deliver the punishment last year when he was playing for Atlanta and they were visiting San Diego. Apparently, Pederson caught word via text messages from fellow Padres players that his actions were going to catch up with him, so he waited until after the game started to take the field.

“I would have slapped him last year if I saw him,’’ Pham said. “He knew that. Everyone knew that.’’

The journeyman also said that he’s been told that he’s not the only one who thinks Joc was deserving of someone going upside his head. Pham said there were “about 100 people that thanked me after I slapped him. … players, coaches, trainers, reporters … I was like, ‘Damn, I didn’t know Joc was this disliked.’’’

In the run up to Pham issuing the threat promise he delivered upon, the Reds player alleges Pederson’s action led to anarchy in the league, with team managers following suit and crossing uncrossable lines.

“I sent out a message, ‘Yo, we’re not going to do something about this.’ Then everyone started doing what Joc did. There was no structure in the league. We had rules against that, but it was not being enforced. That’s when I said, ‘I’m out. Joc keeps changing (expletive). Two weeks later, who knows what’s being allowed.

“That’s when I told Joc, ‘When I see you, I’m going to slap you.’’’

Of course, like any bitter fantasy football player, Pham was adamant he would’ve won the league had he not been forced to stop setting his lineup in protest.

“I would have won that league. [Alex] Bregman’s team was trash at the beginning of the year. … I could have easily finished 10-4 and dominated that league. Look, I dropped out in Week 5, and I finished seventh, so I wasn’t even setting my lineup. I had James Conner on the bench, and had Davante Adams on the bench.’’

Just so you know, Bregman’s team won the league.

My favorite line of the tell-all was Pham saying “It’s a matter of principle, man” about a fantasy football league like he’s some politician during a Congressional hearing.

While Pham may wish this story would go away — he said the Giants are the ones “who keep bringing this (expletive) up” — people can’t get enough of it.

Extend the rift. Maybe consult Nick Kroll and Mark Duplass on what is the proper response to being slapped. Joc walked away at the time, which is the responsible, adult thing to do.

However, if you’re going to monetize this thing and get FX to pick it up, fill Pham’s car with Joc bobbleheads or put the Mr. Red head on Pederson and have him fuck with Tommy. The T-shirts were a good start. Now inject some Hollywood into it.

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