Few moments over the past few seasons have been more awkward than when former Cincinnati Reds slugger Tommy Pham got into an altercation with San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson during pregame warmups a little less than three years ago.
Before a game on May 27, 2022, Pham slapped Pederson because of a fantasy football dispute. The fallout was reportedly a result of inflammatory GIFs and messages posted on a group chat that resulted in Pham taking out his frustrations on Pederson's face.
Pham was traded later that year and has since bounced around the league to the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, and Arizona Diamondbacks. Just yesterday, Pederson reportedly came to terms with the D-backs on a one-year, $12.5 million. Introductions could be a little awkward, not only between those Arizona players who played with Pham last season, but the former Reds players now on the D-backs roster.
Former Reds playing in Arizona could have awkward introduction to new teammate, Joc Pederson
Amazingly, despite the fact that four former Reds players are part of the Diamondbacks roster, none of them actually played with Pham during his time in Cincinnati. However, players like Eugenio Suárez and Tucker Barnhart inevitably still have close friends on the team, so initial introductions could be rather uncomfortable when Pederson walks into the D-backs training facility in Arizona.
But once it's established that everyone is there to help Arizona repeat at National League Champions and return to the World Series, it'll likely be business as usual.
There are an inordinate number of former Reds players who are headed to spring training with the Diamondbacks this year. Arizona swung a trade with the Seattle Mariners earlier this offseason to acquire longtime Cincinnati third baseman Eugenio Suárez.
The D-backs have also signed Barnhart, Kevin Newman, and the unforgettable Ricky Karcher to minor-league deals with invitations to major league spring training.
Baseball ins't exactly a contact sport, but scuffles and even brawls have taken place over the years. However, those are oftentimes attributed to something that occurred on the field. The altercation between Tommy Pham and Joc Pederson and the reasoning behind it is still one of the weirdest things Major League Baseball has seen in the last several seasons.