Who's right in the Pederson v Pham fantasy beef?

In the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, Andy Behrens and Scott Pianowski examine the circumstances around a dispute between San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson and Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham.

Video Transcript

[BAT CRACKING AGAINST BALL]

ANDY BEHRENS: We're dealing with two of the weirder gentlemen, I guess I would say, in Major League Baseball. The dispute originated at least in some way in their Fantasy Football League, their shared Fantasy Football League. Apparently, the confrontation had been building for some time.

In Pederson's initial account, Pham was upset because Pederson had used the IR slot on a fantasy roster on a player who was merely listed as out in a given week. Pederson accuses Pham of having done the exact same thing, which has the ring of truth when these things go down in actual fantasy leagues. Pederson at some point used the fantasy league group chat to make fun of the Padres' downfall, their tailspin last season.

So that became part of the story as well. I love every bit of this. Various fantasy players over the years have submitted to me virtually this exact same dispute for review in fantasy court. Seriously, countless times I've seen this thing. It is such a-- just an arcane, petty, easily resolved dispute. I-- I love that this became a story.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yeah, what's up with Pham just slapping at Pederson? That was uncalled for, but--

ANDY BEHRENS: Pretty wild.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Look, we-- there's a few things to unpack here. I've always thought that-- and, Andy, you could speak to this better than I could, because you've actually taken on this job as this arbiter of fantasy dispute. The IR spots are a pox, you know? So many things-- we were constantly getting bugged on Sunday.

Oh, so-and-so isn't playing. How come he's not IR eligible yet? I can't help you. I don't control that. I don't control when the New York Mets decide to make an IR move or the Chicago White Sox decide to make an I-- or when Tim Anderson goes on the IR, IL. I don't-- not in my jurisdiction.

I think we should have fewer IR spots. I think they cause unintended consequences. I do think Joc Pederson or anybody else should be allowed to make fun of the San Diego Padres Baseball Club or any other team, for that matter. I know producer John is a die-hard Padres guy. Much respect to the San Diego Chicken and Gary Coleman to Ken Caminiti, 1998 Padres, 1984 Padres, Steve--

ANDY BEHRENS: It's a great zoo. It's a wonderful zoo.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yes. Fantasy is a social network. And in social networks, sometimes people have disagreements. We ask that you do not try to settle your disagreement in the Cincinnati ballpark and then their outfield during batting practice with a out-of-nowhere slap in the face.

That's not what you're supposed to do. But should you be passionate about your fantasy leagues? Yes. Should you have group chats? Yes. Should you make fun of things in a playful, you know, no harm intended manner? I think so. I don't know.

There's a lot of kidding and-- and ribbing in my hometown leagues. You don't make-- certain things are-- you don't touch. You don't touch spouses. You don't touch kids. You don't touch my dog, Teddy. But, you know, San Diego Padres Baseball Club? I think that's fair game. And of course, the IR move I believe was tied to a San Francisco running back, was tied to Jeff Wilson. So you know--

ANDY BEHRENS: That's right. That's right. Yes.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: We're not talking about like Christian McCaffrey here. We're not talking about AJ Brown. We're not talking about Patrick Mahomes. It was like, oh, my god, is somebody snatching Jeff Wilson?

Is somebody getting unauthorized access to him for an extra week? God forbid it's the one week out of the 17 that Jeff Wilson actually does something of fantasy use. That just makes the story a little bit extra juicy, so, yeah, it's a lot-- a lot--

ANDY BEHRENS: Two things I want here. I want to-- I want to see the full-- I want to see the full group chat so bad. Like, I just-- to the beginning of its history, to the beginning of the league. I want to-- I want to unspool the full thing. I want to read it all.

But I'm also with you in that, like, if you just get rid of IR spots, that's probably-- you know, whether you have a deep bench or a shallow bench, like, force people to make transactions. Force people to make difficult add/drops. I'm fine with that, too.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Bingo. Bingo. Force people to make difficult add/drops. The football leagues I run will have limited IR space. It may be one or two spots because I always say that this seems to be more of a Fantasy Baseball problem, where I've been in some leagues, some industry leagues, with unlimited IR.

And what happens is you have all the storage space in the world. But if you're-- god forbid you're in an only league, there's nobody to pick up. But you can stash all nine of your hurt guys, just which backup catcher do you want to replace them? So I-- I'm all for difficult decisions. I'm all for, you know, putting more-- more points of inflection into your league, because I think that adds skill to the league.

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