ATLANTA — Joc Pederson has been the recipient of frequent taunts from opposing fans ever since Tommy Pham slapped him across the face over a fantasy football feud.
With Pham and the Reds coming to town starting Friday, the tables for once might be turned. But Pederson, who is all too familiar with the fans in the left-field bleachers of Oracle Park, hopes they don’t take it too far.
“There’s a respect level that needs to be held up,” Pederson said. “When you see games in New York or wherever they were when they start throwing stuff on the field, that’s not OK. It doesn’t help any situation. It makes it only worse. …
“I’ve gotten worn out quite a bit by it on the road. I usually get yelled at for getting slapped. … But I don’t think our fans, I don’t know, they usually don’t like any left fielder, so it’s no different, I don’t think. They’re probably going to say, ‘What’s the matter with so-and-so, and he’s a bum.’ I got that quite a bit when I was in left field for the Dodgers.”
Pederson, for his part, has been ready to put the issue behind him since that series in Cincinnati last month.
Pham’s visit to San Francisco, however, will mark the first time he is active for a game with the Giants. After the pregame altercation prior to the Giants’ first game with the Reds, Pham was suspended and didn’t appear in the series.
That means Giants pitchers haven’t had an opportunity to retaliate.
There’s a chance warnings are issued before the game to lessen the chance of an incident. Pederson hasn’t heard from anyone on the pitching staff about having his back, but he hopes none of the Giants pitchers intentionally throw at Pham.
“I think it’s in the rearview mirror for a lot of them, too,” Pederson said. “I mean, I know the old school way is like, oh, you’re going to hit somebody or throw at them, but if you put someone on base, you’re in a bad situation. … We’re not in a position to be putting runners on, you know what I mean? We’re having a tough enough time winning ballgames. We’re trailing two teams in the NL West. We have to do everything we can to win ballgames.”
Contributed by local news sources