There was a dustup on Friday between members of the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds. On its own, that’s notable — but not necessarily earth-shattering. This particular incident, however, was, as it came roughly two hours before the game started.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com was at field level, in front of the Cincinnati dugout. He reported that “the scene was diffused without incident” and also released a video he took of part of the incident, which occurred in the outfield.
This is all I could see. pic.twitter.com/wUPN4VSvjt
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) May 27, 2022
It was something between Tommy Pham and Joc Pederson. Former division rivals.
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) May 27, 2022
MLB fans had some interesting theories on the motives.
Reds said “We feuded with the Cubs and put up 20. Nothing else has worked this year. Someone pull a Giants’ uniform number out of a hat.” https://t.co/qUVBbYfInN
— Chris (@ChrisMcG_78) May 27, 2022
— 513 Sports (@513__Sports) May 27, 2022
— Kyle Sutton (@kyledatrainer) May 27, 2022
They were the same division for like a week I don’t think division rivalry is relevant here https://t.co/hG1SeLctis
— Johnathan Bartel (@BartelJohnathan) May 27, 2022
Indeed, Pederson and Pham were once division rivals. During the 2020 season, Pederson was with the Los Angeles Dodgers while Pham was on the San Diego Padres. We must remember, though, that the 2020 season lasted for 60 games. So, saying they were division rivals is like saying Mike Piazza is a former Marlin. It’s accurate but kind of misleading.
On the other hand, there’s no other logical explanation here. Pregame dustups are uncommon. When they happen, it’s usually between rival teams or maybe teams that have already played several games and had some bad blood spill over. Friday is not only the first game of this series between the Giants and Reds but the first of the entire season.
One other thing to note, Hunter Strickland is one of the pitchers in Cincinnati’s bullpen. He’s not afraid to throw inside — something the Giants certainly know well.
If nothing else, this incident between Pederson and Pham should make these three games, as well as the three that will be played in San Francisco in June a lot more interesting.