Perhaps the craziest story in baseball this season involves the sport’s best player, Mike Trout, but it has nothing to do with baseball, but rather fantasy football and a legendary league of which Trout is the commissioner. . If that’s not the most MLB thing ever, we don’t know what is.
Trout, who MLB has failed to market properly his entire career, is finally making headlines, but for all the wrong reasons. Last month, when Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham slapped San Francisco Giants slugger Joc Pederson in the head during batting practice, it was revealed the bizarre altercation was born out of a beef. year-long fantasy football between the two players. Pederson had apparently said “some disrespectful bullshit” in the fantasy football group’s chat about Pham’s former team, the San Diego Padres, and also “f—ed” with Pham’s money, according to Pham.
A night before the slap, Pederson called it an “unfortunate situation”, saying he had placed a player on the injured reserve list when they were out and then added another player off waivers. Someone in the group chat accused Pederson of cheating and “hiding” players on his bench. Pederson pointed out that Pham did the same thing, but Pham was in two ESPN leagues and in one the player in question was on IR, but in the other the player was not. If you’re wondering why grown men who get paid millions to play baseball allowed a fantasy football situation to heat up, maybe it’s because the league is offering a $10,000 buy-in and a waiting list to even enter the league.
That’s where Trout comes in. The Angels outfielder is said league’s commissioner, and Pham called him “the worst commissioner in fantasy sports” during the fallout from the slap in the face of Pederson, for which Pham was suspended three games. Trout responded by saying “every commissioner I know gets booed”.
Trout happened to be on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN last Sunday night, with his struggling Angels taking on the New York Mets. Midway through the game, ESPN’s announce team interviewed Trout live while he was in the dugout with the Angels at bat, and the fantasy football saga inevitably broke:
Very good stuff, though ESPN conveniently left out the best part of the interview. Remember that “confusion” mentioned by Pederson about Pham playing IR in one league, but not IR in another? Trout alluded to said confusion and started implying that it was because of ESPN’s website…then he realized he was live on ESPN:
Shit, we literally came inches away from Trout shitting on ESPN ON ESPN. What a live TV moment of all time that would have been. Real, raw and, let’s be honest, extremely accurate. Anyone who has ever used ESPN for a fantasy league (I assume everyone reads this as well as anyone who doesn’t) knows this is the absolute worst site for fantasy leagues. As commissioner myself, our league switched to Yahoo years ago and we’ve never looked back. ESPN, the world leader in sports, is kind of terrible at fantasy sports. Trout knows it, we know it. Hell, ESPN probably knows. Instead of blaming Trout, perhaps Pham should have taken heed.