The 14-30 Cincinnati Reds are hosting the 24-19 San Francisco Giants for a Memorial Day weekend series at Great American Ball Park, but multiple headlines were made before the game’s first pitch.
Per The Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Reds outfielder Tommy Pham and Giants outfielder Joc Pederson were involved in some sort of altercation on Friday afternoon as San Francisco players were warming up. According to Tom Dierberger of NBC Sports Bay Area, players from both teams ran out to left field upon realizing an unpleasant exchange had occurred. No punches were thrown.
“We’re investigating it and learning as much as we can about the incident,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler told reporters. “We don’t have much more than that for you right now. I sense that we’ll have a clear understanding after the game.
“I’m still looking into it. Taking it very seriously and learning as much as I and we can, as quickly as we can. I’m not yet prepared to discuss it.”
Fans had not yet entered the ballpark and, thus, missed out on the pregame fireworks.
According to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic, the “beef stems from a disagreement the two had in a fantasy football league including players from several teams.” Rosecrans added that Pham was scratched from the game.
Also during his pregame comments, Kapler announced he’ll no longer leave the dugout for renditions of the national anthem “going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country” following the horrific shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that resulted in the deaths of 19 young children and two teachers.
Earlier in the day, Kapler addressed the nation’s latest gun-related tragedy in a lengthy and emotional piece entitled “Home of the Brave?”