Silliness ensued off the bat for the San Francisco Giants in their series opener against the Cincinnati Reds. It was not silliness of their own doing, not at the onset at least, but it ensued nonetheless.
Before the game had even started, Joc Pederson had gotten slapped.
I’ve made it 32 years on this planet without getting slapped, and I know what you’re all wondering: Him?? How?!? When is someone finally gonna change that?
But it’s true. I’ve made it to 32 without a slap, and Joc Pederson couldn’t even make it through a warmup in the outfield, 103 days after the NFL season concluded, without getting slapped by the scorned palm of Reds outfielder Tommy Pham, who apparently was upset about their shared fantasy football league.
I’m being entirely serious right now. This is not me mailing it in for the week and making up something silly. This is a real thing that happened between two real baseball players before a real game on a real day.
Look, Joc even corroborated the report.
Spoke with Joc Pederson, who said Tommy Pham slapped him during pregame incident over issue involving fantasy football league. Said he doesn’t expect to be in another fantasy league with Pham again.— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) May 28, 2022
Seems like a safe bet, dude.
And in case you’re wondering what exactly there is to dispute with fantasy football, Pederson said he was accused of stashing a player in the Injured Reserve. Over a year ago.
Joc shares details of what happened in his fantasy football league that started his altercation with Tommy Pham today pic.twitter.com/d9NBTwPVoG— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) May 28, 2022
Props to Joc for handling a second-grade scuffle like the adult that he is.
And then, because the force of Pham’s open-handed blow was enough to change the weather, the teams sat on their derrières for two hours and eight minutes while that famed Cincinnati rain dropped down.
So yes, silliness ensued.
The Giants were inspired by said silliness, so when the game finally began, they took on the official role of silly masters.
It started with Carlos Rodón, one of the very best pitchers currently alive, getting outpitched by Graham Ashcraft, a B-level prospect making his second MLB appearance.
In ended with the Giants, one of the quite good teams in baseball, getting beaten 5-1 by the Reds, one of the quite bad teams in baseball.
And in between? Silliness. Pure silliness.
Rodón, who has been known to touch 99 in the seventh inning, and who strikes out batters just by looking at them, topped out at 95, striking out just two batters in 5.1 innings.
The second of the three runs he allowed came when second baseman Donovan Walton fielded a grounder and, pressed for time to get the ball to first base, tossed it from his mitt, despite having enough time to make an honest-to-goodness normal throw. The mitt toss hung in the air longer than Michael Jordan during his Space Jam dunk, allowing a runner from second base to score easily.
The Giants scored their only run when Pederson, who apparently hadn’t been hit enough for one day, got plunked with the bases loaded.
Poetic, but silly.
They gave a run back in the eighth inning when José Álvarez thought he had gotten the final out with the bases loaded, only to be informed that Joey Bart had committed the sin of catcher’s interference.
But the silliest of all — non slapping-someone-because-of-fantasy-football category — came when the Giants brought Jake McGee, freshly activated off of the Injured List into the game for the eighth inning. Only when McGee had reached the mound were the Giants informed that they never actually listed McGee on the lineup cards exchanged before the game, thus making him ineligible to pitch. So he got to go through the ceremonial rigamarole of jogging from the bullpens to the mound, and then having a conference on the mound and departing for the dugout. He’ll be really ready tomorrow.
Jake McGee wasn’t allowed to enter tonight’s game because he wasn’t listed on the lineup card pic.twitter.com/d5vrsbD5ro— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) May 28, 2022
I prefer the silliness that results in wins, but not all silliness can be satisfying. Sometimes baseball is just silly for no damn good reason.