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Mike Trout’s new life as fantasy football’s ‘worst commissioner’

NEW YORK — Baseball’s Best Player™ is at the country’s biggest media market this week as the Los Angeles Angels take on the New York Yankees. And of course, on Wednesday, Mike Trout conducted a sort of mini press conference for a bevy of reporters. His first request was that the questions focus on the sport he actually plays.

Unfortunately, as Trout would later confirm himself, people are really passionate about fantasy football. And if the drama is juicy enough (or stupid enough) and the people involved are professional athletes themselves, then they even have a passion for someone else’s fantasy football.

A news cycle about whether Trout’s understated, ongoing excellence might finally push the Angels into October was summarily sidelined by Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham, who revealed yesterday that the commissioner of the now-famous fantasy football League populated by MLB players will sometimes hit each other over roster rule disputes is none other than Mike Trout himself.

If you recall, Pham hit Giants outfielder Joc Pederson during batting practice last Friday. This resulted in Pham being suspended for three games and starting a series of increasingly absurd media scrums in which both parties testified to having competed in a 12-team $10,000 buy-in league (where that last-place team paid an additional $10,000), which was torn apart last season when Pham had problems with Pederson’s use of the IR. (As well as “four or five” jokes about the Padres’ bad game towards the end of the season.)

Mike Trout (27) of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Anaheim, California on Saturday, May 28, 2022.  (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Mike Trout (27) of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Anaheim, California on Saturday, May 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

With so many twists and turns and ridiculous allegations dried up, Pham told media representatives in Cincinnati that “Trout did a terrible job, man.”

Pham called him “the worst commissioner in fantasy sports because he let in a lot of shit and could have solved it all.”

He at least conceded that it was an unenviable position: “Nobody wanted to be a commissioner, I didn’t want to be the damn commissioner. I have other things to do. He didn’t want to do it; we put it on him. It was also a little bit our fault because we made him commissioner.”

OK, so that brings us back to New York, where Trout dutifully talked about how he stopped the Angels’ recent skid and how excited he is to be back east for a few minutes before asking about his role in Slapgate becomes.

“I’m not talking about fantasy football,” Trout said unfortunately.

“Everyone is competitive,” he offered as an explanation. “Everyone loves fantasy football, who doesn’t?”

(I, for the record, don’t like fantasy football.)

He said he’s spoken to everyone in the league that it’s the media that’s “dragging it out” (er, Tommy Pham disagrees) and again tried to stem the conversation by simply saying: “Just passionate about fantasy football. ”

As for his own personal future in what he called “certainly legendary fantasy football league” remains unclear.

“Am I going to quit? Uh, I haven’t made that decision yet,” Trout said. “But every commissioner I know always gets booed.”

He declined to comment on whether Pederson actually broke league rules with his interpretation of injured reserve.

In conclusion: How the heck did Tommy Pham literally coerce Mike Trout into reluctantly becoming a commissioner?

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