Padres’ Tommy Pham: Hecklers taunting him over stabbing incident
San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham was involved in a stabbing in 2020, and he claims that fans have been using the frightening incident as heckling material this season.
Pham was involved in an altercation last October outside a strip club. He suffered a “slash wound” when stabbed, per police, during a confrontation near his car. The Padres outfielder had to undergo surgery due to the injury.
During a discussion this week with Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Pham revealed that fans during both home and away games have been taunting him over the traumatic incident.
“I need to talk to MLB,” Pham said. “The vulgarity this year, the gestures, I’ve never seen it at this level. I want to know if this is just because fans have been gone for a year and now they’re back and acting a certain way. That [stuff] shouldn’t be tolerated.”
Major League Baseball has since issued a statement to the San Diego Union-Tribune in response to Pham’s remarks.
“Preserving the safety of our on-field personnel and our fans is essential to us,” MLB indicated in the statement. “We will continue to devote resources to emphasizing and enforcing the applicable laws and codes of conduct and providing an enjoyable experience at our ballparks.”
MLB ballparks are returning to pre-pandemic attendance levels as the season enters the summer months, which has ushered in the return of some aggravating aspects of having fans pack the stands. Heckling is of course one of tried and true traditions in baseball, but the case can be made that some hecklers crossed the line with their taunting of Pham.
The Padres slugger, however, is enjoying a solid season at the plate despite the mistreatment by a small segment of fans. In 65 games, Pham is slashing at a .242/.374/.735 clip with five home runs and 21 RBI. Pham has been heating up of late as well and is batting .360 over his past seven games.
Despite the surge in the batter’s box, Pham went on to add that even if he’s doing his best to tune out the taunts during games, inappropriate comments on Twitter and the like echo the ballpark heckling.
“Today, social media kind of makes it worse,” Pham said. “Some fans think they’re better baseball players than me, I guess.”