For some reason, Joc Pederson seems to be ruffling a few feathers among broadcasters on the East Coast.
First, it was New York Mets broadcaster and former player Keith Hernandez, who said that Pederson’s batting practice was “worthless”. The Dodgers rookie center fielder is known for his prodigious power show during batting practice that was highlighted by his performance in the Home Run Derby. Pederson has struggled a bit after a hot start to the year, hitting .191 with eight home runs since June 1.
Now it’s Philadelphia Phillies’ broadcaster Larry Andersen taking shots at Pederson, according to JP Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:
To me it’s just a young, selfish, very selfish player when you come out there, ‘I’m just trying to hit home runs, all I want to do is hit home runs’,” Andersen said. “What about — obviously there’s two outs, it’s not the same — what about if it’s first and third, infield back, all you gotta do is hit a ball on the ground and you’re going to go up there, try to hit home runs?”
Andersen went on to say more about the 23-year-old:
It looks like this guy’s just got one thing on his mind, and that’s either walking or hitting a home run,” Andersen said. “There’s no ‘try and get a base hit here.’ He came out and said it, ‘I’m trying to hit home runs.’ It’s not the smartest thing to come out and say.”
It’s unclear when Andersen “heard” Pederson admit that he was simply trying to hit home runs as he never did an interview with anyone from the Phillies:
Pederson and a Dodgers spokesperson both said the rookie wasn’t approached for an interview by anyone on the Phillies’ broadcast team during the three-game series.
The closest thing Pederson has said is that he swings hard all the time in case he makes contact, but that was more in a joking manner. The Rookie of the Year candidate had just one hit in three games against the Phillies, but he did walk six times.
With the Dodgers in Pittsburgh this weekend, it’ll be interesting if the Pirates broadcasters take any issue with Pederson.