During an interview with Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole on FOX Sports Live, Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson revealed he was snubbed by childhood hero Barry Bonds.
As Pederson told it, he approached Bonds, the Miami Marlins hitting coach, during Miami’s visit to Dodger Stadium to ask for a photograph and was ignored. The young center fielder joked he was stunned by the turn of events and it may have affected his play that evening.
Although disappointed, Pederson largely laughed the matter off. Not too long after word of Bonds’ actions began to spread, he called Pederson to offer an apology, according to Terence Moore of MLB.com:
“I got a phone call from somebody about it, and I said, ‘What? I did what?’ So I just called the young man up maybe 45 minutes ago, and I apologized, because that’s what he felt took place. What was really funny about that situation is that I didn’t even know that it happened. I don’t like talking to the media about these things, but I’m telling you about the phone call and that I apologized to the kid, because I’ve never done anything to a ballplayer like that in my life.
Pederson said the call surprised him and that he appreciated it:
“He apologized and I accept his apology. It’s all good,” Pederson said. “Surprised? Yeah. It was very nice of him and I appreciated the call, appreciated him reaching out to call and clear things up.”
While Bonds did call to offer some form of an apology, he added that he wasn’t pleased with Pederson’s decision to publicly discuss the matter:
“I told him, ‘It’s an unfortunate situation that you felt you had to go to the media to make that statement when, technically, it was an honest mistake, and I didn’t go out of my way to do something like that, because I’ve never done anything like that in my life,'” Bonds said, easing into a smile.
Pederson is quietly enjoying a successful stretch, though did go hitless over a five-game span. As he continues to work on becoming more consistent at the plate, Pederson’s defense in center field has remained elite.