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Collision Results in Angry Words, Plus a Double Play

Padres' Tommy Pham and Ha-Seong Kim collided going after pop fly
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2021 9:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – The 2021 baseball season is producing some strange plays, and the most recent involves a scary collision, a language barrier, a loud crowd, an altercation between members of the same team, and a double play, all in one. It all began in Chicago, when the Cubs' PJ Higgins hit a pop fly to shallow left, reports ESPN. San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham and shortstop Ha-Seong Kim collided trying to catch the ball, and neither did. However, Kim managed to scoop it up and throw it to the infield. Watch it here. Both had to be helped from the field, and the New York Post reports that third base coach Bobby Dickerson apparently criticized Pham for the lack of communication. This evidently ticked off Pham, who had to be restrained in the dugout.

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"Let me be clear on this, we have a passionate group," Padres manager Jayce Tingler said after his team's 6-1 loss, downplaying the tension. "And passion is a good thing." As for the play: "It was the perfect storm," Tingler said. "A little bit of a language barrier," and it was a "packed house, incredibly loud. Both guys got their bell rung." Kim, who's from South Korea, is under concussion protocol, and Pham needed stitches on his chin. So why the double play? Cubs' base runners thought the fly ball had been caught and didn't advance to second and third, respectively, per USA Today and MLB.com. So when Kim threw the ball to the infield, Padres players stepped on third base and second base for dual force-outs. (Read more baseball stories.)

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