Life on the road can be dangerous for professional athletes. Unfortunately for Texas Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers, he found that out the hard way after the team arrived in Cleveland on Thursday night for their weekend series against the Indians.
According to Drew Davison of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Scheppers was attacked by a group of young males in downtown Cleveland after going out for a food run. The assault took place about two blocks away from the team's hotel, and as a result Scheppers was unavailable to pitch on Friday night after suffering a laceration near his left eye and experiencing headaches.
He was, however, cleared for action on Saturday, so it appears the attack won't have any lasting effects. That's good news for everybody, but especially for the Rangers. In 46 appearances this season, Scheppers has posted a 1.74 ERA and a 1.88 K/BB ratio. Those outstanding numbers helped earn him a spot in the American League's Final Vote for the All-Star game.
Here's more from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram report:
"One of those freak things," Scheppers said. "I was just getting food and was blindsided. ... It's something you don't want to be talking about. You want to be talking about baseball things."
Scheppers said he was fortunate that he didn't suffer more serious injuries. He passed all concussion tests, but was shaken up by the incident and had a headache which kept him out of Friday's game.
Scheppers said he did not retaliate, saying: "I dropped like a sack of potatoes." The men then scattered, Scheppers said.
Sports Day DFW adds that a police report has been filed, but Scheppers was told by police that it was unlikely anybody would be apprehended. "They said it happens a lot, actually,” Scheppers added.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement for downtown Cleveland, but I think there's a bigger lesson here for everyone and not just professional athletes. If you're not familiar with your surroundings, make an effort to travel in groups. I know a two block walk seems innocent enough, but trouble lurks everywhere and it doesn't take long to strike.
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