Police and witnesses say that Texas Rangers pitcher Tanner Scheppers did not get assaulted in Cleveland the way he said he did.
Possibly embarrassed to have instigated a bar fight, Scheppers related a story repeated by The Stew on Saturday that he was jumped by some roughnecks in downtown Cleveland in the wee hours Friday morning. Local police differ on what happened. And leave it to Cleveland Scene magazine to get to the bottom of the shenanigans:
Scene spoke to a witness to the "sucker punch," and there are more than a few discrepancies between his story and that of Tanner.
First, it was at 2:30 a.m. outside of Panini's on W. 6th.
Second, Tanner was a verbal instigator. He was with Joe Nathan, A.J. Pierzynski, and, according to our tipster, a bunch of girls. He had been jawing back and forth for a few minutes before the physical altercation took place.
"He lost a bar fight," says the witness. "He had 10 chances to walk away before this happened."
Maybe that's why he didn't file a police report.
Aw, Tanner. No wonder Scheppers said that "It's something you don't want to be talking about." And there's no way a sucker punch happened if it wasn't A.J. Pierzynski getting hit.
Scheppers declined comment after pitching a scoreless inning Sunday, the Dallas Morning News reports, but the Rangers are looking into what happened:
“Following today’s reports, the Texas Rangers are in the process of investigating the incident involving Tanner Scheppers on Thursday night,” the statement said. “The club has been in contact with officials from the Cleveland Police Department and the Cleveland Indians. Until our investigation is complete, no one from the organization will have any further comment on this matter.”
Sometimes it's the crime, but it's almost always the coverup that gets you. Excellent job, Cleveland Scene.
And downtown Cleveland — it looks like you are owed an apology.