LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers kept their clubhouse closed longer than usual Tuesday before the opener of a two-game interleague series with the Los Angeles Dodgers to deal internally with the sexual assault complaint against reliever Evan Reed.
New manager Brad Ausmus addressed the issue during his interview session with reporters, one day after the club issued a statement saying the organization is aware of the ''very serious allegation'' made against Reed. The team said the allegation is ''concerning'' and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.
''It certainly has an effect, in the sense that there's questions that I have to answer,'' said Ausmus, who played in the big leagues for 18 seasons. ''I've been on teams where there's been off-field issues. But once the bell rings, once the first pitch is thrown, it's all business.
''I think baseball players nowadays, in general, have become very adept at separating the stuff between the lines from everything else surrounding the game,'' he added. ''There are times when it may distract an individual - but as a group, I don't think it's as much of a distraction as it's often portrayed. I just want to know if they're OK, from the standpoint of, will they be able to perform? But I certainly don't get involved in the details of it.''
David Gorcyca, Reed's attorney, said Monday that he is very confident Reed will have ''nothing to fear'' once a full investigation is completed.
''During the infancy of this investigation, no one should formulate any conclusions that a crime has been committed,'' Gorcyca said in a statement. ''Mr. Reed is currently on a seven-day West Coast road trip and has not been contacted by the Detroit Police Department. We plan on cooperating with the investigation when the time is appropriate. Until then, no further comment will be made by me or Mr. Reed.''
Detroit police Sgt. Michael Woody said the alleged victim was being interviewed, adding that he didn't know when the alleged assault occurred.
Reed had given up two hits over 2 1-3 innings in two games this season. He was 0-1 with a 4.24 ERA in 16 games last year as a rookie.