The Houston Astros have fired embattled assistant general manager Brandon Taubman after he allegedly gloated to three female reporters about the acquisition of pitcher Roberto Osuna, who was suspended for 75 games for domestic violence.
According to Wednesday’s report by Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein, Taubman turned to three females after the team clinched the American League pennant on Saturday night and shouted: ‘Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f***ing glad we got Osuna!’
One of the female reporters was reportedly wearing a purple bracelet for domestic violence awareness.
Taubman repeated himself about a half dozen times, according to the report. Apstein wrote that ‘the outburst was frightening and offensive enough that another Houston staffer apologized.’
Initially the Astros called the report ‘misleading and completely irresponsible,’ but on Thursday released a statement acknowledging the team’s wrongdoing.
‘Subsequent interviews have revealed that Taubman’s inappropriate comments were, in fact, directed toward one or more reporters,’ the statement read. ‘Accordingly we have terminated Brandon Taubman’s employment with the Houston Astros.’
The Astros also acknowledge the franchise’s own missteps.
‘Our initial investigation led us to believe that Brandon Taubman’s inappropriate comments were not directed toward any reporter,’ the statement read. ‘We were wrong. We sincerely apologize to Stephanie Apstein, Sports Illustrated and to all individuals who witnessed this incident or were offended by the inappropriate conduct.
‘The Astros in no way intended to minimize the issues related to domestic violence. Our initial belief was based on witness statements about the incident.
‘His conduct does not reflect the values of our organization and we believe this is the most appropriate course of action,’ the statement continued. ‘We are thankful to Major League Baseball and to everyone that cooperated in the investigation. As previously stated, the Astros are very committed to using our voice to create awareness and support on the issue of domestic violence. We fully support MLB and baseball’s stance and values regarding domestic violence. We will continue to make this cause a priority for our organization.’
On Tuesday Major League Baseball announced it would investigate the accusations.
After first declining to comment on SI’s story, the Astros responded after it was published Monday night, describing the reporting as ‘misleading and completely irresponsible.’
Taubman has since apologized, but maintains his words were misinterpreted.
However, several other reporters who were in the clubhouse at the time said the original report is accurate.
Osuna allegedly assaulted the mother of his son in May of 2018.
The woman returned to her native Mexico shortly after and charges were never filed by Toronto prosecutors against Osuna, who was a member of the Blue Jays at the time.
The pitcher, however, is believed to have agree to leave the woman alone.
Osuna was suspended for 75 games in June of 22, 2018, and traded to Houston shortly thereafter. It has been speculated by many in the media that the Blue Jays’ asking price for Osuna was negatively impacted by the domestic violence accusations against the Mexican-born pitcher.
After serving the suspension, Osuna has re-established himself as one of the game’s top relief pitchers, leading the American League with 38 saves in 2019.
Apstein detailed the domestic abuse allegations after covering Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Afterwards, she went to the raucous Houston locker room, where she encountered Taubman.
As NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik pointed out, the reporter wearing the purple bracelet for domestic violence awareness had written about the issue extensively and may have been targeted by Taubman.
‘According to three eyewitnesses interviewed by NPR, Taubman appeared to be responding to the presence of a female reporter who was wearing a purple rubber bracelet to heighten awareness about domestic violence,’ Folkenflik wrote on NPR’s website.
‘That reporter has tweeted repeatedly about the issue over the years. Taubman complained last year that some of the reporter’s informational tweets — promoting domestic violence hotline telephone numbers, for example — appeared moments after Osuna entered several Astros games in relief.’
Team owner Jim Crane issued a statement on Wednesday: ‘The Astros continue to be committed to using our voice to create awareness and support on the issue of domestic violence. We not only ensure mandatory training annually for all of our employees, we have also created an important partnership with the Texas Council on Family Violence, and have raised over $300K through our initiatives to help various agencies providing important support for this cause. We fully support MLB and baseball’s stance and values regarding domestic violence.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Alex Raskin