HOUSTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 22: Roberto Osuna #54 of the Houston Astros looks on from the dugout prior to Game One of the 2019 World Series against the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park on October 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
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The Houston Astros fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman on Thursday after intially denying a news article that Taubman taunted female reporters in the baseball team’s clubhouse about the signing of a pitcher accused of domestic violence.
“We were wrong,” the Astros said in a statement, referring to their initial claim that Taubman’s “inappropriate comments were not directed toward any reporter.”
Taubman’s “conduct does not reflect the values of our organization and we believe this is the most appropriate course of action,” the Astros said.
The team also directly apologized to Sports Illustrated, which broke the news about Taubman’s taunts.
Taubman, according to a report in Sports Illustrated on Monday, had repeatedly yelled “Thank God we got Osuna, I’m so f—— glad we got Osuna” in the direction of three female reporters on Saturday night after the Astros defeated the Yankees to win the American League pennant and secure a berth in the World Series.
Roberto Osuna is the Astros pitcher who, while playing with the Toronto Blue Jays, was arrested for alleged domestic violence in May 2018.
Although that case was later dropped, Osuna was suspended for 75 games by Major League Baseball.
The Astros originally had called Sports Illustrated’s article “misleading and completely irresponsible,” claiming that Taubman had spoken only after “being asked questions about a difficult outing.”
“Our executive was supporting the player during the difficult time,” the Astros said at the time. “His comments had everything to do with the game situation that just occurred and nothing else — they were also not directed toward any specific reporters.”
The Astros currently are down 0-2 in the World Series against the Washington Nationals. The next game is Friday in Washington.
Read the Houston Astros statement:
During the past two days, the Astros pro-actively assisted Major League Baseball in interviewing Astros employees as part of MLB’s investigation of the events published in the recent Sports Illustrated article. Major League Baseball also separately interviewed members of the media over the past 24 hours.
Our initial investigation led us to believe that Brandon Taubman’s inappropriate comments were not directed toward any reporter. 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. Subsequent interviews have revealed that Taubman’s inappropriate comments were, in fact, directed toward one or more reporters. Accordingly we have terminated Brandon Taubman’s employment with the Houston Astros. His conduct does not reflect the values of our organization and we believe this is the most appropriate course of action.
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.