Following the Houston Astros victory over the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Championship Series, Astros’ assistant general manager Brandon Taubman went on a bit of a tirade in the clubhouse that has Sports Illustrated taking the team, and MLB, to task.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein, Taubman turned to a group of three female reporters, one of whom was wearing a purple domestic-violence awareness bracelet and yelled, half a dozen times, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f—— glad we got Osuna!”
Robert Osuna, the Astros’ closer, allegedly assaulted Alejandra Román Cota, the mother of his then-three-year-old child, in May 2018, as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. Ultimately, prosecutors dropped the charges after Cota returned to Mexico and declined to testify; as part of the bargain, Osuna agreed not to have contact with her for one year.
MLB issued a 75-game ban, which did not include the postseason.
Making matters worse, Osuna wasn’t the reason they won, and could have been the reason they lost in Game 6, after he gave up a two-run homer to Yankees’ infielder DJ LeMahieu to tie the game in the top of the ninth inning.
Astros’ Jose Altuve hit the winning walkoff 2-run homer to end the ALCS in the bottom of the ninth.
So, Taubman’s outburst seemed, especially towards female reporters, seemed to have a different meaning.
Things got more interesting when the Astros seemed to go to great lengths to defend Taubman and take Sports Illustrated to task, questioning their reporting and credibility, and the reporting and credibility of Apstein as well, via a statement.
According to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, MLB is now investigating the reported actions of Taubman.
The Astros were then hit with a flurry of damning reports and articles calling them out for their apparent support of domestic violence, which had them scrambling to change their stance.
Taubman issued the following statement on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle.
“This past Saturday, during our clubhouse celebration, I used inappropriate language for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed,” Taubman said. “In retrospect, I realize that my comments were unprofessional and inappropriate. My overexuberance in support of a player has been misinterpreted as a demonstration of a regressive attitude about an important social issue. Those that know me know that I am a progressive and charitable member of the community, and a loving and committed husband and father. I hope that those who do not know me understand that the Sports Illustrated article does not reflect who I am or my values. I am sorry if anyone was offended by my actions.”
MLB issued the following statement.
“Domestic violence is extraordinarily serious and everyone in baseball must use care to not engage in any behavior — whether intentional or not — that could be construed as minimizing the egregiousness of an act of domestic violence. We became aware of this incident through the Sports Illustrated article. The Astros have disputed Sports Illustrated’s characterization of the incident. MLB will interview those involved before commenting further.”
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