The Houston Astros fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman on Thursday after he made offensive comments to female journalists, which was originally reported by Sports Illustrated’ Stephanie Apstein.
On Saturday, Taubman was in the clubhouse celebrating the team’s American League Championship Series victory when he yelled “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so [expletive] glad we got Osuna!” at a group of several female journalists. The comments were in regard to reliever Roberto Osuna, who served a 75-game suspension last season for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. The Astros acquired Osuna ahead of last year’s trade deadline.
Taubman tried to lie to Astros officials when the news first broke in Sports Illustrated about his conduct, the Washington Post reported. Taubman told the team that his comments were directed at another Astros employee, according to Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow.
Luhnow said in a press conference Thursday that it was not a problem within the Astros’ culture as a whole.
“This is not something that’s endemic,” he said. “This is not a cultural issue. We have a lot of really good people in our front office, our coaching staff and our team.”
The Astros also issued an apology on Thursday.
“We sincerely apologize to Stephanie Apstein, Sports Illustrated and to all individuals who witnessed this incident or were offended by the inappropriate conduct,” the team said in a statement. “The Astros in no way intended to minimize the issues related to domestic violence.”
MLB also has launched an investigation into the incident involving Taubman. The Astros fired Taubman before the investigation concluded, but it is not clear whether any other employees will be disciplined, in particular, the ones who participated in releasing the Astros’ first statement accusing Apstein of making up the story, calling it “misleading” and “completely irresponsible.”
Luhnow did admit that the initial statement about the article and Taubman “never should have been sent” but that the Astros would “own it as an organization,” the Post reported.