Major League Baseball says it will look into allegations that Houston Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman shouted at female reporters regarding the club’s acquisition of closer Roberto Osuna following Game 6 of the ALCS on Saturday.
According to Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated, Taubman turned to three female reporters in the clubhouse and yelled six times, “Thank god we got Osuna! I’m so f—— glad we got Osuna!”
The Astros traded for Osuna during the 2018 campaign while he was serving a 75-game ban for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.
The team called Apstein’s report “misleading” and “completely irresponsible,” but two other reporters corroborated the story.
“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,” the league said Tuesday in a statement.
“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.”
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America also released a statement Tuesday calling for the Astros to publicly apologize to Apstein for initially discrediting her reporting.
“The Astros’ initial denial of the incident reported by SI was an unethical and intentional fabrication, designed to discredit our members and all journalists,” BBWAA president Rob Biertempfel said. “The BBWAA is encouraged by MLB’s decision to investigate this matter and will fully cooperate. We expect that appropriate disciplinary measures will be handed out and made public.
“Also, a public apology to the media outlets involved – particularly Stephanie Apstein, Sports Illustrated, and the BBWAA – should be forthcoming.”
Taubman apologized Tuesday for his actions, but said his comments were “misinterpreted.”
“This past Saturday, during our clubhouse celebration, I used inappropriate language for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed,” Taubman said in a statement. “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.”
Astros owner Jim Crane also commented on the situation.
“The Astros continue to be committed to using our voice to create awareness and support on the issue of domestic violence,” Crane said in the same release. “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 $300,000 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.”
Astros manager AJ Hinch discussed the incident in front of reporters before Game 1.
“I’m very disappointed for a lot of reasons,” the manager said of Taubman’s comments, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. “It’s unfortunate. It’s uncalled for … We all need to be better across the board in the industry.”