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Houston Astros fire assistant GM Brandon Taubman following clubhouse outburst

"Our initial investigation led us to believe Brandon Taubman's inappropriate comments were not directed toward any reporter," the Astros said. "We were wrong."
Credit: Houston Astros

HOUSTON — The Houston Astros have fired their assistant general manager two games into the World Series after they say they determined he was targeting reporters with inappropriate comments he made during a recent locker room celebration.

Sports Illustrated writer Stephanie Apstein said after the Astros won the American League Championship Saturday night, Taubman shouted, “Thank God we got [Roberto] Osuna! I’m so f------ glad we got Osuna!” during the locker room celebration.

According to Apstein, Taubman's remarks about the Roberto Osuna, who had just given up a two-run homer that tied the game, were directed at three female reporters, including one who was wearing a purple domestic violence awareness bracelet. Apstein said Taubman repeated the statement half a dozen times, making them uncomfortable.

Apstein said none of the women had questioned Taubman about Osuna, so the timing seemed odd.

The Astros took heat in 2018 for adding Osuna to their roster. In May of that year, he was accused of assaulting the mother of his child. Prosecutors dropped the charges in a plea bargain, but Osuna was suspended for 75 games by MLB.

The Astros initially called the SI article "misleading and completely irresponsible."

"An Astros player was being asked questions about a difficult outing," the Astros said in their response. "Our executive {Brandon Taubman] was supporting the payer during a difficult time. His comments had everything to do about the game situation that just occurred and nothing else - they were also not directed toward an specific reporters. We are extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated's attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist."

After originally defending Taubman, the Astros were signing a different tune on Thursday when they announced his termination:

During the past two days, the Astros pro-actively assisted Major League Baseball in interviewing Astros employees as part of the 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 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 actions.

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.

Taubman joined the Astros in June 2013 and was in his first season as assistant GM.