- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Houston Astros are under fire after a Sports Illustrated report highlighted assistant general manager Brandon Taubman’s behavior following the American League Championship Series.

Taubman reportedly turned to three female reporters, one of whom was wearing a bracelet for domestic violence awareness, and repeatedly yelled in support of Roberto Osuna, the team’s closer who was suspended 75 games in the 2018 season for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. Taubman reportedly said, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so [expletive] glad we got Osuna!”

Osuna, as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, was charged with domestic assault in May 2018, but the charges were later withdrawn. The Astros traded for him before the end of his suspension.

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The Astros initially released a statement, calling the story “misleading and completely irresponsible” — leading to further criticism.

“The story posted by Sports Illustrated is misleading and completely irresponsible. An Astros player was being asked questions about a difficult outing,” the Astros said. “Our executive was supporting the player 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 any specific reporters. We are extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated’s attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist.”

Multiple reporters, including two from the Houston Chronicle, contradicted Houston’s account, saying there were no players around when Taubman went up to the group. Sports Illustrated also reported one Houston staffer apologized to the group.

The Astros then issued a statement of apology from Taubman Tuesday afternoon.

“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.”

An additional statement from team owner and chairman Jim Crane added that the Astros fully support MLB’s policy on domestic violence and work to raise money to combat the issue in Texas.

The Astros were heavily criticized on Twitter: 

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