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For shame, Astros

I hate to harsh anyone’s World Series buzz, but this was and still is appalling.

Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman apologized to “anyone that was offended by my actions” after directing an expletive-filled tirade toward a group of female reporters in the team’s celebratory clubhouse following the American League Championship Series.

As Sports Illustrated first reported Monday night and the Chronicle later confirmed, Taubman yelled ““Thank God we got (Roberto) Osuna! I’m so (expletive) glad we got Osuna! about a half dozen times” toward the group. Osuna had just blown a save in the ninth inning of Houston’s 6-4 win against the Yankees.

“I used inappropriate language for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed,” Taubman said in a statement on Tuesday. “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.”

[…]

Sports Illustrated reported that one of the women to whom Taubman directed his vitriol was wearing a purple domestic violence awareness bracelet. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Sports Illustrated offered both the Astros and Taubman a chance to comment before the story published on Monday. Both parties declined. In a statement released after Sports Illustrated’s story ran on Monday night, the Astros called the piece “misleading and completely irresponsible” while adding they were “extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated’s attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist.”

Sports Illustrated released a statement on Tuesday in which it “unequivocally” stood behind the reporting of Stephanie Apstein, the article’s original author.

Not once in the statements released on Tuesday did the Astros deny that Taubman used offensive language. Eyewitnesses told The Chronicle that no players were in the area of the female reporters who were yelled at, disputing the Astros’ assertion that Taubman’s rant was about “an Astros player was being asked questions about a difficult outing.”

Literally everything about this incident, which MLB is now investigating and for which the Astros were thoroughly dragged on the internet, is awful. The “apology” is utter bullshit – the offending statements were not “inappropriate language” but an honest representation of what Brandon Taubman believes, because no one says stuff like that without having thought about it first. The Astros’ initial response was monstrous and a libel against reporter Apstein. There’s not enough bleach in the state to wipe clean this stain.

I’m not going to tell you not to root for your Astros. The players you love (minus Osuna, of course) aren’t responsible for this, the underlying misogyny is a societal problem, and domestic violence is a problem that sports in general and MLB in particular have not come to terms with. Plenty of other teams have dirty hands on this issue as well. But all of us need to deliver a loud and clear message to our favorite teams that this shit is not acceptable. They need to clean up their act, and they need to do it now. Jenny Dial Creech has more.

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17 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    I really don’t even understand what the problem is here. I’m so glad we got a player who is very good at baseball and helped our team win is now controversial? Women in the clubhouse were offended? Maybe they should take their delicate selves out of the clubhouse. I’m assuming the F-bomb was the offensive word?

    If so, those women need to grow a pair, LOL, or just give up the locker room beat for cooking shows or something less upsetting for them.

    Do women want to be treated as equals? Then they should act like it. Man up, ladies. You’re little outrage party draws zero sympathy from me.

    GO ASTROs!

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    From the NPR article:

    “It’s just arrogance. That is what the organizational philosophy with the Houston Astros is,” ESPN baseball columnist Jeff Passan said on Outside the Lines. “The Astros always, when they are attacked, will attack back. And that’s what this was, despite the fact that we’re on Day 1 of the World Series

    Great! i want to support people who, when they are attacked, attack back. Maybe don’t dish it out if you can’t take it. And anyone working for ESPN really has no room to talk. Jemele Moore, anyone?

  3. Andrea says:

    Oh, Bil. Bill Bill Bill Bill Bill. You are so right. You really *don’t* understand what the problem is.

    It’s not the cussing. As a woman who was on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team in college, I can assure you that women cuss just as often as men in locker rooms.

    (Odds are you were *not* on a varsity men’s team at college so I thought I’d share my expertise with you.)

    I’m not going to explain to you what the problem actually is. I really just came here to tell you that you are a contemptible toad who doesn’t know when to just hush.

  4. brad says:

    Whoa, the stench of the comments so far in here is overwhelming.

  5. brad says:

    There appears to be some leadership in the Astros organization.

    https://www.foxnews.com/sports/astros-aj-hinch-executive-roberto-osuna-comments

  6. brad says:

    Andrea,

    FYI only…somehow your comment preceded mine. My stench reference was for the first 2/3 of the comments previous to my first comments. Thanks.

  7. Jules says:

    As always, Bill’s comment completely misses the fucking point.

  8. Andrea says:

    Brad – thanks for clarifying! I wouldn’t have minded if you meant mine, however, as I was testing out what it must be like to feel free to just be a jerk on the internet. So maybe the fact that your commentary didn’t take into account my comment means I should try harder? Hmmm…

  9. C.L. says:

    Bill’s position not withstanding…

    An Astros employee cussed at the top of his lungs in a champagne-filled locker room post win expressing his admiration and/or gratitude for a particular player… and the offending act was (on this I’m confused) his use of the work ‘fuck’ ?, the fact that there females in the room when shouting same ?, the objection of his preposition (Osuna), an individual who was accused of domestic violence ?, or the fact all of that took place and the females, who were probably close to three out of a hundred reporters who heard the comment, were all wearing some domestic-violence-awareness bracelets ? Lord help us if we’re no longer able to express a personal opinion without offending someone.

  10. Flypusher says:

    Context is everything, and that is what some of you seem to be deliberately trying to ignore.

    Getting Osuna was controversial. The Astros front office says that they knew this, but their public position of being perplexed that there is still blowback over it contradicts that. Payment is not always just in $. They should adult-up and deal with it- they took a PR hit in exchange for a cheap closer. They are going to keep getting tough questions about this, even more now because of this bout of stupidity. You can talk about 2nd chances, but let’s keep it real and admit that some 2nd chances are more equal than others. Osuna blew an opportunity to lessen the controversy by failing to man-up and publicly admit that he did something wrong and apologize.

    AFAIK it was Taubman who initiated this for no good reason. There’s no report that he was responding to any criticism of Osuna (like for blowing the save). HE brought it up unprompted. HE decided to be an asshole troll. He is entitled to approve of Osuna; he can be his BFF for all I care. But in this context, this is not merely someone expressing an opinion, especially when the organization tries to cover it up (Except for A.J.- mad respect to him for doing and saying what is right.).

    I’m a long time Astros fan, and I’m PISSED that such a joyous moment (Altuve’s walk off homer) was marred by this unnecessary assholery. I don’t like Osuna at all, but I wholeheartedly root for the good guys like Altuve, who do this city proud. The organization needs to nip this bad karma in the bud, and Taubman needs some remedial training in how to work and play well with others.

  11. Thomas says:

    Flypusher, to use an apt analogy, just hit it out of the park.

    Hopefully the Astros as a whole will do a better job of hitting things out of the park tonight as compared to last night. (11 men LOB… ugh!)

  12. Bill Daniels says:

    Andrea,

    You must be real fun at parties. Are you, by any chance, related to mayoral candidate and repeat lawbreaker Demetria Smith? I ask, because you seen to share the same sparkling personality and attitude. Why, I can practically see your neck bob from over here in the cheap seats. By the way, appearing freakishly mannish isn’t a look that most guys find attractive, so going ‘flour tortillas’ was probably your best option anyway.

    Brad,

    It’s just really hard to take you or your opinions seriously, although it’s always interesting to see how self loathing cuckolds work so hard to supplicate themselves to, well, every and anybody. Yay, you can bash Taubman and Osuna, too! You’re part of the cool kids’ club!

    Osuna allegedly smacked his wife or ex wife around. OK, not his best moment, if true. He already went through the legal system, and the case was adjudicated. He already went through the MLB system and that case was adjudicated and is over also.

    It’s over. You’d think liberals like yourselves would be all about redemption and second changes. That’s why you want felons to be able to vote. That’s why many liberals celebrated Trump’s prison reform “First Step Act.” At some point the dude’s punishment needs to be over. Even the ex who got smacked around knows that Osuna has to work in order to keep paying her child support. What’s your solution? Make the guy unemployable? That will be great, as there won’t be any money for child support and/or alimony to the ex. Is that really what your want? You want to keep on punishing this guy until he’s broke and homeless? At what point is it going to ever be over for you? You’re willing to take food out of the kid’s mouth for some kind of vendetta that even the ex wife got over.

  13. Jules says:

    “I … sitting in the corner like a good cuck.” – Bill Daniels

  14. Jason Hochman says:

    I think Bill has missed the point here…Osuna is a Mexican, he left school at a young age, to help support his family by picking fruit. These women would like to have him shipped back to the other side of their beloved wall, picking fruit for low pay, to keep them from having to overpay for strawberries.

    Assholery is OK, you can’t be honest if you are always nice, and a lack of agreeableness correlates with higher earning…

    The righteous self appointed elites need to realize that pro sports is a multi billion dollar business, it is not a role model academy, it is not an association of choirboys. How many players have been accused of domestic violence and still played. I guess Ray Rice never played again, although he had his suspension over turned in court, and, the woman he abused married him anyway. Most others continued to play.

  15. Jules says:

    Jason, your comment is so senseless that it has sucked all the sense out of any other comment you have made or will make.

  16. Jules says:

    He’s been fired.