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Astros fire Taubman

It’s something.

The Astros fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman on Thursday afternoon and issued an apology to a Sports Illustrated reporter whom they falsely accused of fabricating a story about his clubhouse tirade.

The Astros “proactively assisted” Major League Baseball in an investigation over the last two days, the team said in a statement disseminated on Thursday. MLB separately interviewed eyewitnesses to Taubman’s actions on Saturday in the Astros’ celebratory clubhouse.

[…]

When Sports Illustrated’s story first published on Monday — one for which the Astros initially declined comment — the club issued a defiant denial that claimed reporter Stephanie Apstein attempted “to fabricate a story where one does not exist.”

“We were wrong,” the Astros said in their Thursday statement that terminated Taubman.

“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.”

See here for the background. This would feel a whole lot different if the Astros had taken more decisive and more appropriate action in the immediate aftermath of Taubman’s rant, even if all they had said originally was that they took the allegations seriously and would look into them. It would also feel different if this had happened before Jeff Luhnow’s ridiculous claim that “we may never know” Taubman’s intent. (Pro tip: Maybe try asking him.) At this point, it mostly comes across as damage control, and leaves one wondering why it was so hard to get it right in the first place.

But it is what it is, and so here we are. Late is still better than never, and I’m glad the Astros eventually got to the right place. I hope they truly learn something from this. Nonequiteuse and Texas Monthly have more.

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12 Comments

  1. Flypusher says:

    “This would feel a whole lot different if the Astros had taken more decisive and more appropriate action in the immediate aftermath of Taubman’s rant, even if all they had said originally was that they took the allegations seriously and would look into them.”

    Seriously. It’s pretty damn simple, it buys you time to sort things out, and no reasonable person is going to complain about that as an initial response.

    The life lesson here is don’t be an asshole troll while you are at work, especially in a high profile setting. Be courteous and professional in public, no matter what your history is with a certain group of reporters.

  2. Ross says:

    The nonsequiteuse comments on Osuna can be restated as “burn the witch, burn the witch”. She apparently doesn’t believe in redemption, and wants Osuna sent back to Mexico to pick fruit.

  3. Jules says:

    Huh, a retired millionaire picking fruit in Mexico. Could be. Grab a fresh lime for a drink. Makes sense to me Ross.

  4. Joel says:

    It absolutely boggles the mind that Ross chose to characterize a women protesting men belittling women’s concerns by … wait for it … invoking witch burning boggles the mind.

    That level of lack of awareness is truly staggering.

    You must be a peach, dude. And divorced, I assume.

  5. Brad says:

    Fly,

    Seriously, it’s pretty simple.

    Tell the truth and don’t lie on your initial statement and then on your second statement don’t vacillate. Especially after getting caught in slow.

    The Astros simply blew it.

  6. Bill Daniels says:

    Joel,

    What do you get out of hitching your wagon to a militant, man hating lesbian….an anti-Semitic, brown hating, problem glasses butch at that? She somehow manages to virtue signal for blacks yet hates Mexicans….go figure. Jules, I can understand. He’s a dullard, incapable of independent thought, so he just goes along with whatever and whoever he thinks is popular. I expected more out of you though.

    What we know:

    ~Osuna dealt with the legal and MLB ramifications of his actions, whatever he may have done. MLB certifies that he’s fit to play. He’s done with the justice system as well. It’s over.

    ~Astros hire Osuna and Osuna exhibits NO untoward behavior during his time in an Astros uniform

    ~Taubman expresses support for Osuna.

    ~Expressing support for Osuna /= supporting domestic violence.

    ~The female SI reporter crafted a whole false narrative and story of being personally attacked out of…..nothing. News flash: I doubt Taubman noticed or even would have understood the significance of some random reporter wearing a purple bracelet. Until this story, I assumed purple anything was associated with either Alzheimer’s awareness, or Grimace over at McDonalds.

    And for the Astros to go along with this by firing Taubman…..it’s unconscionable. When are people going to wake up and find out that you can’t placate the professional victim class? The Astros should have backed their man, period.

    I mean, the stupid is just overwhelming, here. Let’s say a student goes to school wearing an Osuna jersey, and a young lady in his class complains that she is victimized by the student with the Osuna jersey, because supporting Osuna = supporting domestic violence and [fill in the rest of the victimhood narrative]. The wearing of the shirt had absolutely NOTHING to do with the complaining student. Can you see the parallel here? You going to punish the jersey wearing student because another student got offended?

  7. Jules says:

    What I don’t get is Charles letting some cuck-fetishing misogynistic homophobic asshole talk like that about his friend not once, but twice, in his own house. I would shut that shit down.

  8. Ross says:

    @Jules/@Joel nonsequiteuse said on Twitter that she wants Osuna gone. Since Osuna was never convicted of anything, and served the MLB punishment, that tells me she doesn’t think that people can reform and learn, and is acting just like the witch burners of old who wanted drastic punishment regardless of due process and justice.

    Taubman acted like an idiot and deserved to be fired after an investigation. He didn’t deserve to be fired 2 minutes after his tirade because of that whole due process thing I mentioned earlier. The Astros immediate response was poor, which happens frequently when an organization is caught off guard and feels defensive, and they need to work on that.

  9. Jules says:

    Ross, my issue was with your idiotic comment about Osuna going back to pick fruit. The man has made millions. He has other options when his baseball career ends for whatever reason.

    I happen to agree Osuna deserves a second chance. I don’t think nonsequitese deserves the hateful ad hominem venom Bill is spewing because she disagrees that Osuna deserves a second chance. I think she is a friend of Charles’s. I wouldn’t let some asshole talk to my friend like that in my house, I have no idea why Charles puts up with it. Bill has nothing of value to add to any conversation.

  10. Bill Daniels says:

    Jules,

    I would very much like a return to civility here, where we discuss and attack ideas and positions, not people, via ad hominum attacks. You may have noticed, I virtually never start an ad hominum attack, only respond in kind when one is leveled against me.

    As someone with a mostly contrarian viewpoint, I usually try to be extra civil. I’m going to own my own disparaging comment in this thread as wrong. There was an exchange in another thread, and that should have been it. I shouldn’t have continued it here, and for that, I apologize. I was wrong.

    Having said that, I’m definitely not the only one here guilty of the exact same behavior. That’s not an excuse, that’s not whataboutism, it’s just fact.

  11. Jason Hochman says:

    I am not smart so forgive me not understanding this, I don’t agree with intentionally antagonizing but everyone today is so thin skinned, so hurt by words, yet, actions don’t mean anything. In our culture there is a saying, “the mother is not the one who gave birth but the one who raised the child.” So the Astros respond by firing someone with a Jewish name, so they are probably anti-Semites, and then, they keep the people who hired the abuser and they keep the abuser himself. I believe that they had to make this offering in order for the league to swing the advantage back to them.

    I still can’t understand why people are so thin skinned. And also, I don’t understand if a represent of a major league team won’t stand for the anthem, and offends the veterans, everyone says “oh that’s his first amendment right,” but if he offends a woman, it is “OMG this is a tragedy.” Taubman didn’t abuse anyone. I am not very good at understanding, I am sorry for that.