Issue the Retraction
To recap: On Monday, two days after the Astros won the NL Pennant with a Game 6 walk-off win over the Yankees, SI’s Stephanie Apstein wrote an article: Astros Staffer's Outburst at Female Reporters Illustrates MLB's Forgive-and-Forget Attitude Toward Domestic Violence.
“And in the center of the room, assistant general manager Brandon Taubman turned to a group of three female reporters, including one wearing a purple domestic-violence awareness bracelet, and yelled, half a dozen times, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f------ glad we got Osuna!”
Hours later, the Astros responded with a statement:
“The story posted by Sports Illustrated is misleading and completely irresponsible. An Astros player was being asked questions about a difficult outing. 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.”
Minutes later, SI responded with a full defense of Apstein:
“Sports Illustrated unequivocally stands behind Apstein, her reporting and the story, which was subsequently corroborated by several other media members present at the scene. Any implication that SI or any of its journalists would ‘fabricate’ a story in its detail or intent is both disappointing and completely inexcusable.”
And witnesses of the incident, including Yahoo’s Hannah Keyser and the Houston Chronicle’s Hunter Atkins, refuted the Astros’ statement and confirmed Apstein’s report.
Finally, on Thursday, the Astros fired Taubman and patted themselves on the back for “pro-actively” assisting with the investigation.
"During the past two days, the Astros pro-actively assisted Major League Baseball in interviewing Astros employees as part of 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," the team said in a statement on Thursday. "Our initial investigation led us to believe that 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.”
“Stephanie Apstein met with Jeff Luhnow in the dugout just now. She asked for a retraction to the team’s first statement suggesting she fabricated her story. He didn’t commit to issuing one.”
He didn’t commit to issuing one. After a week of disgraceful behavior and a fake investigation that wrongly accused Apstein of fabricating a story, Luhnow won’t commit to a retraction.
Last item: Read these two articles, one from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, “Inside the Astros culture that bred Brandon Taubman's comments.” and one from SI’s Emma Baccellieri, “In the Wake of Countless Controversies, What Reason Is There to Trust MLB?”
If you haven’t followed the DreamHouse Bowl debacle, it’s quite bizarre: A few weeks ago, an Albuquerque-based film company, DreamHouse, was announced as the title sponsor for the New Mexico Bowl. That unraveled quickly:
“New Mexico-based website Enchantment Sports began investigating DreamHouse and its CEO, Eric G. Martinez, for fraud after the company was announced as the new title sponsor for the New Mexico Bowl on October 1. On Wednesday, the Albuquerque Journal revealed the business address listed on New Mexico state records matched the address Martinez listed as his own in court records. Martinez also reportedly owes $16,717 in credit card debt. Upon attempting to garnish his wages, the Journal discovered Martinez’s last paycheck came from Sony Pictures Imageworks. It was a 2016 residual check worth less than two dollars.”
Odds & Ends
Wanna see someone get put to sleep? … Predictions for every Week 9 college football game … Is the Mountain West on the verge of realignment? … Tim Tebow feels bad for poor Urban Meyer after scandals at Florida and Ohio State … Michael Keaton is joining Aaron Sorkin’s next movie … Saban was pissed when asked a question about Tua’s brother playing this weekend … The Chiefs’ injury report is staggeringly long … Incredible article on Scorsese’s new film “The Irishman.” … The Bills had a brilliant response to “Do you consider the Bills a ‘New York’ team? … Frank Gore is about to pass Barry Sanders on the all-time rushing list.