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Astros Fire Assistant GM Brandon Taubman After Investigation Into Outburst At Female Reporters


The Astros fired assistant GM Brandon Taubman, the team announced on Thursday.

Houston's parting with Taubman comes three days after Sports Illustrated's Stephanie Apstein reported he turned to three female reporters in the Astros' clubhouse after the team clinched the American League pennant on Saturday and yelled multiple times, "Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f------ glad we got Osuna!" One of the reporters was wearing a purple domestic-violence awareness bracelet.

In May 2018, Osuna was arrested on domestic violence charges while playing for the Blue Jays. The charges were dropped but Major League Baseball suspended Osuna for 75 games for violating its domestic violence policy. Houston traded for him last year shortly before his suspension ended.

"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.

"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 action.

"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."

After SI published Apstein's report on Monday, the Astros released a statement calling it an "attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist."

Sports Illustrated said on Tuesday that it "unequivocally stands behind Apstein, her reporting and the story."

Multiple other outlets—including the Houston Chronicle and Yahoo! Sports—have corroborated SI's reporting.

On Tuesday, Taubman issued a statement apologizing for his comments on Osuna.

"In retrospect, I realized that my comments were unprofessional and inappropriate," Taubman said in the statement. "My overexuberance in support of a player has been misinterpreted as a demonstration of a regressive attitude about an important social issue."

MLB announced on Tuesday it would launch an investigation into the comments made by Taubman and interview those involved.