Report: Brandon Taubman Likey to Receive Suspension From MLB

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Former Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman is likely to receive a suspension from Major League Baseball, according to a report from ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Passan reports a suspension would go into effect at another job if Taubman works in baseball again.

The Astros fired Taubman on Thursday following his comments on closer Roberto Osuna during a clubhouse outburst directed at a group of female reporters last Saturday. Sports Illustrated's Stephanie Apstein reported on Monday that Taubman repeatedly yelled "Thank God we got Osuna! I'm so f------ glad we got Osuna!" at the group after the Astros beat the Yankees to win the American League pennant. One of the reporters was wearing a purple domestic-violence awareness bracelet. 

Osuna was arrested in 2018 on domestic violence charges. The charges were dropped but MLB suspended Osuna for 75 games for violating its domestic violence policy. Houston traded for him last year shortly before his suspension ended.

When contacted by Apstein before the publication of her story, the Astros declined to comment and make Taubman available for an interview. After SI published Apstein's report, Houston released a statement on Monday night calling it an "attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist."

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters on Thursday that the club's original statement "should have never been sent." However, he declined to reveal who wrote or approved it.

"That original reaction by the Astros was wrong, and we own it as an organization," Luhnow said. "There were many people involved in reviewing that and approving that, and I'm not going to get into the details of that. It was wrong. It was the Astros' decision."

Passan reports Houston could be facing a fine "for Taubman's behavior, for the first statement, or both."

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred stated the league will take its time to gather information of the Astros' handling of the incident once the World Series concludes, while not guaranteeing further discipline of the organization.

"I will say that there are a variety of issues," Manfred said prior to Game 3 of the World Series on Friday. "I'm not going to narrow the statement. We're going to continue to review the situation, have conversations with [Astros owner Jim] Crane. It's one thing to comment and investigate for 24 hours on a specific incident."

After public backlash grew, Taubman issued a statement on Tuesday 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."

The same day MLB announced it would launch an investigation into Taubman's comments and interviewed those involved.

After the Astros fired Taubman on Thursday, they released a statement announcing his termination and explained what they gathered from their "initial investigation."

"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," the team said.

"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."