A Houston Astros executive accused of verbally accosting female journalists has been fired, the team said.
The team announced Thursday that Brandon Taubman, the Astros’ assistant general manager, was fired for his postgame outburst aimed at female reporters following Saturday night’s American League Championship Series victory.
“His conduct does not reflect the values of our organization and we believe this is the most appropriate course of action,” the team said in a statement.
The Astros said a Major League Baseball investigation into the incident helped them realize that Taubman’s inappropriate comments were directed at one or more specific reporters.
Officials initially said the Sports Illustrated article about Taubman was “misleading and completely irresponsible.” They refuted accounts that Taubman, in comments directed at the women, emphatically celebrated the signing of relief pitcher Roberto Osuna, who had been suspended by the MLB commissioner for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.
The Astros apologized for that initial reaction, saying it was not the team’s intention to minimize issues related to domestic violence. They also apologized to Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein, who initially reported on the incident, and to all individuals who witnessed the incident or were offended by it.
“That original reaction by the Astros was wrong, and we own it as an organization,” Houston Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters Thursday. “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 and that’s where I’m going to leave that.”
Luhnow also noted that Taubman’s actions were “out of character for him and not consistent with his behavior in the past.”
Earlier this week, Taubman conceded he used inappropriate language and was embarrassed by his behavior.
Taubman had been with the Astros since 2013 and served as the team’s senior director of baseball operations prior to becoming assistant general manager. Prior to joining the team, he worked for Ernst & Young as a derivative valuation expert and Barclays Investment Bank as an analyst. Taubman graduated from Cornell University with a degree in applied economics, his team biography said.
‘Thank God we got Osuna!”
Taubman came under fire after Sports Illustrated published a report Monday detailing an incident that took place when the the team was celebrating its Game 6 ALCS win over the New York Yankees.
The former executive allegedly homed in on three women in the locker room, one wearing a bracelet promoting domestic violence awareness, and said six times, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f***ing glad we got Osuna!”
Osuna joined the Astros in July 2018, just months after he was arrested on assault charges stemming from an incident involving the mother of his 3-year-old son. An Ontario court withdrew the assault charge but MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred suspended Osuna for 75 games without pay, saying the available evidence showed he had violated the league’s domestic violence policy, according to MLB.com.
The Astros signed him after investigating the incident and Osuna’s background and determining he deserved a second chance following his completion of a league domestic violence program, the team said in a statement.
The decision was difficult, the statement said, but it provided a chance to raise awareness about domestic violence.