Astros assistant GM apologizes for 'inappropriate language' to reporters after SI article

HOUSTON – Houston Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman is apologizing for using inappropriate language toward three female reporters after the ALCS Game 6 win.

A Sports Illustrated article published Monday claimed that while the Astros were celebrating their Game 6 win, Taubman had an “offensive and frightening” outburst. 

During the celebration, 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 (Roberto) Osuna! I’m so f------ glad we got Osuna,'” according to the SI article. 

Taubman's comments were shrouded in controversy because in May 2018, the then Blue Jays pitcher was charged in connection with the assault of the mother of his child, but the charges were dropped two months later after Osuna was acquired by the Astros. 

Taubman released the following statement, apologizing for his actions:

“This past Saturday, during our clubhouse celebration, I used inappropriate language for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed.  In retrospect, I realize that my comments were unprofessional and inappropriate. My overexuberance in support of a player has been misinterpreted as a demonstration of a regressive attitude about an important social issue. 

"Those that know me know that I am a progressive and charitable member of the community, and a loving and committed husband and father.  I hope that those who do not know me understand that the Sports Illustrated article does not reflect who I am or my values.  I am sorry if anyone was offended by my actions. ” 

Owner and Chairman Jim Crane also released a statement on the incident: 

“The Astros continue to be committed to using our voice to create awareness and support on the issue of domestic violence. We not only ensure mandatory training annually for all of our employees, we have also created an important partnership with the Texas Council on Family Violence, and have raised over $300K through our initiatives to help various agencies providing important support for this cause. We fully support MLB and baseball’s stance and values regarding domestic violence.”

Multiple journalists who were in the room have weighed in on the situation. 

Hannah Keyser, with Yahoo Sports, retweeted the SI article’s author and said, “Can confirm.”

Houston Chronicle reporter Hunter Atkins posted a tweet that said, “The Astros called this (Stephanie Apstein) report misleading. It is not.  I was there. Saw it. And I should’ve said something sooner.” 

Sports Illustrated responded to the Astros previous statement (see below) by confirming its article is accurate as it stands: 

"Last night, the Houston Astros released a statement calling into question the accuracy of a report by Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein on a scene she witnessed in the locker room during the Astros’ ALCS-clinching celebration. 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." 

The Major League Baseball released a statement on the following controversy: 

"Domestic violence is extraordinarily serious and everyone in baseball must use care to not engage in any behavior -- whether intentional or not -- that could be construed as minimizing the egregiousness of an act of domestic violence. We became aware of this incident through the Sports Illustrated article. The Astros have disputed Sports Illustrated's characterization of the incident. MLB will interview those involved before commenting further"

The statement below was an original statement made the Astros Tuesday morning:

Despite the scandal, the Astros are standing by Taubman and released a statement that said: 

“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.” 

About the Authors:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.