HOUSTON – The Houston Astros announced Thursday that assistant general manager Brandon Taubman has been fired after controversy flared from inappropriate comments he made to female reporters during celebrations following the American League Championship Series over the weekend.
The story, first published by Sports Illustrated, claimed that during celebrations, Taubman had an "offensive and frightening" outburst during which the magazine said he "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." Earlier this week, Taubman apologized for the comments that he said were misinterpreted.
The Sports Illustrated article claimed that the Astros were glossing over past allegations of domestic violence against Osuna when he was a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Astros initially denied the exchange had taken place the way it was portrayed but several reporters who were in the vicinity when it happened, including the Houston Chronicle's Hunter Atkins, tweeted that they could confirm the Sports Illustrated reporter's account.
In a radio interview Wednesday, Astros' General Manager Jeff Lunhow said that Major League Baseball was conducting an investigation into the events that transpired during the celebration and was in the process of interviewing the people involved.
The Astros released a statement Thursday to apologize to Sports Illustrated reporter Stephanie Apstein and announce Taubman's termination.
"Our initial investigation led us to believe that Brandon Taubman's inappropriate comments were not directed toward any reporter," the team wrote. "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 team wrote that after the MLB investigation and interviews with witnesses, they learned that Taubman's comments were indeed directed toward the female reporters.
"His (Taubman's) conduct does not reflect the values of our organization and we believe this is the most appropriate course of action," team officials wrote.