Astros Fire Assistant GM After Offensive Remarks
By Andrew Goldberg – (CitrusTV)
On October 24th, Houston Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick grounded out to cement a 12-3 victory for the Washington Nationals in Game Two of the World Series. This stunning upset marked the second consecutive home loss for the American League champion Astros. Yet as fans and players began to worry about the chance of a World Series championship slipping away, those within the Astros organization were dealing with much more pressing issues.
Earlier that day, the Astros fired Assistant General Manager Brandon Taubman. Taubman had come under fire for comments he directed towards a group of female reporters following the Astros series-clinching victory in the American League Championship Series.
Celebrating in the locker room, Taubman shouted “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f—- glad we got Osuna!”
These comments were in reference to Astros closer Roberto Osuna, whom the Astros acquired in 2018 while Osuna was still serving a 75-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
Taubman’s comments were first noted by Sports Illustrated reporter Stephanie Apstein, who published a story on the incident before Game One of the World Series. Apstein noted in her article that Taubman’s comments were particularly bizarre considering that Osuna had just given up a game-tying home run earlier that night. The Astros responded quickly, calling Apstein’s article “completely irresponsible” and accusing her of fabricating certain elements. Many high-profile baseball reporters and major media outlets slammed the Astros organization in the days that followed. The brunt of this criticism was directed towards Houston’s front office for marginalizing baseball’s history of handling domestic abuse.
With pressure mounting, the Astros began to change their position. The team fired Taubman, and General Manager Jeff Luhnow apologized for the team’s initial response.
“It never should have been sent. The Astros own it as an organization… It was wrong.”
Astros Owner Jim Crane also followed this up by sending a letter to Apstein, apologizing directly for questioning her professionalism and officially retracting the team’s original statement.
As the Astros brass worked to clean up its mess off the field, the players also began to improve their performance on the field, winning three straight games in Washington. With a 3-2 lead heading back to Houston, the Astros look primed to take home another championship. But regardless of if they succeed, the Astros front office must be prepared to answer questions about the road they took to get to this point, and how far they’ll continue to go to achieve success.