The assistant general manager of the Houston Astros apologized Tuesday for using “inappropriate language” after a Sports Illustrated report said he repeatedly yelled toward a group of female reporters about closer Roberto Osuna during a clubhouse celebration.
After the Astros beat the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Saturday night in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, Brandon Taubman yelled repeatedly toward the women, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so . . . glad we got Osuna!” amid the clubhouse celebration, according to Sports Illustrated.
The magazine added that one of the reporters was wearing a domestic violence awareness bracelet. The Astros traded for Osuna, the Toronto Blue Jays’ closer at the time, in 2018 after he was suspended for 75 games for allegedly assaulting the mother of his child.
“This past Saturday, during our clubhouse celebration, I used inappropriate language for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed,” Taubman said in a statement released Tuesday by the Astros. “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.”
Major League Baseball said in a statement that “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.”
MLB added: ”The Astros have disputed Sports Illustrated’s characterization of the incident. MLB will interview those involved before commenting further.”
On Monday night, after the Sports Illustrated story was published, the Astros called it “misleading and completely irresponsible.” The team said the magazine had tried to ”fabricate a story where one does not exist” and said Taubman’s comments weren’t directed at the reporters.
Sports Illustrated released a statement the next day standing behind reporter Stephanie Apstein and her story.
“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 magazine wrote.
It added: “Multiple other outlets — including the Houston Chronicle and Yahoo! Sports — have corroborated SI’s reporting.”
Canadian prosecutors dropped a domestic assault charge in September 2018 against Osuna, who agreed to stay away from the alleged victim for one year and continue counseling. The prosecution said the complainant, who lived in Mexico, had made it clear she would not travel to Toronto to testify against Osuna.
Osuna was charged with assault in May 2018. The Blue Jays traded him to Houston two months later.
Astros owner Jim Crane, in a statement, said the team has mandatory training for its employees, and “we fully support MLB and baseball’s stance and values regarding domestic violence.”