On Thursday, the team said Brandon Taubman's termination happened after its investigation found his comments boisterously praising closer Roberto Osuna was actually made in the direction of the reporters. Osuna was suspended 75 games in 2018 after he was charged with domestic violence counts, which were later dropped.
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The club also apologized to the reporter who originally brought to light of Taubman's outburst. In the hours following the report, the Astros defended Taubman and denied the incident happened as reported.
Here is the Astros' statement regarding Taubman's termination:
During the past two days, the Astros pro-actively assisted Major League Baseball in interviewing Astros employees as part of MLB's investigation of the events published in the recent Sports Illustrated article. Major League Baseball also separately interviewed members of the media over the past 24 hours.
Our initial investigation led us to believe that Brandon Taubman's inappropriate comments were not directed toward any reporter. 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 Astros in no way intended to minimize the issues related to domestic violence.
Our initial belief was based on witness statements about the incident. Subsequent interviews have revealed that Taubman's inappropriate comments were, in fact, directed toward one or more reporters. Accordingly we have terminated Brandon Taubman's employment with the Houston Astros. His conduct does not reflect the values of our organization and we believe this is the most appropriate course of action.
We are thankful to Major League Baseball and to everyone that cooperated in the investigation. As previously stated, the Astros are very committed to using our voice to create awareness and support on the issue of domestic violence. We fully support MLB and baseball's stance and values regarding domestic violence. We will continue to make this cause a priority for our organization.
In a news conference in Washington before World Series Game 3, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said the original statement denying the incident should never have been released.
#Astros GM Jeff Luhnow will not divulge who wrote the team’s initial statement accusing SI of fabricating a story about inappropriate comments directed at a female reporter. Today Luhnow says the initial statement was wrong and should not have been released.— Greg Bailey (@GregBailey13) October 24, 2019
#Astros GM Jeff Luhnow says Brandon Taubman’s inappropriate actions do not represent a larger issue in the Astros organization.— Greg Bailey (@GregBailey13) October 24, 2019
News conference with #Astros GM Jeff Luhnow included very tense moments. Luhnow was asked about “smearing” the reporter who was present for inappropriate comments from Brandon Taubman. Luhnow apologized before he was asked about potentially losing his own job.— Greg Bailey (@GregBailey13) October 24, 2019
Jeff Luhnow embarrassed by what has transpired this week. pic.twitter.com/KtfqoCwG9J— David Nuño (@DavidNunoABC13) October 24, 2019