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Astros Assistant GM disputes Sports Illustrated article on Osuna comments

Assistant GM Brandon Taubman apologized for the language he used regarding closer Roberto Osuna, but said his motive was misinterpreted.

HOUSTON — Editor's note: The video above aired after the Astros win in Game 6.

The Houston Astros have issued a response to a scathing Sports Illustrated article about Assistant General Manager Brandon Taubman.

SI writer Stephanie Apstein said after the Astros won the American League Championship Saturday night, Taubman shouted “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f------ glad we got Osuna!” during the locker room celebration.

According to Apstein, Taubman's remarks about the closer, who had just given up a two-run homer that tied the game, were directed at three female reporters, including one who was wearing a purple domestic violence awareness bracelet. Apstein said Taubman repeated the statement half a dozen times, making them uncomfortable. 

Apstein said none of the women had questioned Taubman about Osuna so the timing seemed odd.

The Astros took heat in 2018 for adding Osuna to their roster. In May of that year, he was accused of assaulting the mother of his child. Prosecutors dropped the charges in a plea bargain but Osuna was suspended for 75 games by MLB.

The Astros released the following statements Tuesday afternoon.

Brandon Taubman

“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. ”

Jim Crane

“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.”

MLB also issued a statement: 

“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.”

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