Astros Firing Brandon Taubman Isn’t Enough
Well, now we know everything Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated wrote about Houston Astros Assistant GM Brandon Taubman did was accurate. We know that because the Astros confirmed it in a public apology given by Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.
The Astros just announced that they have terminated assistant GM Brandon Taubman's employment. Here's the full statement: pic.twitter.com/4TslyAeOW1
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) October 24, 2019
Hearkening back to the Astros original response, they called the article “misleading and completely irresponsible” while going on to say they were “extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated’s attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist.” Now, the Astros are claiming that statement was “based on witness statements about the incident.”
Who were those witnesses?
Obviously, one of them was Taubman, but who else? We know each and every reporter who witness and spoke about the incident said it was exactly the way Apstein reported it. This means one of the following occurred: Astros solely relied upon the account of Taubman, had multiple internal accounts confirming Taubman’s false version of events, the team never bothered to investigate, or they decided the best way to handle this was to go on the offensive.
The overriding point here is the problem extends well beyond Taubman’s completely inappropriate actions. These actions were made all the worse by the Astros tactics in attempting to smear a reporter for doing her job. In essence, this was a complete organizational failure which extended well beyond one person singling out reporters and attacking them in defense of a player in Roberto Osuna, who is an Astro partially because of his assaulting the mother of his three year old son.
Osuna’s actions led the woman to return to Mexico, and she would not return to Canada. He was ordered to stay away from her for one year. Major League Baseball imposed a 75 game suspension, which at the time, was the third longest Domestic Violence suspension ever levied upon a player.
Not only did the Astros, by and through their assistant General Manager, verbally attack people in defense of this player, but they also made things worse by trying to pretend it never happened. Overall, the Astros not only showed little to no character in first obtaining Osuna, but they also continued to show they lack it in their actions subsequent to the trade.
This is why firing Taubman is not sufficient. There is a culture in that building where domestic violence is not an issue, and there is a culture present where the Astros believe they have the right to attack the credibility of those who properly report their actions. The Astros don’t even care if they have to resort to lies to do it.
So no, firing Taubman is nowhere near close enough to resolving this issue. The people in that building who supported him through their lies, both in the supposed investigation and statement in response to the article, need to be held accountable. More than that, the entire Astros organization needs to be held accountable for their actions.
On that front, it needs to be noted the Astros still have not offered a personal apology to Apstein. What makes that all the more incredulous was Luhnow asserted he never had that opportunity despite her being in attendance at the press conference. This is a stark reminder that even if people utter the words they are not necessarily sincere.
To that end, it is now up to Commissioner Rob Manfred to take a decisive action against the Astros. His failure to do that sends a message to everyone Major League Baseball condones violence (physical and verbal) towards women, and they take no issue with maligning the credibility of people.