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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.

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.

0 thoughts on “Astros Firing Brandon Taubman Isn’t Enough”

  1. LongTimeFan1 says:

    The Astros have egg on their face and royally screwed things up. They did at least publicly apologize and explain why they initially got it wrong through circumventing a legit investigatory process in lieu of expediency.

    If I’m not mistaken, this matter isn’t closed, investigation is ongoing.

    I also agree, the unnamed witness who lied to the Astros to protect the lying Taubman, should also be outed and fired.

    As for Ozuna, I believe in second chances and don’t have problem with his Astros acquisition provided he is working hard to be better person, never repeats verbal and physical abuse, has undergone counseling and anger management training and is working to make amends.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      While I don’t necessarily disagree with giving someone a second chances, I will note the Astros moved to obtain Osuna prior to his been having a chance at growing as a person.

      In fact, he’s always fell back on you don’t know the full story and has really yet to show anything indicating he’s becoming a better person.

      1. LongTimeFan1 says:

        Becoming a better person is a process.

        His arrest, public humiliation, suspension for 75 games, and compliance with the CBA and MLB mandates, begins that process. I think his family, friends, teammates, employer, MLB and mental health professionals who work with him, are in best position to know if he’s heading in better direction.

        There may be some things he can’t say in public for legal reasons. But If he isn’t heading in better direction in this year-plus since his arrest, if he’s not taking accountability and responsibility, he’ll eventually repeat which would be horrible for the victims and merits prison if convicted

        We can only hope that with the resources for help that MLB and the Player’s Association provide during and after suspension, he’ll stay out of trouble for the rest of his life, and that he learned another important lesson seeing what happened to Taubman for being a prick to people of good-conscience everywhere….and to the people he targeted to mock while exploiting a domestic abuse situation for a sick agenda – and then lied about it.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Well said.

          1. LongTimeFan1 says:

            Metsdaddy – Thanks.

  2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Sad to see the Astros cave so quickly to behavior, namely *yelling in a locker room after a baseball game* the words “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f***ing glad we got Osuna!” Words that should have gone entirely unremarked.

    Apparently we’re going to fire people for yelling in locker rooms after baseball games because it’s more expedient than standing on principle and standing up the idea that feelings are NOT more important than facts. This will be excused by those lacking intellectual integrity on the grounds that the Astros are a private organization who can do whatever they like, when actually that’s an argument for extending Constitutional protections into the corporate sphere and for passing a worker’s bill of rights, something that exists in a dozen of the more advanced democracies. In those countries, including Canada, it’s impossible to fire employees on such nonsensical grounds.

    In addition the relevance of this episode to domestic violence remains completely unconvincing, and explained. For us to assume Taubman’s guilt (guilt for what, exactly? Upsetting someone who wanted to get upset?) we have to believe Osuna is guilty of something that was never proven, and for which he was never even brought to trial.

    In fact Osuna was NOT convicted of anything at all, certainly nothing that had anything to do with domestic violence. Ergo, how can this episode have anything to do with domestic violence?

    In fact what happened is that Osuna was victimized by MLB and its expedient “domestic violence” policy.

    The issue of Osuna’s guilt is assumed by those indifferent to law and fact even though like every player who accepts MLB’s punishments, it’s under threat of far worse punishment including ostracization that results in permanent unemployment in the field for which he has trained most of his life.

    People eager to assume guilt where none–none–was proven, then of course will pile on and seeks to cost a man his job *for yelling in a locker room,* and yelling something that on its face should offend no one, given that domestic violence has zero relevance to what happened.

    The Astros took the low road, the road cowards take in caving to political lobbies. This Mets fan will be rooting for the Nationals for the rest of the Series, and I’m looking forward to Taubman’s multimillion dollar lawsuit against the Astros, a lawsuit which will almost certainly be successful and which the Astros, cowards to the end, will settle out of court and pay handsomely to get Taubman’s signature on a non-disclosure agreement.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I don’t get why you’re defending people who attack women.

      1. LongTimeFan1 says:

        Well said.

    2. LongTimeFan1 says:

      Blair M. Schirmer,

      Conviction is a legal process that results in a finding of guilt by the State or Federal Government in a criminal court of law.

      It’s not the only form of discipline and punishment society formally doles out for unacceptable behavior. To claim conviction should be the only standard – and that a lack of conviction means nothing wrong occurred – is an argument that might work when conveying it to people who lack critical thinking skills.

      Taubman might still have his job had he not lied to his employer to cover up what happened. Any lawsuit would have to overcome what is likely a code of conduct clause in his employment contract, and his efforts to obstruct. I strongly doubt he sues. He’ll only further humiliate himself and alienate family and friends. He should have thought about consequences before acting so unprofessionally.

      If he’s smart, he’s doing soul searching and trying to understand what possessed him to act like a prick to others while on the job in a leadership position as Assistant GM.

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