October 24, 2019

Astros Fire Brandon Taubman, But Team Statement Is Still Full Of Distortion And Lies And Fails (Most Importantly, After Taubman's Termination) To Offer A Proper Apology To SI Writer

The Astros have fired Assistant General Manager Brandon Taubman.

The Astros has finally admitted that Taubman's pro-Osuna comments after last Sunday's pennant-winning game were, in fact, directed at three female reporters. The team also made sure to point out that Taubman's conduct "does not reflect the values of our organization", which is a blatant lie. The Astros traded for a player accused of domestic violence to help them win games. His violent off-field behaviour was irrelevant. They were thrilled (exactly as Taubman was shouting on Sunday night) to have him in a Houston uniform. It absolutely reflects their values.

The statement also includes the dubious claims that the Astros (a) "pro-actively assisted" in MLB's investigation, (b) are "very committed to using our voice to create awareness" of domestic violence", and (c) the issue will continue to be "a priority for our organization".

The phrase "using our voice to create awareness" of domestic violence may not have been the best way to convey that sentiment. After all, it was Taubman who used his voice to (loudly and repeatedly) broadcast awareness of Osuna's violent acts.

Deadspin's Gabe Fernandez:
[C]onsidering how much blowback had to occur before anything of substance happened, the Astros' delay in acting responsibly should be remembered at least as much as the fact that they eventually did.
There has been no word about whether the team has released Roberto Osuna. ... Ha ha ha, just kidding. ... The Astros' "some tolerance (if you pitch good)" policy on domestic violence will not be re-evaluated and Taubman's conduct will accurate reflect the team's values long after the Assistant GM has cleaned out his desk.

I am highly curious, though, about the reaction of Nats fans to Mr. Osuna's appearance on the mound this weekend (if the Astros can manage to get into a position where his services are needed, that is).

However, the Astros have still not issued an apology to Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated for falsely accusing her of "fabricat[ing] a story where one does not exist". The Astros said they were sorry for not believing the story, but not for accusing Apstein of making it up. The team's most recent (and third) statement (released Thursday afternoon) reads, in part:
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.
"Initial investigation"? "Witness statements"? ... The Astros' first comments came soon after Apstein's article was published. The team's management immediately accused Apstein of making it up. There was no investigation. If one had existed, the Astros would have released something professional-sounding, like: "We conducted an internal investigation and found that ..." rather than spewing libelous claims in a Trumpian manner right out of the gate.

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow's comments were not addressed in today's statement:
What we really don't know is the intent behind the inappropriate comments he made. We may never know that because the person who said them and the people who heard them, at least up to this point, have different perspectives.
Also, if the Astros did gather "witness statements", it is now blindingly clear to everyone that those witnesses were lying. Have those people also been fired - or at least disciplined? What about the person(s) who wrote the initial defamatory press release for which the team has yet to apologize for, or even to acknowledge? That October 21 statement included eight lies in its five sentences:
The story posted by Sports Illustrated is misleading (LIE) and completely irresponsible (LIE). An Astros player was being asked questions (LIE) about a difficult outing. Our executive was supporting the player during a difficult time (LIE). His comments had everything to do about the game situation (LIE) that just occurred and nothing else (LIE) - they were also not directed toward any specific reporters (LIE). We are extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated's attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist (LIE).


I Will Not Get The Jab said...

The media needs to stop virtue signaling. It needs to stop forcing others to their ways...

Jake of All Trades said...

The Nationals should invite Stephanie Apstein to throw out the first pitch at Game 3 and have a ceremony apologizing on behalf of the other 29 teams (or at least most of them...)

Also, karma has been big this postseason. Braves issue a tone deaf half/non apology about the tomahawk chop and get blown out by the Cardinals. Astros issue a tone deaf half/non apology on this and get blown out by the Nationals.

allan said...

The media needs ... to stop forcing others to their ways

It's late and perhaps I'm tired, but it sounds like you are blaming the media (!) for (a) forcing the Astros to fire The Asshole Formerly Known As Brandon Taubman and (b) flexing its collective muscles and "forcing others to their ways". In this case, "their ways" would be showing respect and empathy and not acting like an entitled frat-boy douche. But I must be reading things incorrectly, because I refuse to believe anyone that ignorant and myopic would ever read my blog.

johngoldfine said...

"I refuse to believe anyone that ignorant and myopic would ever read my blog."

Mags not a fan?

allan said...

Mags is truly devoted only to Laura's blog.

laura k said...

That comment doesn't smell like Mags, but Goldfine's comment cracked me up!

Forcing others to their ways??? Like what, thinking men shouldn't be beating up women and children? Thinking reporters ought not to have their careers destroyed after doing their jobs?

Ignorant and myopic... Whatever happened to B.R.?