GM Fired: Too Little Too Late

After a few big swing and misses by the Houston Astros top brass, the team finally managed to square the ball up on their most recent try.

Over the past few years the Astros seemed to make all the right decisions as they are lined up for their second championship in three years. They achieved excellence on the field, but profoundly botched their image off the field, prompting the bigger question in Sports: How much can the powerful get away with?

In a heavy dose of damage control, the Astros fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman for his “inappropriate comments” directed toward female media members. 

The beginning of this regret filled saga for the Astros goes back to Oct. 19, the night the American league champs clinched a World Series ticket. An hour into the alcohol filled celebration inside the Houston clubhouse, Taubman continuously directed an expletive-filled rant towards a group of female reporters.  

Taubman reportedly yelled, “thank god we signed Osuna! I’m so f***ing glad we got Osuna”. 

Osuna, a relief pitcher for the Astros was recently acquired by the team at cost from the American Leagues Toronto Blue Jays because he was serving a 75-game suspension for allegedly assaulting the mother of his child. The charges have since been dropped.   

His remarks, don’t seem so bad without proper context. What is now confirmed by numerous sources, including other Astros employees is Taubman directed the statement only at the female reporters, one of whom was wearing a purple domestic-violence awareness bracelet — the same reporter who would tweet out domestic violence hotline information each time Osuna took the mound. 

The organization’s missed its first opportunity to reconcile when Sports Illustrated reporter Stephanie Apstein released a column depicting her experience and what unfolded inside the locker room. Instead of doing an investigation into the matter the Astros’ blindly refuted the story while creating a narrative that the reporter was mistaking a type of celebration and that her story was fake news.

After strong backlash the team went with failed attempt number two, supporting Taubman fully, claiming it as a misunderstanding and showing the world how much money they donated to domestic violence initiatives.

General Manager and team president Jeff Luhnow did say he regretted the matter but never acknowledged how his organization strongly questioned Apsteins credability as a journalist a trait most would say is most important in the profession.   

“If you drew up a playbook of how to screw it up,” the Astros are following every rule,” said San Francisco Chronicle sports writer Ann Killon when speaking with WTOP. 

Although the correct decision was made after numerous sources came out defending Apstein and confirming Taubman’s taunting, the Astros came up short. 

Apstein deserved better, we all deserve better. Until high profiled people are constantly held responsible incidents like this will continue to occur. 

As the Astros appear on their way into baseball history galore with another championship, it remains clear. World Series title or not, on the biggest stage, they struck out.