The Fall Classic is finally here and the Houston Astros, fresh off their dramatic victory over the New York Yankees, should be completely focused on what it’ll take to beat the Washington Nationals and their formidable pitching staff.
But because of these five words, there’s a dark cloud hanging over the Juice Box, where the first pitch of the World Series gets tossed Tuesday night:
‘Thank God we got Osuna!’
Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman reportedly shouted “Thank God we got Osuna. I’m so f–king glad we got Osuna” a half dozen times during Saturday’s champagne-soaked locker room celebration.
Why is that such a problem?
According to Sports Illustrated reporter Stephanie Apstein, Taubman’s shouts were directed at three female reporters, including one wearing a purple domestic-violence awareness bracelet. Considering Roberto Osuna had almost lost the game for the Astros, his words made no sense, timing-wise.
But then there’s his checkered past.
Osuna was picked up by the Astros from the Toronto Blue Jays after he was suspended for 75 games for allegedly assaulting the mother of his young child. That allowed the Astros to get one of the best closers in the game on the cheap because many teams weren’t interested in the backlash.
Judging from his outburst, Taubman’s not worried about it.
Amid the uproar his comments caused, the Astros organization released its own version of what happened in the locker room, saying Taubman’s “comments had everything to do with the game situation that just occurred and nothing else.”
That only seemed to make the situation worse. ESPN’s Jeff Passan said that the Astros statement “was stupid. It was insulting. It was demeaning. It also was false, as other reporters who witnessed the incident soon confirmed.”
Here’s one of those reporters backing Apstein’s story:
With that, it was all “Go Nationals!” on Twitter TWTR, -2.56% .
Of note, Taubman came to the Astros organization in 2013 from accounting firm Ernst & Young, where he worked as a derivative valuation expert.