Houston Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman reportedly directed a reference to the team's 2018 acquisition of Roberto Osuna to a group of female reporters. Osuna was serving a long 75-game suspension for violating MLB's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy at the time of the trade.
According to Sports Illustrated's Stephanie Apstein, the incident occurred as the Astros were celebrating their American League Championship Series victory over the New York Yankees: "And in the center of the room, assistant general manager Brandon Taubman turned to a group of three female reporters, including one wearing a purple domestic-violence awareness bracelet, and yelled, half a dozen times, 'Thank God we got Osuna! I'm so f--king glad we got Osuna!'"
Chandler Rome reported that two colleagues from the Houston Chronicle confirmed the report. Yahoo Sports' Hannah Keyser also confirmed the report. A Houston staffer reportedly apologized for the outburst.
Apstein noted the comment was odd for two reasons.
For one, Osuna gave up a game-tying two-run home run to DJ LeMahieu in the top of the ninth in Game 6. Jose Altuve won the game with a walk-off two-run homer a half-inning later.
Apstein added none of the female reporters was talking to Taubman or discussing Osuna at the moment he celebrated the closer.
Rome shared a statement from the Astros regarding the report:
"The story posted by Sports Illustrated is misleading and completely irresponsible. An Astros player was being asked questions about a difficult outing. Our executive was supporting the player during a difficult time. His comments had everything to do about the game situation that just occurred and nothing else—they were also not directed toward any specific reporters. We are extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated's attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist."
Canadian police charged Osuna with assault in May 2018, but prosecutors dropped the charge when Alejandra Roman Cota declined to travel from Mexico to testify. Roman Cota is the mother of Osuna's three-year-old son.
As part of the prosecution's decision, Osuna agreed to stay away from Roman Cota for one year and continue counseling.
Amid criticism of their decision to trade for Osuna while he was suspended, the Astros donated $224,000 through their charitable foundation to two women's shelters.
General manager Jeff Luhnow also defended the move by telling reporters it was partly "going to raise conversation and awareness of this topic."