Speaking to reporters about the team's investigation into Taubman's inappropriate outburst towards female reporters, Luhnow made himself the victim on Friday. They refuted accounts that Taubman, in comments directed at the women, emphatically celebrated the signing of relief pitcher Roberto Osuna, who had been suspended by the MLB commissioner for violating the league's domestic violence policy.
In the statement announcing the decision, the team apologized for its initial response to Sports Illustrated reporter Stephanie Apstein's report that Taubman directed inappropriate comments toward a group of three female reporters during the Astros clubhouse postgame celebration after winning the ALCS over the New York Yankees. "I'm so f-ing glad we got Osuna!" Subsequent interviews have revealed that Taubman's inappropriate comments were, in fact, directed toward one or more reporters.
After the Sports Illustrated report was published, the Astros issued a statement calling the story "misleading and completely irresponsible". It's worth noting that another of Taubman's intended targets was wearing a domestic violence awareness bracelet.
Luhnow said he was among the Astros officials who saw the statement before it was issued.
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Luhnow said the Astros decided Wednesday "that we were going to take action unilaterally ahead of Major League Baseball making any recommendations".
"We believe this is the most appropriate course of action", the Astros said in a statement.
Houston made the announcement Thursday and said Taubman's conduct did not reflect the organization's values. She also regularly tweeted phone numbers for domestic violence awareness hot lines when Osuna pitched after Houston acquired him.
The team wrote that after the Major League Baseball investigation and interviews with witnesses, they learned that Taubman's comments were indeed directed toward the female reporters.
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The incident became public when Sports Illustrated reported on Monday night that Taubman taunted female reporters after the Astros clinched the AL pennant on Saturday night.
The Astros, who are 2-0 down in the World Series against the Washington Nationals, had initially issued a strident defense of Taubman's conduct, insisting that the executive had merely been voicing support for Osuna after a shaky performance.
"The Astros in no way meant to minimize the issues related to domestic violence", the team said. We fully support MLB and baseball's stance and values regarding domestic violence.
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"I continue to be disappointed and just sorry it happened", Hinch said.