Baseball-Astros fire executive Taubman for inappropriate comments

Oct 24 (Reuters) - The Houston Astros have fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman for inappropriate comments he directed towards a group of three female reporters, the Major League Baseball club said on Thursday.

The decision came three days after a Sports Illustrated report said Taubman taunted the women by flaunting Houston's acquisition of closer Roberto Osuna, who was suspended in 2018 over allegations he assaulted the mother of his child.

"Our initial investigation led us to believe that Brandon Taubman's inappropriate comments were not directed toward any reporter. We were wrong," the Astros said in a statement.

"The Astros in no way intended to minimize the issues related to domestic violence."

The incident occurred after Houston clinched the American League Championship Series on Saturday, a game in which Osuna surrendered a game-tying, two-run homer in the ninth inning.

After the blown save by the Mexican right-hander, the report from Sports Illustrated said Taubman yelled "Thank God we got Osuna! I'm so (expletive) glad we got Osuna!" about a half dozen times toward the group of women.

The Astros initially said Taubman's clubhouse comments were not directed towards any specific reporters and accused the Sports Illustrated reporter of fabricating what they described as a misleading story.

Houston said earlier this week that Taubman was simply supporting a player who was being asked questions during a difficult time.

But over the last two days the Astros assisted MLB in interviewing team employees and have determined that Taubman's comments were, in fact, directed toward one or more reporters and apologized to all individuals who witnessed the incident.

"Accordingly we have terminated Brandon Taubman's employment with the Houston Astros," the team said. "His conduct does not reflect the values of our organization and we believe this is the most appropriate course of action."

The Astros trail the Washington Nationals 2-0 in the best-of-seven World Series, which resumes on Friday in the nation's capital.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)

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