Texas Rangers

A response to knuckle-dragging Houston Astros fans after ugly Taubman scene

No one is more knee-jerk than a scorned sports fan.

Especially when your team is playing for the championship.

But a good chunk of Houston Astros fans are easily dismissing the team’s embarrassing handling of an episode detailed in a Sports Illustrated story published on Monday.

To be sure, this is a small but proudly misinformed group of Astros fans. Every team has them — especially college football teams — but it’s still sad and embarrassing.

Before we get to some of the idiotic fan reactions on social media, here is a brief recap of what went down.

SI reporter Stephanie Apstein described Astros’ assistant general manager Brandon Taubman directing a taunt to several female reporters in the Astros’ clubhouse an hour after the team won the American League Pennant in dramatic fashion Saturday night.

Taubman, for no known reason, yelled “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f------ glad we got Osuna” in the direction of three female reporters, including one, Apstein reports, who was wearing a domestic violence awareness bracelet.

That’s why this story is so troubling. The Astros acquired closer Roberto Osuna in a trade in 2018 after he served a 75-game suspension by the league for allegedly assaulting the mother of his child in May 2018.

One of the female reporters present was specifically Taubman’s main target. She routinely tweeted out a domestic violence hotline during games the rest of the season, including each time Osuna pitched for the Astros starting on Aug. 6, 2018.

The Astros’ original response was so shockingly boneheaded that it should have given everyone pause. They denied Taubman did anything untoward and accused SI of fabricating the story.

The whole ordeal has given some fans around the country a reason to root for the Washington Nationals against the Astros in the World Series. And it has caused some knuckle-dragging Astros fans to circle the wagon, put their heads in the sand and fingers in their ears. They just want to concentrate on the World Series. Sorry, the Astros screwed that up.

So here’s a look at some of the Astros’ fan reaction, particularly those who continue to defend the club’s handling of the situation and my response to some of their convenient confusion.

Shark-infested waters? What are you insinuating, Mari? So a baseball clubhouse isn’t a safe place for domestic violence awareness? Yikes.

BJ, the moment happened late Saturday night. In fact, it was after midnight. A story as serious as this is typically vetted and double-checked before published. Plus, the reporter tried to get the Astros to comment, which they refused. That it didn’t come out until Monday means nothing.

No, Johnny, it’s not really a ‘he said, she said’ situation. The story and its details have corroborated by at least three other reporters. If it was bogus, another reporter wouldn’t be corroborating it, no matter how much your crazy uncle believes the media is crooked.

If the reporters were men? Harris, you’re missing the point. Taubman directed his taunts to female reporters, specifically one who admirably made it a point to shine a light on domestic violence when Osuna was signed. That’s exactly what makes Taubman’s actions so disgusting.

First of all, Chanse, I think you’re spelling your name wrong. The story isn’t vague at all. It clearly lays out what went down, according to the reporter and several other reporters. You’re right about one thing, when more information does come out (like the MLB investigation), more coverage will be warranted.

Geez, Josh, not even sure where to begin with you. “Sissy ass PC culture that protects media at all costs …” According to Reporters Without Borders, 80 reporters were killed, 60 were held hostage and 348 were detained in 2018 while doing their job. Does that happen to you in your job?

Yes, David, a reporter is going to put her career in jeopardy because she’s upset your team won. SMH. And the fact that Taubman was inexplicably yelling his support for Osuna an hour after he nearly blew an ALCS game is exactly another reason why this is whole scene is ridiculous for the Astros.

Jamal, Osuna isn’t being persecuted. In fact, if you read the story, the reporter made it clear that the three female reporters weren’t talking about Osuna. No one was. Taubman, out of some warped defiance and scorn, brought him up … after he blew a ninth-inning lead.

William, if you read the SI story, you should have picked up the reason why he picked out a female reporter because the reason was explicitly pointed out: One of the reporters was wearing a domestic violence awareness bracelet and had been a staunch critic of the Astros acquiring Osuna. Also, this isn’t a freedom of speech issue.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.