Reiter: Luhnow, Astros Have Some Reflecting To Do

There's a right way and a wrong way to handle things, Ben Reiter says, and the Astros chose the wrong way

October 25, 2019 - 9:01 am
Jeff Luhnow Astros

USA Today Images


The Houston Astros fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman on Thursday, this after acknowledging that he made “inappropriate comments” toward a group of female reporters. 

Indeed, after the Astros clinched the ALCS this past Saturday, Taubman told a group of female reporters that he was happy the Astros acquired Roberto Osuna, who last year served a 75-game suspension for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.

Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein reported Taubman’s comments, which the Astros vehemently denied.

Wrong move.

“I never had any doubt about her report,” Sports Illustrated senior MLB writer Ben Reiter said on Ferrall on the Bench. “As I wrote on Twitter as soon as I found out, Stephanie is as talented and accurate a reporter as there is. There was a right way the Astros could have handled it. They could have said, ‘We’re disturbed by the report, we’re committed to maintaining a safe work space and we’re launching an investigation.’”

Instead, the Astros dismissed Apstein’s report as “misleading and completely irresponsible,” and accused her of trying to “fabricate a story” that did not exist.

“They went the complete opposite way,” Reiter said. “It was a head-scratcher at the time. It turned what might have been an unfortunate incident into one that in some ways overshadowed what was actually happening on the field, which is too bad for their players. . . . They’ve kind of done the right thing, but they still have some looking at themselves to do to determine why they acted the way they did.”

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow acknowledged Thursday that the team handled the report the “wrong” way.

“First of all, they didn’t have enough time at that point to actually investigate what had happened,” Reiter said. “That’s when things really started getting ugly. You wonder how it went that way, honestly. That’s just not at all the way to deal with this sort of thing, and now we’ve seen the outcome from that.”

Scott Ferrall does not believe Taubman will ever be a major league GM.

“It’s going to be tough for him,” Reiter said. “Certainly things got out of control for one reason or another.”