Quick hits

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - FROM STAFF AND WIRE RE­PORTS — Jorge Castillo, Los An­ge­les Times — Brian Niemietz, New York Daily News — Matt Breen, The Philadel­phia In­quirer — Kevin Acee, San Diego Union-Tri­bune

Astros ex­ec­u­tive Taub­man fired over club­house tirade

WASH­ING­TON — The Hous­ton Astros fired as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager Bran­don Taub­man on Thurs­day af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion with Ma­jor League Base­ball con­cluded that he directed in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments at fe­male re­porters dur­ing the team’s postgame club­house cel­e­bra­tion Satur­day.

In an Sports Il­lus­trated ar­ti­cle pub­lished on­line Mon­day, Taub­man was al­leged to have re­peat­edly shouted at three fe­male re­porters, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so (ex­ple­tive) glad we got Osuna!”

Taub­man was re­fer­ring to Roberto Osuna, the Astros’ closer. The team traded for Osuna last sea­son as he com­pleted a 75-game sus­pen­sion for al­legedly as­sault­ing the mother of his child months ear­lier. One of the women Taub­man yelled at was wear­ing a pur­ple bracelet for do­mes­tic vi­o­lence aware­ness. She also reg­u­larly tweeted phone num­bers for do­mes­tic vi­o­lence aware­ness hot lines when Osuna pitched af­ter Hous­ton ac­quired him.

Shortly af­ter the ar­ti­cle ap­peared on Sports Il­lus­trated’s web­site, the Astros as­serted Taub­man’s be­hav­ior was mis­con­strued and ac­cused the re­porter, Stephanie Ap­stein, of fab­ri­cat­ing a story. On Thurs­day, the Astros apol­o­gized.

“Our ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion led us to be­lieve that Bran­don Taub­man’s in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments were not directed to­ward any re­porter,” the state­ment read. “We were wrong. We sin­cerely apol­o­gize to Stephanie Ap­stein, Sports Il­lus­trated and to all in­di­vid­u­als who wit­nessed this in­ci­dent or were of­fended by the in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct. The Astros in no way in­tended to min­i­mize the is­sues re­lated to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.”

MMA Hall of Famer Randy Cou­ture in in­ten­sive care fol­low­ing a heart at­tack

For­mer three-time UFC cham­pion Randy Cou­ture is in in­ten­sive care af­ter suf­fer­ing a heart at­tack Wed­nes­day.

The 56-year-old fighter had re­port­edly walked to the hos­pi­tal af­ter he felt some­thing was awry dur­ing a work­out in Los An­ge­les and de­cided to have it checked out. He is ex­pected to make a full re­cov­ery, ac­cord­ing to TMZ.

Doc­tors be­gan treat­ing him im­me­di­ately. Be­fore be­com­ing a mixed mar­tial arts icon, Cou­ture served six years in the army and was a stand­out wrestler who served as an al­ter­nate on the US Olympic team in 1988, 1992 and 1996. The 6-foot-1, 200plus pound war­rior fin­ished his UCF ca­reer with a 19 and 11 win­ning record.

He’s best known for a tril­ogy of bru­tal bouts against fel­low Hall of Famer brute Chuck Lid­dell, whom he beat in their first meet­ing, but lost to in the re­match and the rub­ber match.

Phillies hire Joe Gi­rardi as their new man­ager

PHILADEL­PHIA — The Philadel­phia Phillies’ decade-long quest to bring back John Mid­dle­ton’s World Se­ries tro­phy led them Thurs­day to hire the man­ager who ripped their ti­tle away in 2009.

The Phillies, ac­cord­ing to a source, have hired Joe Gi­rardi as their man­ager. Gi­rardi man­aged the Yan­kees for 10 sea­sons, led them to the play­offs six times and guided the New York Yan­kees past the Phillies in the 2009 World Se­ries. The Phillies, for the first time in fran­chise his­tory, have hired a World Se­ries cham­pion man­ager.

Gi­rardi also in­ter­viewed ear­lier this month with the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets, teams with which he has his­tory. He played nearly half of his ma­jor­league ca­reer with the Cubs, and the Mets would have al­lowed him to re­turn to New York, where he won three world ti­tles with the Yan­kees as a player be­fore man­ag­ing them.

But the Cubs opted for for­mer catcher David Ross, and the Mets moved slower than the Phillies, who pegged Gi­rardi as their fa­vorite af­ter his sec­ond in­ter­view on Mon­day at Cit­i­zens Bank Park. They se­lected Gi­rardi over fi­nal­ists Buck Showal­ter and Dusty Baker as they lim­ited their search to man­agers with ex­pe­ri­ence and proven track records.

Padres hire Jayce Tin­gler as man­ager

SAN DIEGO — A.J. Preller got his man. With Jayce Tin­gler, Preller will make his stand.

That’s the real­ity for the San Diego Padres, their gen­eral man­ager and the man who will be their 21st man­ager.

The team on Thurs­day tabbed the 38year-old Tin­gler to re­place Andy Green, who was fired on Sept. 21 near the end of his fourth sea­son.

Padres man­age­ment had placed an em­pha­sis on ex­pe­ri­ence as they be­gan their process. Play­ers also seemed ea­ger to play for a man­ager who had won else­where.

But Preller down­played ex­pe­ri­ence as any sort of over­rid­ing fac­tor, and sev­eral peo­ple in the or­ga­ni­za­tion in­di­cated other traits would play a role in the de­ci­sion. Team of­fi­cials pointed out over the past few weeks that eight of the 10 man­agers in the post­sea­son this year were in their first jobs. That group in­cluded the Twins’ Rocco Baldelli, who turned 38 in Septem­ber and is the only ma­jor league man­ager younger than Tin­gler.

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