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.