Jeff Luhnow of the Houston Astros in September 2019.

While the Houston Astros fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman Thursday over repeatedly yelling “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so fucking glad we got Osuna!” at female reporters and then lying about the circumstances of those remarks, there’s still a lot of fallout developing from the way the team responded to the initial reporting of Taubman’s remarks from Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated. The team’s initial statement Monday night (two days after the incident, and shortly after Apstein’s piece came out) called SI’s story “misleading and extremely irresponsible” and said “We are extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated’s attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist,” but it was quickly disproved by testimony from other reporters and eyewitnesses.

The Astros didn’t apologize to Apstein or SI until their statement Thursday on Taubman’s firing, and that apology was still somewhat limited. And general manager Jeff Luhnow (who had previously put out comments including “What we really don’t know is the intent behind the inappropriate comments he made. We may never know that…”) didn’t exactly make himself or the organization look great in his remarks on this to media Thursday evening. Here are some of his comments:

A few notable points of fact here include that “many” people (including Luhnow himself) saw that initial statement accusing Apstein and SI of fabrication (one of the most serious accusations you can make against any media figure) before it was published and didn’t kill it, that the Astros based their initial reaction solely on comments from Taubman (who they now said lied to them) and other employees, and that it still took three days for the team to apologize to Apstein and SI (despite other reporting refuting their claims almost immediately). And while Taubman may now be gone, the team’s response here still deserves a lot of scrutiny.

Even after Luhnow’s news conference, the Astros still haven’t explained why they came up with the idea to go after a news outlet and a reporter for fabrication without even talking to anyone outside their own organization. And they haven’t explained why it took so long for them to change course and apologize after they were very publicly proved wrong by multiple reporters from other media organizations. And Luhnow (seen above in Sept. 2019) himself hasn’t explained why he saw that statement before publication and allowed it to go out. And even the lack of personal apologies to the reporters involved is rather stunning, especially given the three-day timeframe here. Taubman’s dismissal ends one part of this story, but there are still plenty of questions for the Astros’ organization. And so far, they’re not doing a very good job of handling those.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.