HOUSTON — Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said he is “really concerned” about events that led MLB to investigate the behavior of a Houston Astros employee.
According to allegations in a report published by Sports Illustrated, during the celebration in the Astros clubhouse after the team’s victory over the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, assistant general manager Brandon Taubman turned to a group of female reporters — including one wearing a purple domestic violence awareness bracelet — and New York Yankees Jerseys China repeatedly yelled, “Thank God we got [Roberto] Osuna! I’m so f—ing glad we got Osuna!”
Last season, Osuna, 24, served a 75-game suspension for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. In a statement released by MLB on Tuesday, the league acknowledged the SI report and said it would investigate the matter. The process is underway in Houston.
Passan: The Astros’ denial just made a bad situation worse
Hinch: Springer made ‘honest mistake’ on double
MLB looking into longtime umpire Drake’s tweet
“Look, I just don’t know because I haven’t even had an interim report from the investigators,” Manfred told reporters after a photo session for the Hank Aaron Award ceremony. “They are actually at it today. In general, it is my view that you want to be as thorough as possible. You want to get all the facts, understanding the whole situation. Once you get there, you want to get it behind you.
“I’m really concerned at this point about the underlying substance of the situation and what the atmosphere was and how it came to be. That’s my focus right now.”
The Astros initially called the report “misleading and completely irresponsible.” Taubman has since apologized for his language but said his comments were misinterpreted. Astros manager AJ Hinch told reporters Tuesday that the incident was “unfortunate” and “uncalled for.”
“We pride ourselves on providing an inclusive, harassment-free environment in all of the various aspects of our business,” Manfred said. “I think it’s a core value for baseball. I think we have to be tremendously concerned whenever we have an incident that has this much attention.”
Regarding possible consequences from the conclusions reached by the league’s investigation, Manfred said MLB would work with the Astros to determine the appropriate course of action.
“There will be a conversation with the club at the end of the investigation,” Manfred said. “We’ll make a decision with the club as to who should handle it. At the end of the day, he is an Astros employee.”