Gabe Kapler’s hiring a reminder that MLB is still a good ole boys club

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On Brandon Taubman, the Astros, and MLB’s domestic abuse problem

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The Astros have been in the headlines for the wrong reasons this week, as their assistant general manager, Brandon Taubman, publicly chastised three sports reporters — all women — about Houston’s 2018 acquisition of domestic abuser Roberto Osuna. Stephanie Apstein, a Sports Illustrated reporter who was on the scene, described the moment in a story that the Astros initially declined to comment on:

And in the center of the room, assistant general manager Brandon Taubman turned to a group of three female reporters, including one wearing a purple domestic-violence awareness bracelet, and yelled, half a dozen times, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f—— glad we got Osuna!”

The outburst was offensive and frightening enough that another Houston staffer apologized. The Astros declined to comment. They also declined to make Taubman available for an interview.

Despite the scene being so alarming that another Astros’ staffer felt the need to apologize for Taubman’s behavior, the Astros would eventually deny that it even occurred by releasing a statement whose tl;dr is “fake news.” The slightly longer version of it is that the Astros claimed Taubman was trying to help out a player having a rough go of things, even though Osuna wasn’t even present at the time of the incident.

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MLB needs to change their domestic violence culture if there’s any hope

While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
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The latest Addison Russell story is a reminder MLB doesn’t care about domestic abuse

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to gain access to the rest of my work and allow me to keep writing posts like this one.

Major League Baseball has a domestic violence policy, and, on paper, it can be pretty effective. There are internal investigations and suspensions can occur without charges being filed or there being an arrest: that’s a positive workaround for the world we live in, where domestic abusers rarely face punishment or even public scrutiny.

When we see how the policy and punishments are used in practice, though, we get the uncomfortable reminder that, too often, MLB’s view of domestic abuse is mostly one where they’re hoping to minimize the public relations hit. Giants’ CEO Larry Baer was suspended for just half of the 2019 season, despite being caught on video attacking his wife in public in order to wrest a cell phone from her hands. The Yankees traded for then-suspended closer Aroldis Chapman, because his domestic abuse suspension lowered his value, and allowed New York to acquire him for less than he’d usually cost… and then they flipped him to the Cubs that summer, at a premium, because the suspension was over and so to was any stigma attached to his person. The Astros traded for Roberto Osuna last summer to improve their bullpen for similar reasons: this version of Moneyball is an uncomfortable one to witness play out.

Continue reading “The latest Addison Russell story is a reminder MLB doesn’t care about domestic abuse”

MLB’s handling of Larry Baer’s domestic assault will tell us much about MLB

While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
To view this content, you must be a member of Marc Normandin's Patreon at "Newsletter Tier" or higher tier