Astros apologize to SI reporter, retract statement

October 28th, 2019

Astros owner Jim Crane sent a letter to Sports Illustrated reporter Stephanie Apstein on Saturday apologizing for and retracting the statement the team issued on Oct. 21 that claimed she fabricated a story.

The story outlined improper conduct in the clubhouse by former assistant general manager Brandon Taubman as the Astros celebrated their American League Championship Series win on Saturday, Oct. 19.

Apstein posted the letter from Crane on Twitter on Sunday.

"On behalf of the entire Astros organization, I want to personally apologize for the statement we issued on Monday October 21st," the letter reads. "We were wrong and I am sorry we initially questioned your professionalism. We retract that statement, and I assure you that the Houston Astros will learn from this experience."

Astros senior vice president, marketing & communications Anita Sehgal addressed reporters regarding the matter on Sunday at Nationals Park.

“This statement was wrong,” Sehgal said. “It was wrong on a number of fronts. It’s disappointing. It’s embarrassing for the organization. We are very, very sorry that it happened, but the team owns it. The entire organization owns the decision that that statement went out. I think we apologized. We recognized it. We feel very bad and Jim personally acknowledged that to Stephanie, who I think is the person who deserves the most apology.”

Apstein reported that Taubman directed an inappropriate outburst in support of closer Roberto Osuna toward a group of female reporters. Osuna had been serving a 75-game suspension for violating MLB's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy when the Astros traded for him in July 2018.

After the story was published, the Astros released a statement claiming the report was a fabrication, calling it "misleading and completely irresponsible."

On Thursday, following an MLB investigation of the events, the Astros dismissed Taubman and issued an updated statement apologizing to Apstein and the others who witnessed the incident, saying Taubman's conduct "does not reflect the values of our organization."

In a press conference that day, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said, "That original reaction by the Astros was wrong, and we own it as an organization." Luhnow also met with Apstein, and Crane subsequently retracted the statement Saturday.