Domestic violence, Osuna at center of Astros-Sports Illustrated dispute

Houston (AFP) –


Houston Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman yelled toward three female reporters during the team's playoff victory celebration in what the team called "supporting" relief pitcher Roberto Osuna.

The Major League Baseball team disputed a Sports Illustrated report that noted Osuna's being obtained last year by Houston from Toronto after facing domestic violence charges that were later dropped.

The incident took place Saturday night after Astros closing reliever Osuna had surrendered a two-run home run that let the New York Yankees equalize before Jose Altuve smacked a game-winning homer that lifted Houston into the World Series, which opens against Washington on Tuesday.

During the celebration, Taubman turned to the women reporters, one wearing a domestic violence awareness bracelet, and yelled six times: "Thank God we got Osuna. I'm so f?ing glad we got Osuna," according to the Sports Illustrated story, which said another team staffer apologized for the outburst.

The story noted that in May 2018, Osuna allegdly assaulted Alejandra Roman Cota, the mother of his then-three-year-old child, while a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Charges were dropped after Cota returned to Mexico and declined to testify, with prosecutors requiring Osuna have no contact with Cota for one year.

Major League Baseball suspended Osuna for 75 games but he was obtained by the Astros and since arriving has compiled a 2.46 earned-run average with 50 saves.

After the SI story, the Astros released a statement disputing the story's account.

"The story posted by Sports Illustrated is misleading and completely irresponsible," the Astros said. "An Astros player was being asked questions about a difficult outing. Our executive was supporting the player during a difficult time. His comments had everything to do about the game situation that just occurred and nothing else -- they were also not directed towad any specific reporters.

"We're extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated's attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist."

The Houston Chronicle reported that other reporters support Sports Illustrated's account and said the report was not misleading, nor was any player being interviewed at the time Taubman yelled.