Brandon Taubman

From BR Bullpen

Brandon Taubman (born ~1985) served as Assistant General Manager of the Houston Astros before being fired during the 2019 World Series after making highly inappropriate remarks to reporters during a team celebration.

Taubman grew up in Long Island, NY and attended Cornell University. He worked in the financial sector but also played fantasy baseball as a pastime and developed a system to project future player performance in order to increase his success. He joined the Astros in 2013 after responding to an advertisement in which the team was looking for an economist. In 2018, he was promoted to senior director of baseball operations and Assistant GM; while his professional cursus would have raised eyebrows only a few years earlier, his promotion was par for the course at a time when baseball executives were more and more recruited from the analytics ranks.

He torpedoed his own promising career however during the clubhouse celebrations celebrating the Astros' win over the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Championship Series. According to a female reporter for Sports Illustrated, he repeatedly yelled to a group of female reporters "Thank God we got (Roberto) Osuna. I'm (profanity) glad we got Osuna". This was an obvious reference to Osuna's past brush with the law and lengthy suspension following accusations of domestic violence, and the controversy that surrounded his acquisition by Houston a year earlier. It was also very ironic in that Osuna had almost cost Houston the series-clinching game by surrendering a two-run, game-tying homer in the 9th inning. When the journalist, Stephanie Apstein, reported the outburst, both Taubman and the team at first denied anything of the sort had happened, calling the incident a complete fabrication. However, there had been numerous witnesses who all corroborated the reporter's version. With the controversy growing and the Astros under pressure to do something, Taubman was fired on October 24th, in the middle of the World Series, both for the incident and for then lying about it to team officials, and the Astros issued an apology.

Following his firing, Taubman had become toxic around Major League Baseball and was unlikely to find employment any time soon, but a second blow came on January 13th when he was also prohibited from seeking employment with a team for a full year as a result of the behavior that had led to his firing. This came on the same day as punishment was announced in the sign-stealing scandal that cost GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch their jobs.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Steve Gardner: "Former Houston Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman suspended for explicit tirade toward reporters", USA Today, January 13, 2020. [1]
  • Bob Nightengale: "Astros fire assistant GM Brandon Taubman, apologize for his tirade toward female reporters", USA Today, October 24, 2019. [2]