The Houston Astros fired exec Brandon Taubman over his ugly tirade to female reporters, and Taubman deserved exactly what he got, writes Christine Brennan at USA Today. Now Brennan hopes others with the team don't escape punishment. The Astros organization had the gall to pat itself on the back in a statement for "pro-actively" helping the MLB investigation—after it spent three days stone-walling and flat-out lying to protect Taubman, writes Brennan. Remember that the Astros initially put out a statement accusing a Sports Illustrated reporter of making up the story. Yes, the team has apologized for that, but it's not enough. Anyone involved in crafting those "lies" for the team and approving their release should be fired immediately.
That includes the team's PR flacks as well as Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, who acknowledged seeing the initial response before it went out. "This is a big deal," writes Brennan. "What say you, Astros ownership and MLB? Are you really serious about this issue? If so, how does Luhnow escape punishment?" The Astros are stuck in the "boys-will-be-boys" days of baseball, as evidenced by their decision to sign a pitcher with a history of alleged domestic violence, the issue at the root of this controversy. "If the powers that be in MLB don’t throw the book at the Astros, far beyond the firing of Taubman, it will perpetuate this storyline, showing millions of women, men, and their families that baseball really doesn’t care all that much about them," writes Brennan. (Read the full column here.)