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2019-2020 OFFSEASON DISCUSSION THREAD

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7 minutes ago, Oblong said:

What if it were John Rocker, post SI racism comments, and a black or gay reporter questioned it, then this kind of thing happened where the assistant GM openly taunted the reporter about it?  

Would we be saying "get over it"?  Doubt it.

 

my point here is that Rocker actually said something, what do the words that Taubman said actually say? - pretty much NOTHING. That is more  my issue with this. It's the assumption that there was something objectionable in the words actually spoken.  If so what exactly was it? Osuna did save a ton of games of the Astro's right? is that supposed to make Astro's management sad? What the demand here is really is for mind control. This is only objectionable to the hearer if the hearer demands that Taubman think like they do, and what you think has pretty much always been your own in America as long as you don't act on it. And there is good reason for that, which is that you can never *really* know what people think anyway - you only ever find out how good they are about lying about it.

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7 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

being a d**k publically given his role in the org

This is a fair argument - that not being possibly drunk and disorderly in public in and of itself may be a standard the team wants to uphold in its staff. But so far that is not what people seem to be being explicit about.

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1 minute ago, Gehringer_2 said:

my point here is that Rocker actually said something, what do the words that Taubman said actually say? - pretty much NOTHING. That is more  my issue with this. It's the assumption that there was something objectionable in the words actually spoken.  If so what exactly was it? Osuna did save a ton of games of the Astro's right? is that supposed to make Astro's management sad? What the demand here is really is for mind control. This is only objectionable to the hearer if the hearer demands that Taubman think like they do, and what you think has pretty much always been your own in America as long as you don't act on it. And there is good reason for that, which is that you can never *really* know what people think anyway - you only ever find out how good they are about lying about it.

wait so you think he was just saying he's glad they signed him without any reference at all to domestic violence situation?  It was just a coincidence and he was expressing happiness that he signed a closer and those reporters just happened to be sitting there?  That's some serious cognitive dissonance.  I think biggs point above is accurate in this regard.. he was telling them that their cause is BS.

He was the one who didn't get over it, not them.  It wasn't an issue being discussed at the time.  He raised it.  He doesn't get to raise it as something unprovoked then cry that it became a story.  Without his outburst we're not talking about it.   He made it happen, not the reporters.

 

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these dang women hanging around men's clubhouses won't let men be men and hit women without it always being brought up, even though the men brought it up...

 

that's the vibe I'm getting here from a few people that surprises me

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Not that it has to do with anything, but my father would sometimes react this sort of way when he we was quite peeved about something somebody did.

Meaning he'd repeat some something (often sarcastic) several times to highlight the thing (often loudly), to let the offender know just how horses**t he thought they were for it.

So that certainly colored how I read the account, FWIW.  But I certainly think that was what the guy was doing.

And that concludes your extra special glimpse into Mr. Bigglesworth formative years.  Feel free to draw your own conclusions into my psyche.

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18 minutes ago, Oblong said:

these dang women hanging around men's clubhouses won't let men be men and hit women without it always being brought up, even though the men brought it up...

 

that's the vibe I'm getting here from a few people that surprises me

This *may* be true, but this is a case were there is too long a stretch from point A to point B for me. Taubman may support Osuna for any number of reasons other than and beside the fact the he was charged with hitting a woman. Other than maybe Lee Harvey Oswald few people are fully defined by one act of their lives. Maybe Taubman thinks Osuna got a bad rap because he actually knows more about the situation than most people - whatever. All I'm saying is that you can't pin "I support DV" on Taubman based on the words he actually said. And in my book you can't get to "you are a bad person just because you support Osuna as an individual just because he did something wrong". Hate the sin, love the sinner right? And you  cannot  in any fair way  get to any way in which the hearers were damaged by what they heard either. 

So stupid, pointless, possibly out of decorum for his role. But I don't see any further than that.

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Taubman did not say: Osuna has been an important part of this winning team and since he has joined us his behavior has been exemplary. He has accepted the consequences of his behavior from Ontario, MLB, and his SO. Your constant retweeting of DV themes when he pitches is, to me, not productive. I think there are more positive and creative ways to address this serious issue. I would like to discuss that with you in the future 

He basically said: Suck it, loser.

 

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1 hour ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Here's the thing, if the reporters were that worried about how the hypothetical true story would sully the World Series, they either would have just simply killed the story or waited until after the Series to report it.

The idea that they colluded with the Astros management -> the assistant GM agreed to be the fall guy is simply way too convoluted (and far too much risk to blow up in their faces) relative to the other options.  I don't even know who thinks like that anyway.

But it seems like chas might be indicating his comment was sarcasm?  Not sure.

I thought it was an entertaining possibility. I like to entertain and be entertained. I already said I didn't say I believed it's what was happening, although I do think there's more than a 0.1% possibility. Maybe a couple percent.

After all, imagine if it really were someone like (reaches into a hat and draws a name) Alex Bregman who'd done this, going into the Series, and in this era of heightened awareness of DV, the reporter and SI insist the story has to be written right away. The damage to Baseball would be enormous, exactly because it would have involved a star player who was continuing to play in the Series. Baseball would be extremely motivated to do everything they could to figure out how to deflect away from that, and fast. if Baseball simply tried to use brute force to lean hard on Apstein and SI to simply spike the story, that might well become part of the story, too. Making a front office exec the fall guy and compensating him for doing just that, and promising the sportswriter it will be dealt with firmly out of public view, might be one of the options on the table. If literally the only other option is it gets written up today as a star player who did it, it might start to make a little more sense.

Maybe we'll hear more about it in the next day or two, but if not, I'd expect we're not going to hear much more from Baseball, the Astros or anyone else inside until the results of Baseball's investigation lands on page 12 of the sports page sometime around the holidays.

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In before Mr. Bigglesworth posts, "I don't think it entertaining at all, FWIW." ?

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I don't have a strong reaction to it - as G_2 said, there is too much we don't know. But if I'm the owner I'm telling him he needs to be more professional and aware of how he is coming across,  and to stop with the passive aggressive garbage. 

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10 hours ago, Buddha said:

He was upset about it and yelled something.  Someone was offended.  He apologized.

End of story.  Move on.

To be clear, Taubman apologized only if anyone was offended by his actions.

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1 hour ago, Oblong said:

I love how we're supposed to "move on" less than 24 hours after the story broke... as if this had been dragged through the media for weeks and weeks...

In this era of accelerated media cycles delivered by way of firehose, 24 hours can seem like weeks and weeks.

1 hour ago, Oblong said:

I bet if Taubman and the Astros, when contacted originally, had said something like "Yeah, I acted like a jerk, sorry, I was probably 2/3 drunk, was excited, emotional, and I overracted.  I apologize." the story would have been a lot different.

But they were incapable of doing that because of their ego. They get called out on that, exposed, then want to quickly change the subject.

 

 

I'm sure we'll never find out, but I'd still like to know exactly what led up to the tirade. Just going off out of nowhere on a reporter about a topic nobody had even brought up is, again, just borderline psychotic. Maybe Taubman is borderline psychotic, but that odds that it happened exactly like that seem really slim to me.

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Having been around far too many frankly petty outbursts around youth athletics, I think it is quite possible he simply saw the reporter and saw a sweet, sweet opportunity to make her eat crow (in his mind) that was just too good to pass up.

Alcohol could certainly be a factor in that as well, though I don't know he was drinking or not.

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1 hour ago, Gehringer_2 said:

so here is the question which strikes me more and more the more I think about this: What did Taubman actually do? He yelled to a reporter that he was glad the team signed Osuna. There is a fair interpretation here that this is sin that is strictly in the eye of a particularly biased beholder. In what way did he create any tort, threat, verbal assault, or injury? By his crudity? Ridiculous - they are sports reporters right?  Do those words actually insult or threaten the hearer in any way at all? They are about Taubman and his feelings about signing Osuna. They have no direct implication to the listener at all. Are we at the point where anything less than being "sweetums" to people 24/7 is going to be career ending?  Sure you can make assumptions and draw inferences any way you like about what the past history of the parties may or may not indicate the communication may have signified to the parties - but the objective reality is that to an unbiased objective hearer  - say a jury of 12 people dropped at random into the situation, where do you find an actionable cause? That he used bad language in an environment where that it is endemic? That he may be a fan of one of his own players who may have issues? There's a scoop - not. 

I go back to the fact that I don't think what he did made any sense, but that is whole different argument that there was even anything to apologize for.

OK, I already provided you my entertaining conspiracy possibility—now I'll give you my best guess as to how it probably happened:

In the wake of the pennant winning celebration, somebody brings up how Osuna blew the ninth inning save, or maybe Osuna was being interviewed about that very thing, and how it came this close to costing the Astros the game. One of the women reporters standing off to the side opines that it serves the Astros right to almost lose the game for trading for Osuna at all. Taubman or one of the group he was in hears that and answers, **** that, lady, Osuna has been awesome for us. The reporter says, yeah, well, you would have made it here without him, he's a domestic abuser, you should never have traded for him, he shouldn't even be here. After this or maybe a couple more exchanges, Taubman then goes off on the group the way Apstein wrote.

That makes more sense to me than, three reporters just minding their own business when out of the blue, this psychotic ***hole just starts yelling at them. That doesn't pass the smell test for me.

 

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I will bet you any money you like no reporter suggested it would serve the Astros right to lose, or almost lose, any games Osuna pitches in.

You are talking out of your *** again, Chas.

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Just to kind of finish where my thoughts more generally on this were headed, and maybe apart from this particular case, is that sometimes I feel that we are getting to the point where we want to make it unsafe for a person to advocate for another person who may be making the effort to do better. People who fail often need other people who believe in them and will advocate for them as much as anything else in order to ultimately change/succeed. Do we really want to make it unsafe for all time to advocate for someone who has paid his penalties (in court and by suspension)? That strikes me as a society that only cares about vengeance and not about realizing human potential. To me in this case the reporter(s?), who apparently incessantly dumped on Osuma and then were (again - apparently) upset when someone advocated for him - seem to be examples of a society moving in that direction and that is the sense in which I am coming to Taubman's defense on theoretical grounds. He may be a total jerk for all I know.

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Hasn’t what went down been pretty well documented at this point? From what I have read, one of the reporters has made a point to tweet or comment about domestic violence when osuna would pitch. I don’t know if it happened every time he pitched but apparently enough that she was known to do so. And Taubman directed his outburst specifically at her. 
 

It doesn’t seem that difficult to figure out what his motivation was here. The accounts from all of the media that was there confirm that the outburst was unprovoked and not in response to any questions or the like. 

Who knows what went through his mind to prompt his behavior. Seems like classic bully behavior. The problem, to me, is that this was completely avoidable. If you want to bring in a player with a checkered past, so be it. Sports are unique in that regard because good players and their skills are in short supply, and when your team shifts from entertainment product into a product with a mandate to “win” you do a disservice to that mandate when you don’t maximize your potential to win. And you can do so and try to battle the negative public perception that comes with it. The Astros in particular made an explicit point to support anti domestic violence causes. They made their bed, and in doing so it brings with it a higher standard of behavior. They deserve every last bit of criticism for this episode and their response to it. 

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5 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Just to kind of finish where my thoughts more generally on this were headed, and maybe apart from this particular case, is that sometimes I feel that we are getting to the point where we want to make it unsafe for a person to advocate for another person who may be making the effort to do better. People who fail often need other people who believe in them and will advocate for them as much as anything else in order to ultimately change/succeed. Do we really want to make it unsafe for all time to advocate for someone who has paid his penalties (in court and by suspension)? That strikes me as a society that only cares about vengeance and not about realizing human potential. To me in this case the reporter(s?), who apparently incessantly dumped on Osuma and then were (again - apparently) upset when someone advocated for him - seem to be examples of a society moving in that direction and that is the sense in which I am coming to Taubman's defense on theoretical grounds. He may be a total jerk for all I know.

The problem wasn't that someone advocated for Osuna, the problem was they did it in a boorish way that did nothing to forward the discussion in a positive way, and not only that, but could be argued he was punching down, as it were.

If he thought she handled it poorly and unprofessionally with her tweets, fine, he certainly is entitled to that opinion.  But there are much better ways of handling it than the way he did, and there can be consequences for that.

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18 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I will bet you any money you like no reporter suggested it would serve the Astros right to lose, or almost lose, any games Osuna pitches in.

You are talking out of your *** again, Chas.

Makes more sense to me than psychotic episode.

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51 minutes ago, chasfh said:

In this era of accelerated media cycles delivered by way of firehose, 24 hours can seem like weeks and weeks.

I'm sure we'll never find out, but I'd still like to know exactly what led up to the tirade. Just going off out of nowhere on a reporter about a topic nobody had even brought up is, again, just borderline psychotic. Maybe Taubman is borderline psychotic, but that odds that it happened exactly like that seem really slim to me.

Reporters from other outlets have confirmed SI's version.  One reporter went so far as to say she regretted not writing about it at the time, until SI did.

 

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42 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Just to kind of finish where my thoughts more generally on this were headed, and maybe apart from this particular case, is that sometimes I feel that we are getting to the point where we want to make it unsafe for a person to advocate for another person who may be making the effort to do better. People who fail often need other people who believe in them and will advocate for them as much as anything else in order to ultimately change/succeed. Do we really want to make it unsafe for all time to advocate for someone who has paid his penalties (in court and by suspension)? That strikes me as a society that only cares about vengeance and not about realizing human potential. To me in this case the reporter(s?), who apparently incessantly dumped on Osuma and then were (again - apparently) upset when someone advocated for him - seem to be examples of a society moving in that direction and that is the sense in which I am coming to Taubman's defense on theoretical grounds. He may be a total jerk for all I know.

We may simply be at the point where we are still finding our equilibrium on how to deal with this particular type of social sin. We are really early in the life cycle of addressing what to do about domestic abusers, so we may be at the part where we've swung all the way to the other extreme of "off with his head" after a long history of "don't mind it, it's not our business". It might be a few years before we get to what we can all agree is a fair way to deal with it in a way that exacts fair punishment without completely denying someone's livelihood as a result.

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22 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Makes more sense to me than psychotic episode.

It possibly makes less sense than your crazy conspiracy that the reporters and the org concocted the episode to protect Osuna and the integrity of the World Series, and that theory could politely be described as ****ing bananas.

Reporters as a group just don't make snide comments during interviews / in the clubhouse.  Especially no name reporters.  It isn't talk radio format.  It isn't even really a conversation.  Basically one reporter asks a question and they record the athlete's quote, then another person asks a question, typically building off of the previous response, and they then quietly record the quote, and so on.

It isn't a discourse where reporters offer their opinions.  Nobody cares what their opinion is in that environment.  What you described is a really great way to get your press pass revoked.

Besides, as Shelton pointed out, the exchange has been pretty well described and corroborated.  Not sure why there is presumed to be some incendiary comment that brought the thing on.  Surely that would have come out by now if there was one.  Why is it so hard to believe the guy knew her, didn't like her tweets, and decided to be a d**k about it?

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19 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

The problem wasn't that someone advocated for Osuna, the problem was they did it in a boorish way that did nothing to forward the discussion in a positive way, and not only that, but could be argued he was punching down, as it were.

If he thought she handled it poorly and unprofessionally with her tweets, fine, he certainly is entitled to that opinion.  But there are much better ways of handling it than the way he did, and there can be consequences for that.

Don't question this part at all, but OTOH, do you think it was his unprofessionalism that is at the core of what has his detractors upset? Maybe I'm over reading it.

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That is my issue with it.  I can't speak for other people.

I think Ratko has it right.  Had he pulled her aside and had an adult conversation as outlined below, this both wouldn't be a story and it is quite possible he could have changed her viewpoint in a way he and the org would have found positive.

1 hour ago, RatkoVarda said:

Taubman did not say: Osuna has been an important part of this winning team and since he has joined us his behavior has been exemplary. He has accepted the consequences of his behavior from Ontario, MLB, and his SO. Your constant retweeting of DV themes when he pitches is, to me, not productive. I think there are more positive and creative ways to address this serious issue. I would like to discuss that with you in the future 

He basically said: Suck it, loser.

 

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15 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Makes more sense to me than psychotic episode.

I can’t tell if this means that you think a psychotic episode is extremely unlikely or you think that your new theory is fairly likely. 
 

“psychotic episode” doesn’t seem all that unlikely to me. It seems quite plausible that Taubman felt like he has had to defend and justify having osuna, or at the very least has had to stand idly by while this particular media member kept reminding people that osuna is a piece of garbage. It’s understandable that he might feel like the continued focus on osuna’s past has been unfair or overblown or whatever. And when it comes from a specific person over and over, it’s understandable that he might have that person in his crosshairs. Couple that with an emotional night (in which osuna played a substantial/negative role), likely including alcohol, and a celebratory atmosphere, and I could see pretty easily how his emotions got the best of him and he lashed out at the person that had been grating on him and/or the org. 

In short, Taubman didn’t like that reporter and her past actions, and he couldn’t control his emotions and targeted her. 

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