Tuesday, I wrote here about the Houston Astros’ bungling of a public relations crisis surrounding the actions of their assistant general manager Brandon Taubman in the clubhouse after the Astros beat the Yankees in the ALCS.
It was almost a textbook example of how not to handle PR, with the Astros accusing Sports Illustrated writer Stephanie Apstein of making up a story, then doubling down on the actions of Taubman.
Thursday, the Astros issued the following statement on this topic:
The Astros just announced that they have terminated assistant GM Brandon Taubman's employment. Here's the full statement: pic.twitter.com/4TslyAeOW1— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) October 24, 2019
That’s a pretty definitive statement and apology, though again it probably could have done without the words “or were offended.” Apologies, especially of this type, ought to be unconditional.
Brandon Taubman rose quickly through the Astros organization from analyst to assistant general manager in just five years, and young for that role at age 34. It seems unlikely any other team would hire him in an executive role at this point, given the high profile of this incident. If nothing else, I would hope this will be a teaching moment for not just baseball people, but people in any business, about how to treat fellow human beings.
There is one other thing I think the Astros ought to do, given this statement released late Monday evening after Apstein posted her story:
The Astros just released the following statement. pic.twitter.com/KnA6kQt0hq— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) October 22, 2019
Whoever is behind that statement ought to also be fired.
The Astros have, at last, done the right thing. It would have been better if they’d done it earlier. This is another lesson, this time in public relations, for baseball management and PR teams. It’s always better to say you’re sorry, and do it unconditionally. Human beings can be very forgiving if people who do wrong are upfront about saying they’re sorry right away, instead of hunkering down and being defensive.
That’s a lesson for everyone, too, not just in baseball.
Now, we can get back to baseball, which resumes with Game 3 of the World Series Friday night in Washington.