HOUSTON — The assistant general manager of the Houston Astros apologized Tuesday for using “inappropriate language” after a Sports Illustrated report said he repeatedly yelled toward a group of female reporters about closer Roberto Osuna during a clubhouse celebration.

Brandon Taubman released a statement through the Astros hours before they played Game 1 of the World Series against Washington. Major League Baseball said it will interview those involved before further commenting.

Taubman’s remarks after the Astros clinched the AL pennant reportedly referenced Osuna, who was suspended for 75 games last year for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy before being traded from Toronto to the Astros.

According to SI, Taubman shouted “Thank God we got Osuna!” and made similar remarks several times, punctuating them with an expletive.

SI said one of the reporters was wearing a domestic violence awareness bracelet. The incident occurred after the Astros beat the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Saturday night in Game 6 of the AL Championship Series.

On Monday night, after the SI story was published, the Astros called it “misleading and completely irresponsible.” The team said SI had tried to “fabricate a story where one does not exist” and said Taubman’s comments weren’t directed at the reporters.

Taubman, on Tuesday, said he was “deeply sorry and embarrassed.”

“In retrospect, I realize that my comments were unprofessional and inappropriate. My overexuberance in support of a player has been misinterpreted as a demonstration of a regressive attitude about an important social issue,” he said.

MLB said in a statement that “everyone in baseball must use care to not engage in any behavior – whether intentional or not – that could be construed as minimizing the egregiousness of an act of domestic violence.”

“The Astros have disputed Sports Illustrated’s characterization of the incident. MLB will interview those involved before commenting further,” it said.

Canadian prosecutors dropped a domestic assault charge in September 2018 against Osuna, who agreed to stay away from the alleged victim for one year and continue counseling. The prosecution said the complainant, who lived in Mexico, had made it clear she would not travel to Toronto to testify against Osuna.

Osuna was charged with assault in May 2018. The Blue Jays traded him to Houston two months later.

Astros owner Jim Crane, in a statement, said the team has mandatory training for its employees and “we fully support MLB and baseball’s stance and values regarding domestic violence.”

ROSTERS: Chris Devenski replaced Bryan Abreu on the Astros’ World Series roster in a swap of right-handed pitchers.

A right-hander who turns 29 next month, Devenski has not pitched in a game since Sept. 29, the last day of the regular season. He made five appearances in the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers two years ago and got the win in Game 2 despite allowing Charlie Culberson’s 11th-inning homer. He failed to hold a three-run lead in the ninth inning of Game 5, giving up Yasiel Puig’s two-run homer and Chris Taylor’s RBI single.

Abreu, a 22-year-old rookie who made his debut in July, was not on the roster for the Division Series against Tampa Bay, then was added for the League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. His only appearance was in the Astros’ opening 7-0 loss, when he relieved to start the ninth inning, allowed a first-pitch home run to Gio Urshela, gave up Gleyber Torres’ RBI grounder and was replaced with two outs and two on.

Houston again is carrying 12 pitchers, all right-handed.

PHILLIES: Joe Girardi left Citizens Bank Park on Monday night as the favorite to be the next Phillies manager after an all-day interview, as the team nears a decision.

Girardi, according to a source, emerged as the “leading candidate” for the job after the Phillies conducted follow-up interviews over the last few days with Girardi, Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker. Girardi has not managed since 2017, when he finished a decade-long run with the Yankees. He managed the Yankees to six postseason trips and the 2009 World Series title.

General Manager Matt Klentak is leading the search for a new manager, but President Andy MacPhail and managing partner John Middleton will have a say. Klentak pushed for the Phillies to hire Gabe Kapler, but it was Middleton who decided earlier this month to fire Kapler after two seasons. Girardi, it is believed, was Middleton’s favorite before the team began interviews.
•  The Phillies hired Brian Barber to be director of amateur scouting.

Barber spent the last 18 seasons with the New York Yankees. He was an area scout (2002-06), East Coast crosschecker (2007-09) and national crosschecker (2010-19). Crosscheckers are scouts who provide second opinions.

Barber, 46, replaced Johnny Almaraz, who stepped down but will remain with the organization.

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