The Houston Astros already face a deficit in the World Series, trailing the Washington Nationals by two games to one. But they have also faced off-field distractions.
Houston fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman after he directed insensitive comments towards a group of female reporters following the Astros win over the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the ALCS.
However, the organization continues to face scrutiny because they initially claimed that the story revealing Taubman's comments–which was written by Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated–was false despite multiple sources confirming the incident.
The Astros have yet to make an apology for the statement that claimed that Apstein's story was fabricated.
On Friday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that a ruling on the investigation into the totality of Houston's wrongdoing will come after the World Series (via Joel Sherman and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post):
The final rendering of justice on the Brandon Taubman incident won’t take place by the end of the World Series, Rob Manfred said on Friday.
When that justice gets rendered, the MLB commissioner vowed, we will know about it.
“I think we’ve had a pretty good record of transparency when we make decisions,” Manfred said before Game 3 at Nationals Park. “So I think when we get to the point that we have something more to say, it will be public.”
Houston's run to the World Series has been filled with controversy.
Prior to Taubman's comments, the Astros were accused by the Yankees of using “whistling” as a means for stealing signs. Though the MLB cleared Houston of these allegations, this is the second straight postseason in which the Astros have faced accusations of sign-stealing.