Wednesday’s Sports in Brief


HOUSTON (AP) — Major League Baseball will speak with the Astros to determine whether the commissioner’s office or the club will handle any decision following an investigation into the conduct of Houston assistant general manager Brandon Taubman.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said before World Series Game 2 that MLB investigators were at work in their probe.

“I think that there will be a conversation with the club at the end of the investigation and as is often the case, we’ll make a decision working with the club as to how who should handle it, as opposed to exactly what the outcome is,” Manfred said. “At the end of the day, he is an Astros employee.”

Taubman has apologized for using language that was “unprofessional and inappropriate” in the Houston clubhouse following the Astros’ pennant-winning victory over the New York Yankees last weekend. Sports Illustrated reported he repeatedly yelled toward a group of female reporters about closer Roberto Osuna, who was suspended for 75 games last year for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy before being traded from Toronto to the Astros.

Taubman shouted “Thank God we got Osuna!” according to SI, which said he made similar remarks several times, punctuating them with a profanity.

Manfred wasn’t sure how long the investigation will need.

HOUSTON (AP) — Commissioner Rob Manfred says Major League Baseball will look into a politicized tweet by umpire Rob Drake that referenced a rifle and criticism of President Donald Trump.

Drake posted this message to Twitter: “I will be buying an AR-15 tomorrow, because if you impeach MY PRESIDENT this way, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER CIVAL WAR!!! #MAGA2020”

The tweet has since been deleted.

Manfred spoke at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday night before Game 2 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.

Drake, 50, has worked spring training or regular-season major league games since 1999 and joined the big league staff in 2010. Drake was not assigned to work the postseason this year.

HOUSTON (AP) — Major League Baseball and its players’ union are optimistic talks are progressing on testing for opioids following the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

“The dialogue in this has been really positive with the players association, a lot of common ground on addressing the issue,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said before Game 2 of the World Series. “We understand that our workforce is a microcosm of society. There’s a societal problem.”

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room on July 1 before the start of a series against the Texas Rangers. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office said the 27-year-old died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his body.

While the joint program of MLB and the players’ association has testing with penalties for performance-enhancing drugs and banned stimulants, opioids are included in drugs of abuse and not subject to testing with penalties for players on 40-man rosters.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Boxing promoter Oscar De La Hoya denies accusations of sexual assault contained in a lawsuit filed against him this week.

De La Hoya’s company, Golden Boy Promotions, issued a statement describing the action as a “frivolous lawsuit” and calling the allegations “completely false.”

The lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleges that the unnamed woman had a consensual sexual relationship with De La Hoya until he assaulted her at his home in Pasadena in November 2017.

The lawsuit goes into graphic detail in its allegations against De La Hoya, claiming the former boxing champion was intoxicated at the time that he overpowered the woman. The lawsuit doesn’t specify whether she filed a complaint with the police after the alleged attack, which left her requiring medication for “extreme swelling and pain.”

The complainant says she went to a hospital after the alleged attack and eventually sought psychological treatment, during which she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The woman claims she still has daily symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Golden Boy Promotions’ statement suggests De La Hoya is being extorted.


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The Patriots have placed receiver Josh Gordon on injured reserve with knee and ankle injuries.

The move was posted on the NFL’s transaction wire.

Gordon suffered the injuries during New England’s win over the Giants in Week 6 and sat out Monday night’s win over the Jets. He did not participate when the Patriots returned to the practice field on Wednesday.

Gordon’s absence will mean the Patriots will now be leaning even more on veteran Mohamed Sanu, acquired in a trade with Atlanta on Tuesday, to provide some stability to an offense that leads the league in scoring at nearly 32 points a game.

Gordon was among New England’s leading receivers this season. In six games he has 20 catches for 287 yards and a touchdown.

This marks the second abbreviated season for Gordon. Following a trade from Cleveland last season, he appeared in 11 games for the Patriots before being suspended indefinitely last December for violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.