Posts tagged with "Major League Baseball"

Houston Astros – Apology

Nonpologies and Missed Opportunities: The Damaging Responses to a Crisis

By Sean O’Meara

When Houston Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman put the final period on the final sentence of his apology statement for remarks he made toward three sports journalists in October 2019, he probably thought he’d done a good job.

Taubman probably read the statement back to himself and checked off in his head all the points he wanted to make; including what a great guy Brandon Taubman is (“Those that know me know that I am a progressive and charitable member of the community, and a loving and committed husband and father”) and how the Sports Illustrated report about his behaviour doesn’t reflect that (“the Sports Illustrated article does not reflect who I am or my values”.

Now that the dust has settled on the Houston Astros Brandon Taubman controversy, we’re able to reflect on what team leadership could have done better.

Astros management had already tried to deny the accusations on behalf of Taubman and did what a lot of organizations under fire do; they attempted to muddy the waters with a half-baked public statement, accusing the reporters of ‘fabrication’ in the process. And Taubman’s subsequent ‘apology’ was only necessary because other journalists had corroborated the allegations against him.

That Taubman or indeed the Astros put out a statement with such audacious levels of equivocation is a very bad reflection on their crisis planning. The fact that Taubman ended up getting fired and the Astros ended up apologising for how they handled the scandal, is a bad reflection on the organization’s leadership.

Here’s Taubman’s apology in full.

“This past Saturday, during our clubhouse celebration, I used inappropriate language for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed. In retrospect, I realized 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. Those that know me know that I am a progressive and charitable member of the community, and a loving and committed husband and father. I hope that those who do not know me understand that the Sports Illustrated article does not reflect who I am or my values. I am sorry if anyone was offended by my actions.”

Taubman’s nonpology did more damage than not saying anything would have done. There’s equivocating, weasly, nonpologies, and there’s whatever this is. Taubman actually manages to weaponise the language of contrition in attack against the journalists, while simultaneously giving himself a glowing character reference; “I am a progressive and charitable member of the community, and a loving and committed husband and father.”

It was no real surprise that it didn’t wash. By apologizing in this manner, Taubman effectively questioned the integrity of the journalists who reported his remarks. Any communications advisor would caution against that course of action. It’s dangerous for a number of reasons, not least because it adds an extra layer of complexity to the situation and provides another thing to apologize for when you’re found out to be wrong. But then, this is exactly what Astros did as an organization when they implied that the journalists were mischief-making with their accusations.

The Astros were the next to find themselves apologizing. But not before they’d fired Taubman. Owner Jim Crane wrote a personal letter to Stephanie Apstein copping to a momentous lapse of judgement.

“On behalf of the entire Astros organization, I want to personally apologize for the statement we issued on Monday October 21st.

“We were wrong and I am sorry that we initially questioned your professionalism. We retract that statement, and I assure you that the Houston Astros will learn from this experience.”

The really frustrating thing here is that the above is an example of a good apology. In The Apology Impulse, a book I co-authored with renowned psychologist Professor Sir Cary Cooper, we examined what makes a good apology and what makes a bad one.

There were abundant examples of the latter of scant examples of the former. Had this apology, with its frank concession of fault, assurances that they will do better and the notable lack of equivocation, been given as we were writing the book, and had it not been given as the humiliating culmination of evasive accountability avoiding behaviour and victim smearing, it would have been a case study for how to say sorry. In other words, had the Astros’ first apology been this frank and direct, they wouldn’t have needed to make multiples, and Taubman may still have had his job.

The Taubman affair is best characterised as a litany of missed opportunities. Taubman had the opportunity to apologize properly for his outburst. He missed it. The Astros had the opportunity to apologize on his behalf. They had the opportunity to retain his services had they managed to contain the fall-out from his original remarks. The only opportunities he grasped with both hands were the opportunities to sack Taubman and the opportunity to withdraw their accusations against the journalists. Neither reflect particularly well on the organization.

Sean O’Meara, co-author of The Apology Impulse: How the Business World Ruined Sorry and Why We Can’t Stop Saying It, is the founder and director of Essential Content, a communications and public relations consultancy. With more than 15 years of professional experience in corporate communications, O’Meara has worked with organizations including the BBC, Convergys (now Concentrix), and Co-op Bank.

New Era Celebrates Red Sox

Today New Era Cap Co., Inc., the official on-field cap of Major League Baseball, announces the New Era 2018 World Series Champions Collection, available for fans now. This collection will provide fans with five different styles to celebrate the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.

“For 162 games, the Boston Red Sox have come to the ball park, put on their New Era caps giving it their best day in and day out,” said Tim Shanahan, Director of Baseball at New Era Cap. “We are excited that the Red Sox and their fans will now be able to put on their authentic New Era 2018 World Series Champions caps and celebrate their path to a World Championship season.” 

The New Era 2018 World Series Champions Collection is available in the following styles:

  • 2018 World Series Champions Locker Room 39THIRTY® and 9TWENTY®: The official locker room cap worn by the Red Sox after winning the World Series features a team logo with “2018 World Series Champs” written on the front, a World Series trophy patch on the side and the letters “WS” stitched into the back.
  • 2018 World Series Champions Locker Room Knit: This special championship knit features “World Series Champs” stitched across the crown while proudly displaying a team logo patch on the cuff, keeping fans warm as they celebrate this victory.
  • 2018 World Series Champions Parade 9FIFTY®: Featuring the iconic World Series trophy, this snapback will be worn by the Red Sox as they celebrate victory with their fans on the streets of Boston.
  • 2018 World Series Champions Side Patch: Available in multiple silhouettes, this cap features a woven or LiquidChrome® side patch commemorating the 2018 World Series Champion with a Boston Red Sox logo in the front. This cap comes in the following silhouettes:  59FIFTY®, Low Profile 59FIFTY®, 9FIFTY®, 49FORTY®, 39THIRTY®, 9FORTY®, 9TWENTY® and Women’s 9TWENTY®.
  • 2018 World Series Champions Lifestyle Side Patch: New for this year, this cap features a matte World Series Champion LiquidChrome® side patch with either a stitched monochromatic team logo or stitched white team logo. This cap is available 59FIFTY® or 9FIFTY® silhouette.

The New Era 2018 World Series Champions Locker Room Collection is available at www.neweracap.com as well as most sporting good and headwear retailers for a retail price between $28-$40 USD.

Roberto Osuna Agrees to Peace Bond

By Reid Urban

Astros right-hander Roberto Osuna finally gained some good news regarding his domestic assault case.

According to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle, Osuna appeared at a court hearing on Tuesday and agreed to a one-year peace bond. Because of that agreement, the assault charges from the alleged victim were withdrawn. However, under the terms of the peace bond, he will not be allowed to contact the alleged victim for one year and must avoid any further criminal charges. The reason behind the peace bond was that the alleged victim is currently in Mexico and decided not to return for court proceedings.

According to the Canadian Justice Department, a peace bond is used when “an individual (the defendant) appears likely to commit a criminal offence, but there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has actually been committed.” If Osuna violates the peace bond, it can result up to four years of prison time.

So while Osuna escaped the possibly of facing assault charges stemming from this incident, it means that he’s going to have to be more careful to stay out of any more incidents that could be deemed criminal charges.

Bryan Mitchell Goes 8.2 Innings, Gets Win

By Reid Urban

Bryan Mitchell is making his case to be in the Padres rotation come 2019, and Monday night in SF was probably his best case yet.

Mitchell came close to securing his first shutout of the season, but settled for 8.2 innings of work as the Padres shut out the Giants 5-0 on Monday night at AT&T Park.

Despite the disappointing season as a whole for Mitchell, he has been pretty impressive in his last few games, and that could be enough for him to secure his place heading into next spring. He would still have to compete with a bunch of other starters for a spot in the rotation.

Despite that, though, he had some arm trouble, posting a 7.08 ERA before doing on the disabled list in early June with elbow impingement. Tonight was an example of Mitchell when he is great. He went after the strike zone and regularly threw 94-95 mph fastballs regularly in the later stages of the game.

The Padres were hoping for this when they acquired him from the Yankees last offseason. Though it didn’t work out at first, the long wait seems to be paying off.

The Path to the Cap Starring D’Angelo Russell

New Era Cap Premieres “The Path to the Cap”

Starring NBA Superstar D’Angelo Russell

A film celebrating the New Era Cap NBA Authentics: Draft Series Collection

June 19, 2018, Buffalo, New York – On the week of the NBA Draft, New Era Cap Co. presents “The Path to the Cap”: a never-before-seen exploration of NBA superstar and 2015 NBA Draft second overall pick D’Angelo Russell’s journey from neighborhood baller to NBA professional athlete. Produced by the international sports and lifestyle brand, the film celebrates the moment Russell donned his new team’s hat – a symbol of success after a young lifetimes’ worth of perseverance and hard work. This year, 60 potential stars will make that same leap, and each draftee will mark their moment in a cap from New Era’s NBA Authentics: Draft Series Collection.

Many will watch as the athletes put on their hats, but few know what the true path to the cap entails – which is why New Era Cap Co. travels back to Russell’s roots in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky tracing his NBA success story to its origin point. Candid interviews with his parents and two brothers give a behind-the-scenes look at what drove Russell, including a previously unseen sibling rivalry that spawned his competitive spirit.

“The feeling of getting drafted and putting on that team hat was something I dreamed about forever. I worked my entire life to put on that cap,” said Russell. “It is an incredible honor to have worked alongside New Era to tell the story of how I got to that moment, and I’m excited for every player in this year’s draft class to realize that same dream.”

“The Path to the Cap” celebrates New Era’s ongoing partnership with the league around the NBA Draft. In 2018, the brand introduces new editions of the emblematic lids; in addition to individual team logos and colorways, each hat in the collection features a series of unique design elements, featuring custom patches and pins that pay homage to the local city neighborhoods that host the NBA’s 30 teams.

“The NBA Authentics: Draft Series collection is New Era Cap’s most exciting NBA collection to date,” said Mark Maidment, Senior Vice President, Brand at New Era Cap. “We wanted to create visual representations of the excitement these young men will feel for their new homes and fan families. The cap marks the end of their first path and the beginning of the next: the opportunity to represent each of these cities come opening night.”

The film can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16Jr2hCjysQ&feature=youtu.be

ABOUT NEW ERA CAP:
New Era Cap Co. Inc. is an international lifestyle brand with an authentic sports heritage that dates back over 90 years. Best known for being the official on-field cap for Major League Baseball and the National Football League, New Era Cap is the brand of choice not only for its headwear collection, but also for its accessories and apparel lines for men, women and youth. The brand is worn as a symbol of self-expression by athletes, artists and some of the most interesting people around the globe. New Era Cap encourages people to truly express their personal style and individuality through its products. The Company is headquartered in Buffalo, NY and operates facilities in Canada, Europe, Brazil, Japan, and Hong Kong. For more information, visit www.neweracap.com.

2017 World Series Documentary Available Now

CELEBRATE THE FIRST WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE HISTORY OF THE HOUSTON ASTROS WITH 

TWO MUST-HAVE FALL CLASSIC MEMENTOS

A little more than a month ago, the Houston Astros delivered the first World Series Championship in team history — an emotionally uplifting victory for a city in distress.  And, yesterday, the pulse-pounding story of the Astros run to the Championship was unveiled by Major League Baseball, available on DVD and Blu-ray.  Check out the new trailer below, just released yesterday!

It’s not too late to receive review copies of THE 2017 WORLD SERIES Official Documentary from Major League Baseball and/or the 2017 WORLD SERIES COLLECTOR’S EDITION: HOUSTON ASTROS, which includes every complete unedited game of the Fall Classic.  Additionally, please let us know if you’d be interested in creating an on/offline promotion with these Major League Baseball home entertainment releases; we’ll provide you with everything necessary for a Grand Slam promo guaranteed to keep the Fall Classic excitement going throughout the holiday season!

WATCH TRAILER HERE

2017 WORLD SERIES FILM (DVD/BLU-RAY)

Street date:  December 5, 2017

Running Time:  90  minutes

Format:  DVD+ Blu-ray/2 Discs

Sug. Retail Price:  (DVD) $24.99srp/(Blu-ray) $34.93srp

Genre:  Sports

Catalog #:  (DVD) 17291/(BD) 17292

Aspect Ratio:  1.78:1

Language:  English

2017 WORLD SERIES COLLECTOR’S EDITION: HOUSTON ASTROS (DVD/BLU-RAY)

Street date:  December 5, 2017

Running Time:  20 hours

Format:  DVD+ Blu-ray/8 Discs

Sug. Retail Price:  (DVD) $59.99srp/(Blu-ray) $79.97srp

Genre:  Sports

Catalog #:  (DVD) 17293/(BD) 17302

Aspect Ratio:  1.78:1

Language:  English, Spanish w/English Subtitles

Celebrate the Astros First World Series Championship

 “THE 2017 WORLD SERIES”

THE OFFICIAL DOCUMENTARY FROM 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Two-Disc Blu-ray™+DVD Combo Pack with 

Digital and DVD with Digital

&

“2017 WORLD SERIES COLLECTOR’S EDITION:

HOUSTON ASTROS”

8-Disc Complete Game Set on Blu-ray™ and DVD

AVAILABLE IN STORES DECEMBER 5

Both Winning Sets from Shout! Factory and 

Major League Baseball are Loaded with Extras, Including Regular Season Highlights, World Series and Parade 

Highlights, Clinching Moments and More!

The first championship for any franchise always delivers a satisfying celebration.  But when it happens during the recovery from a natural disaster, it generously serves as a welcome and exhilarating distraction for its fans and city.  By embodying the resilience and strength of their hometown, the Houston Astros delivered the very first World Series Championship in team history.  And, this December, fans will thrill to two ultimate home entertainment collectibles, celebrating the team’s unforgettable postseason run: the official documentary “THE 2017 WORLD SERIES”, available on two-disc Blu-ray+DVD combo pack (with digital copy)and DVD (with digital copy)  and the “2017 WORLD SERIES COLLECTOR’S EDITION: HOUSTON ASTROS”, an 8-disc collection on Blu-ray and DVD, both available on December 5, 2017, from Shout! Factory and Major League Baseball.

 

Under the leadership and direction of Owner & Chairman Jim Crane, General Manager Jeff Luhnow and Manager A.J. Hinch, the Astros staged one of the most successful rebuilding efforts Major League Baseball has ever seen.  And the 2017 team, personifying the resilience of their community, rewarded their fans with a riveting and fearless Postseason run through the Red Sox, Yankees, and Dodgers.  Winners of 101 games during a challenging, tremendous regular season, the team was led by Jose Altuve and bolstered by the late-season acquisition of Justin Verlander.  Meanwhile, homegrown heroes Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr., and Willie Mays World Series MVP George Springer made the team especially potent and exciting.  The offense smashed 27 home runs to tie the Major League record for homers hit by one team in a single Postseason, including 15 smashes in the World Series.  And when they overcame the 104-win Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the Fall Classic to capture the first World Series Championship in team history, it was the undeniable outcome for the ever-confident, nonstop-believing Astros.

 

Chronicling Houston’s mesmerizing run,”THE 2017 WORLD SERIES” documentary is expertly edited fromhundreds of hours of original breathtaking, hi-def footage plus game broadcasts and the MLB Film & Video Archive .  An extraordinary memento certain to thrill Astros fans and baseball aficionados alike, the pulse-pounding documentary features comprehensive highlights, exclusive access and interviews, delivering viewers directly to the ballparks.  Championship-caliber bonus features include Regular Season Highlights, Clinching Moments, World Series Highlights and the World Series Parade which brought the city together for an emotional celebration.

 

Day-and-date, die-hard fans will be able relive the team’s entire World Series run with the “2017 WORLD SERIES COLLECTOR’S EDITION: HOUSTON ASTROS”,an 8-disc set that preserves every inning, every play and every gripping moment from the 2017 Fall Classic.  Home audiences will be able to relive all seven complete World Series games, as well as revel in the pennant-clinching ALCS Game 7 at Minute Maid Park.  Each disc features a SleeveStats™ insert, which contains  official stats, game trivia and more; also included are four audio options, allowing viewers to watch the games while listening to either the television broadcast, Astros or Dodgers Radio Network announcers, or a Spanish-language version of the broadcasts.

 

Celebrating a unique team which delivered a World Championship to a city in turmoil, both Astros World Series collectibles are #Strong, and should be treasured by Houston fans for years to come.