Golden: With Osuna trade, Astros breach ‘zero tolerance’ policy


Remember when the Houston Astros had a zero tolerance policy against domestic violence?

Me neither.

The world champs released a 346-word statement in an attempt to explain why they just traded for Toronto closer Roberto Osuna, who is fresh off serving a 75-game suspension after being arrested for assault while a member of the Blue Jays.

“Our decision to acquire Roberto was based on the entirety of information that we gathered during our extensive evaluation,” the Astros’ statement read. “That included as much information as we could gather about the specific incident and the charges that were filed but it also included as much information as we could gather about his actions before and after the incident, as well as his personal reputation among his former teammates and coaches. The information regarding this specific incident weighed heavily on our decision but when evaluating the entirety of the information, we felt that Roberto deserved a second chance.”

Let’s be real. It wasn’t based entirely on the information the Astros gathered. A huge part of the team’s decision was the fact it sorely needed a closer and Osuna — despite his legal problems — is one of the best. This is about winning and not about some noble humanitarian gesture. If Osuna had a 5.20 ERA, he would an unemployed accused domestic abuser. But he has a career ERA of 2.87 and a cannon for an arm. He’s a difference maker, and that’s why Houston made the deal.

Osuna, 23, is walking into a locker room of young talent but also joining a pitching staff that includes all-star Justin Verlander, who has been outspoken against those who commit violence against women.

“I understand it’s a delicate situation and it’s difficult, but I also understand the reaction they’ll have,” Osuna said through a translator — he speaks good English — to reporters as he appeared with owner Jim Crane and GM Jeff Luhnow before Sunday’s game against the Dodgers.

Like anyone in this country, Osuna should be afforded a chance to make a living but when an organization says it has a ZERO tolerance policy against domestic abuse, that is not subject to change, regardless of a pitcher’s WHIP or ERA.

Bringing him in just made the Astros even more likely to appear in a second straight World Series but at what price?

Urban Meyer should be fired but don’t be surprised if he survives this.

Meyer passed the buck to Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith after he was placed on paid administrative leave this past week. Meyer lied to the media about his knowledge of a 2015 incident of domestic abuse allegedly committed by his receivers coach Zach Smith against his wife.

In a statement, Meyer said he reported the incident “to the the proper authorities” in 2015. This is in contrast with his conversation with reporters at Big Ten media days. “I got a text last night that something happened in 2015, and there was nothing,” he told reporters.

RELATED: Bohls: Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is simply one more cautionary tale

His dishonesty, and this attempt to place the onus on his boss and not himself — Meyer employed Zach Smith for nearly another three years after the incident — is a true CYA moment if ever there was one.

By the way, a petition on change.org set up by OSU fans to save Meyer’s job had nearly 26,000 signatures as of 1 p.m. Monday.

Remember when Johnny Manziel was the single most dangerous man on a football field?

It’s been a minute.

Manziel’s Canadian Football League debut over the weekend was in a word, memorable. The Artist Formerly Known as Johnny Football threw an interception on his first attempt — he finished with four picks and no touchdowns — in Montreal’s 50-11 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Manziel finished 11-of-20 for 104 yards and was benched in the fourth quarter. In fairness to him, his college coach Mike Sherman threw him into a situation that was destined for failure since he joined the team just two weeks ago and was still getting acclimated to the playbook.

The glory days in College Station are a distant memory, and we’re left with a scrappy gunslinger who is a world away from life in the NFL.

Johnny had his shot at the big time but failed to take advantage of the opportunity. Unlike Osuna, he doesn’t have the game-changing physical attributes to make a second chance likely.

Congrats to my colleague Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk on receiving the Dick McCann Award, which is presented at the Pro Football Hall of Fame by the Pro Football Writers of America to a deserving media member.

Williams, the first woman to receive the award in its 51 years of existence, is beyond deserving. She skillfully covered the league and the Dallas Cowboys for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for 17 years before spending the last two with PFT. Along the way she became the first female Hall of Fame voter in 2007. Now she’s a member.

My brother in the business Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram affectionately nicknamed her Mother Football some time ago. That fits her to a T .

Long before she became a Hall of Fame writer, Williams was a Hall of Fame person. Well deserved.



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