Being Ozzie Guillen
Well, Ozzie Guillen has really done it this time. The manager of the Miami Marlins was quoted in Time Magazine saying that he “loved” Cuban president Fidel Castro and respects him for his ability to remain in power after all these years. After once again shooting his mouth off, Guillen and the Marlins organization are trying to put out the fires that started after his comments pissed off all of South Florida. While I do like the fact that in this scripted, coachspeak-infused sports world we live in, Ozzie usually doesn’t hold back and keeps it 100% real; he may have crossed the line here.
Here’s a word of advice Ozzie, it’s probably not a good idea to mention “Castro” and “love” in the same sentence. Especially when your team plays its games in an area called “Little Havana”. You won’t garner much fan support that way.
I’ll admit, at first I wasn’t sure if a huge deal should be made out of this. While we know of the tyranny caused by the Castro regime, could this just be written off as “Ozzie being Ozzie”? However, I tried to look at this from the perspective of the Cuban and Cuban-American residents of South Florida.
Most of them escaped Cuba and the Castro regime by coming here. Ozzie should have been more aware of how his comments would affect the area that houses his current team. It would be no different from if someone stated that they thought Osama Bin Laden was smart by catching the U.S. off guard. The majority of Americans would take offense to that.
The Marlins have suspended Ozzie Guillen for five games effective immediately. Guillen issued a public apology this morning and I feel that would’ve been enough. However, the Marlins are in “damage control” mode and needed to act swiftly. As far as the long-term effects, we’ll just have to wait and see.