Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ozzie Guillen says sorry for that 'he loves Fidel Castro' remark, suspended for 5 games

Ozzie Guillen
                                           photo:  Keith Allison/flickr

Ozzie Guillen, Miami Marlins manager, having a hard time finding hands to shake with recent comments perhaps

This could be the biggest story of the baseball season, it is certainly one of the biggest one's yet as the 2012 season is just under way and Marlins coach Ozzie Guillen is on suspension currently for 5 games several days after some quotes appeared in Time magazine with comments Ozzie made in reference to Cuba and Fidel Castro.

The story broke a couple of days ago, and has since blown up into it's own international incident in South Florida, the home of the Miami Marlins. Repercussions have echoed across the country now, as this story and reasons behind Guillen's suspension grow bigger and bigger. Oddly enough, this story is breaking in Philadelphia, the birthplace of freedom and free speech. Just so happens the Phillies are playing the Marlins to open the Phillies first home stand, and there will probably be a ton of reporters rushing in to cover this incident, and not the baseball series.

I have never really have been a fan of Ozzie Guillen, that doesn't mean anything negatively against him, but wherever he has been managing, there has always been a ton of issues and controversies surrounding him. It's almost as he isn't happy unless there is a huge issue surrounding him, almost making him the center of attention instead of just managing a baseball team.

This comment that Ozzie Guillen made to Time magazine saying that "I love Fidel Castro.." has brought the flames and ire of many residents of South Florida that have escaped the Cuban dictatorship with just what they had on their backs. The comments were probably the worst thing that could have come out of Guillen's mouth, especially to a national magazine. To be a professional baseball manager, you almost have to be an ambassador of the world, especially with sensitive issues like the one's that landed Guillen in trouble.

I also didn't think that I would defend such a comment by Guillen, with as much as Guillen's comments sound unreasonable and irrational, is it possible that this comment was taken out of  context or made in such a manner as to make whatever came out of Guillen's mouth sound wrong? You bet ya, it could have been.

There are over 2,050  reader comments as I write this article, on the MLB story here on this suspension: Suspended Guillen addresses Castro Remarks  most of the comments fall on the side of free speech, which this country was built on. Keeping in mind of course that these comments have nothing to do with baseball, and the fact that we are a democracy that supports this. What we learn in this lesson though, is that several points can be made about what happened to Guillen and why he may even lose his job over the comments.

It's the kind of comment that a person in Guillen's shoes shouldn't have been made, even if he believes it to be true. The kind of comments in politics can always be twisted and interpreted as something that can be misunderstood or misconstrued.

The Cuban community is a proud one in South Florida and stands for independence, that is why they choose to live here in America, Guillen's remarks were taken as a slap in the face, a sort of Benedict Arnoldian twist, Arnold who in history fought for America in the Revolutionary War, but defected to the British and wanted to surrender the fort at West Point, NY to the British.

This may be the straw that breaks the camel's back so to speak for Guillen, who has escaped many other verbal escapades and perhaps won't escape this one. Major League Baseball can't stand this type of negative attention, and there is no clear winner and baseball seems to suffer from it in the end. Maybe the only proper way for the MLB to deal with it is to give Guillen his walking papers and finally close the book on Guillen who again has found a way to thrust himself into the limelight and try to become bigger than 'the game.' Maybe there is a place in politics for him?

Comments for the ever political Ozzie Guillen about illegal immigrants in 2010 (from wikipedia)

In 2010 he spoke against Arizona's new law to deal with illegal immigration. Guillen described illegal immigrants as "workaholics." "And this country can't survive without them," he said. "There are a lot of people from this country who are lazy. We're not. Prove me wrong. A lot of people in this country want to be on the computer and send e-mails to people. We do the hard work. We're the ones who go out and work in the sun to make this country better."[39] In August, Guillen said that Asian players were treated better than Latino players, stating that while it is common practice for major league clubs to provide a Japanese or Korean translator for their Asian born players, no such translator is provided for their Spanish speaking Latin American ballplayers.[40]

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