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Ozzie Guillen is returning to Florida to apologize some more

Apr 9, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

Ozzie Guillen Getty Getty Images

Ozzie Guillen already offered what seemed to be a pretty decent explanation/apology for his Fidel Castro comments, but apparently it wasn’t good enough.  No, the Outrage Industrial Complex requires a more formal (i.e. fake) form of contrition, usually in the form of a dour faced person sitting at a podium next to some other dour faced people.

Thus Ozzie Guillen will leave the Florida Marlins on their current road trip in order to return to Miami tomorrow to apologize once again:

Miami Marlins manger Ozzie Guillen will apologize again for telling a magazine he loves Fidel Castro. Guillen will return to Florida following Monday’s game at Philadelphia and apologize Tuesday at Marlins Park. The Phillies and Marlins are off Tuesday before the series resumes Wednesday.

Make no mistake: this is a perp walk. Read that Miami Herald article I linked above and tell me what else he could say that would shed any more light on this tempest. If that’s not good enough for the people who are angry, great, it’s not good enough, and let them do and think about it what they will.

But at least it had the benefit of being sincere, which whatever Guillen does while sitting in a hastily-assembled press event will almost certainly not be.

  1. mybrunoblog - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Media is making so much more of this than need be. Whats the big deal? Ozzie says dumb things all the time.
    Let it go people.

    • leerosenthall - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Seriously, WTF were they expecting from this clown when they “acquired” him from the Sox?

      The real story is whether anybody made money betting on how long it would take before he stuck his foot in his mouth.

      • Old Gator - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        What an utterly unappetizing image. Only a few days left of stone crab season – please don’t write that again.

  2. brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Because apologizing another time is really going to help. Is he going say I’m really, really, rrreeaalllly sorry. He’s Ozzie, he says stupid shit everyday in fact the media actually hopes for it. This ain’t Marge Schott saying Hitler was mis understood. Fire him for saying it or get over it.

    • skids003 - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:21 AM

      I don’t agree, it’s not much different. If you think it is, please explain why.

      Also, Craig, why are you on the bandwagon. You usually try to show us all what a good liberal you are, and they want people fired over everything they say they could be remotely construed as non PC.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:36 AM

        You fail to understand where I’m coming from because you hold in your head a silly, stereotypical notion of what a liberal is.

        I value personal freedom and personal expression extremely highly.

      • skids003 - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:49 AM

        So do I Craig, but way too often it appears to be a one way street, that is the problem I have with way too the left liberals. I guess being conservative or liberal isn’t too bad, but a few make us all look bad.

  3. autmorsautlibertas - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Ozzie is not sorry. He is just controlling damage. He meant what he said about Castro. He oughta be run out of Florida. His behavior continually reflects poorly on the sport. How can Ozzie manage a big league team if he cannot manage his own behavior? It is time for Ozzie to go.

    • js20011041 - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:44 PM

      And yet we continue to let him live. You know it’s funny. All of the Cubans are up in arms because Guillen offered faint praise for a dictator. Now, what do all of the Cubans want? For Guillen to be drawn and quartered for exercising his first amendment rights. Well, do you support freedom or fascism? Because you can’t have it both ways fucktards.

      • autmorsautlibertas - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:04 PM

        No one said that Ozzie did not have the right to say what he said, but public figures have to face the consequences of their public statements. If Ozzie is foolish enough to allow his personal political beliefs to alienate a large portion of his team’s fan base, then he will have to answer to that fan base. Castro dispossessed many Cuban Floridians, and they have the same rights of free expression that Ozzie does. If they want to exercise those rights by boycotting the Marlins, maybe Ozzie will get the slap down that he has deserved for so long. He does not have Kenny Williams to run interference for him anymore. Ozzie is a clown, and baseball would be better off without him.

      • electstat - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:02 PM

        The Feds aren’t arresting him for his comments; therefore, his First Amendment rights have not been violated.

      • papito1421 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:17 AM

        Come on… the Cuban mafia needs a topic to discuss at Versailles…

    • daisycutter1 - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Running a man out of an entire state because you don’t like what he said and don’t accept his apology is something a dictator would do.

      • autmorsautlibertas - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        I agree that running someone out of a State for publicly expressing an opinion about a political subject would be something that a dictator would do. In this case, your analogy fails to make sense since there was nothing mentioned about government intervention. Ozzie broke no laws, he just demonstrated extremely poor judgment, and will have to answer to his team’s fan base.
        Furthermore, fans are not obligated in any way to accept his apology. Each of them can exercise their own freedom of thought in determining whether his apology was heartfelt and sincere. I suspect that many of them will recognize that a forced apology is not sincere.

      • daisycutter1 - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        What analogy? Did you forget what you wrote in your own post?

        You said about Guillen “He meant what he said about Castro. He oughta be run out of Florida.”

      • daisycutter1 - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        And to be crystal clear, of course we’re all entitled to accept – or not accept – Ozzie’s apology. As I mentioned in a post earlier this morning, I was born in and live in Miami, and while I’m not Cuban I certainly understand and appreciate the feelings of many in the local community. I’ve heard a few incredibly moving stories in just the past week from people who went to see Pope Benedict, a trip that for some was the first time back to Cuba in over 50 years.

        I just found it rather…well, interesting…that, in light of the subject, the response to Guillen’s comments was that he should be run out of the state.

      • js20011041 - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        Exhibiting the same traits as a man that you, at least publicly, have so much disdain for is altogether loathsome. After seeing some of your viewpoints, you and Castro probably have a lot more in common than you realize.

      • autmorsautlibertas - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:09 PM

        Daisycutter- The analogy was contained in your comment regarding “something a dictator would do” A dictator is a head of state. In the U.S., the PEOPLE are sovereign, and if they decide to scorn someone for idiotic public comments that they find offensive, they are merely exercising a RIGHT. If the fan base decides that they cannot forgive Ozzie and boycotts the Marlins, the Marlins may have to let him go. This is what I mean by “running him out of town.”
        JS20011041- You are devoid of reason.

      • daisycutter1 - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        autmorsautlibertas: To your quote above…”If the fan base decides that they cannot forgive Ozzie and boycotts the Marlins, the Marlins may have to let him go. This is what I mean by “running him out of town.””

        That’s not quite the way you originally phrased it, but if that’s what you meant then we agree. If this whole mess becomes a clear, long-term PR issue and a drag on ticket sales, then it’s purely a business decision. Unless Ozzie blows tomorrow’s press conference, I happen to think it would be a shame if that were the result, but I’m just one Miami baseball fan among many.

        Anyway…nice win today for the Feesh. As a Yankee fan first, I particularly enjoyed Infante’s shot off of Papelbon.

      • daisycutter1 - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:22 PM

        Scratch that, Austin Kearns’ shot off of Papelbon.

        Edit function blah blah blah.

      • js20011041 - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:24 PM

        autmorsautilbertas

        I am not devoid of reason. I actually think I am being quite reasonable. What I am saying is that Ozzy Guillen has every right to say what he did. You or I may agree or disagree with him, but he does have the right to say it. I find the idea that “you said something I disagree with, so I’m going to do everything in my power to ruin your career” is entirely disgusting. That mindset that is so common among the many special interest groups is called being devoid of reason.

  4. brewcrewfan54 - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Ozzie should just have 1 presser at the end of every month apologizing for all the stupid things he said for that 30 day period. That way we only have to deal with this crap 6 or 7 times a year instead of the 15-20 it’ll be if he has to do it every time he says something stupid.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:17 PM

      Hahaha! Good call 54. Personally, I am just glad Ozzie’s comments were directed at a Cuban. Otherwise, Craig would label the comment (at a minimum) prejudiced. If not blatantly racist!

  5. js20011041 - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    I really cannot imagine anything more infuriating than being forced to apologize, well, for any kind of comment alone, but especially for something that wasn’t particularly egregious. I really wish he would just tell the Cubans to eat shit if they don’t like what he said. They don’t have to like or dislike what Ozzie Guillen says. Let me know when an elected official praises the virtues of Hitler and then I’ll give a shit. That was a nice first amendment we used to have.

    • mrfloydpink - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      While I agree entirely that what Ozzie said was not that big a deal, and not worth the fuss it has generated, I also find it rather annoying when people insist on deploying the first amendment incorrectly. This is NOT a first amendment issue. The “freedom of speech” is limited to the government–that is to say, that the authorities cannot limit your freedom of expression nor prosecute you for your opinions. “Freedom of speech” DOES NOT entitle someone to say whatever they want to, and then to avoid the consequences.

      The fact is that Ozzie Guillen works for a baseball team in Miami that counts many Cubans among its customers. His statements hurt his employer’s ability to keep those customers. As such, he can bend over backwards to try to make up for what he said if he wants to keep his job, or he can resign. He cannot fall back on the first amendment and tell his bosses, or their customers, to shove it.

      • js20011041 - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:04 PM

        Your freedoms do not go away the minute you step in the door at work. Hence, the right to protection from racial, sexual, religious, and age discrimination. Your right to free speech is also protected in some fashion. What Guillen said was neither hateful nor all that inflammatory. It was not attacking anyone specific person or group of people. In no way can Guillen’s comments be considered as such.

      • yankeesgameday - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        Excellent explanation. Free speech is only about freedom from prosecution from the govt. It is not about freedom from the court of public opinion about what you said. Ozzie LIVES in Miami, I am shocked he could overlook the hatred the exile community there has for Castro. It is not an understatement to say they are defined by it. And to dismiss it, is to dismiss the entire community who populates the ten square miles around the brand new stadium you just built.

        It goes beyond ozzie being ozzie and becomes a bottom line economic issue for his bosses. The face of their franchise cannot alienate their main target audience two days into their first season in Little Havana.

      • mrfloydpink - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        Sorry, but you are wrong. You are conflating two separate issues.

        It is indeed the case that employers are not at liberty to do as they please to their employees. They cannot require too many hours of work, they cannot deny breaks, they cannot fire someone for being a woman or gay or African American, and so forth. That is because there is a large body of law and court decisions that speak specifically to these issues.

        However, the right of free speech is NOT protected in this way–not in this context. I can’t walk up to my boss and tell him his tie looks stupid and then claim that I was not being “hateful or all that inflammatory” if he decides to fire me. I can’t work for, say, MADD and say I don’t think drunk driving is all that big a deal, and then file suit if they decide to terminate me. It does not work that way. Feel free to ask any attorney if you doubt me.

      • mrfloydpink - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        Please note that my “you are wrong” response is aimed at js20011041 and not yankeesgameday.

      • autmorsautlibertas - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:17 PM

        I AM a lawyer and Mr.Floydpink is correct.

      • js20011041 - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:58 PM

        Ater doing a small amount of research, I will consent that you are correct. Guillen’s statement does not all under his 1st amendment protections. That said, Guillen’s statement could also be easily construed as a political viewpoint, which is protected by certain states. Now, I don’t know if Florida is one of those states and neither am I inclined to look it up. I do believe that this is one of the weaknesses of the 1st amendment. I believe that we as American citizens should be free from punishment, not just from government entities, but also from the mob rule that so often accompanies special interest groups, such as the Cubans , Jews, evangelical christians, and basically any minority group. As it stands right now, the idea of freedom of speech is a farce. It simply doesn’t exist. The second anyone expresses a viewpoint outside of the norm in a public forum, that person’s life is literally destroyed and career ruined. Now I will ask this. The 1st amendment is limited in areas such as yelling “fire” in a crowded building. The courts have deemed public safety to be more important in cases like that than freedom of speech. Should there be certain protections in place to protect individuals from the kind of mob rule that you see in this case? I don’t know how this would work, but I’m interested in hearing some feedback on this.

      • Old Gator - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        Let’s make the distinction simple. Slobbering Ozzie’s first amendment rights entitle him to say almost anything he wants without reprisals from any governmental authority. They do not protect him from the consequences of damaging with his boca grande his private employer’s reputation or committing what his employers feel is insubordinate behavior.

        And in the first case, too, there are limits. You cannot, for example, legally tell jokes about bombs in an airport. You cannot legally threaten physical harm or defame certain financial institutions without proof, and you cannot verbally or in writing communicate “insider information” while trading securities or debt.

        No one can “run Ozzie out of the state” for his idiotic comments. But they can discipline or fire him.

      • autmorsautlibertas - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:24 PM

        JS- I don’t think that any true American would advocate suppressing speech because they don’t like what is being said. No one is contesting Ozzie’s right to say whatever he wishes. Being free from punishment only applies to the government. How are you going to control what the “mob” thinks? Attempting to do so WOULD represent suppression of speech. Bottom line is that in this country, you can generally say what you want, but the government does not have an obligation to protect you from the consequences of your own speech behavior.

      • mrfloydpink - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:27 PM

        @js20011041:

        1. You’re right that political viewpoints are protected in some states and in some circumstances. But that would not apply here, as it is not Guillen’s politics that are being censured, per se, it is the effect that his words and actions are having on his employers. Further, we don’t even know that the Marlins have actually done anything to him, we are just assuming.

        2. If you think the “idea of freedom of speech is a farce” in the US, you should visit China sometime. Or North Korea. I would suggest that the fact that people here are free to react angrily to something that bothers them is actually evidence that free speech is alive and well.

        3. You are also right that the government can impose limits on certain kinds of speech–those that are malicious and do harm to others. I cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater nor reveal state secrets nor loudly claim that someone is a pedophile if they are not (which would be slander if spoken, libel if written). However, for someone to say they don’t like Ozzie Guillen or to refuse to buy Marlins tickets any more hardly rises to that level and is not malicious. Even if it is 100,000 someones.

        4. If the government were to step in and do something about “mob rule,” as you propose, I am not even sure what that would mean. Telling Cubans to shut up and stop criticizing Ozzie? Telling them they have to buy Marlins tickets regardless of who the manager is? I mean, the former would be an ACTUAL violation of the first amendment, and the latter would be an egregious abuse of government power. Further, what would trigger “mob rule” protections? What if I offended two people? Five? Ten? Do I only get protection if I am prominent enough that a lot of people care what I say? Do I only get protection if my statements are outrageous enough to piss off hundreds or thousands of people?

        Bottom line: I don’t agree with the people who are wildly overreacting, especially given that Ozzie has always been a clown who says whatever damn thing comes into his head. But, I support their right to overreact if they want to do so, and I see no need nor justification for the government to become involved.

        It is also worth noting that Ozzie should have known what he was signing up for. If I (a humble college professor in California) want to say Castro is a great hero, I can say it all day long and not get in trouble, in part because California state colleges are lefty institutions and in part because I don’t have enough of a platform to reach enough people to really get an angry mob started. But if I signed up for a very high-profile job in a community full of Cubans who fled the Castro regime, I would know that if I chose to say something positive about Castro, I would have to be prepared for the sure-to-be-significant consequences.

      • yankeesgameday - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:43 PM

        It’s actually the beauty if capitalism at work here, something Castro and communism destroyed in Cuba.

        — Ozzie CAN say these things and not be jailed for them.
        — Cubans can decide to stop attending his athletic performances with the marlins if they don’t like it.
        — He will eventually be fired for the economic harm he did to his bosses.
        — our government will allow him to say whatever he wants and he will sink or swim on his own.
        — but what the govt WILL do is investigate any death threats he may receive to promote greater public safety so that ozzie may be free to continue to act a fool into his old age.

        It’s really why America is the greatest country in the world and Castro sucked cookaracha piss. (yes I want to be able to go back to Alumni day at UM sometime, and I know enough to call Castro a cockroach piss drinker if I ever want to go back and dance at Calle Ocho, something ozzie might wanna learn, cause Calle Ocho rocks).

    • papito1421 - Apr 9, 2012 at 9:53 PM

      mrfloydpink: Actually you can go and tell your boss that his tie looks stupid. Your boss cannot fire you for giving your opinion or because his tie looked stupid. What reason your boss is going to use to fire you? Revealing trade secrets? Come on, try to fire me for something stupid like that and see…

      • mrfloydpink - Apr 9, 2012 at 10:56 PM

        Well, papito, I suppose you are free to invent whatever “facts” you want to, but that does not make them true.

        The majority of employees–indeed the great majority–are “at will.” They can be fired for any reason, or for no reason at all. Go ahead and insult your boss if you want, but the law is on his side if he chooses to get rid of you. “His reason for firing me was not good enough” is not in a defense, and will not hold up in a court if you try to sue.

        There are some exceptions to this:

        1. Employees, even “at will” employees, can not be fired for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons. If you fire someone because they are Asian, or female, or Catholic or because they turned you in to OSHA or because they went on maternity leave, you can be sued.

        2. Employees whose jobs are covered by a contract may–and probably do–have protections that make it harder to fire them. If you are a teacher, or a union carpenter, or a baseball player, or someone like that, you may indeed be able to get away with insulting your boss.

        But if neither of these circumstances holds true, you largely have no recourse if you are fired. Regardless of how silly you feel the reasons are.

      • papito1421 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM

        mrfloydpink: I think that you are putting two different things. One thing is to tell your boss that he’s an idiot for wearing that tie, which would constitute insulting him. Telling him that the tie looks stupid is not making a reference to who owns the tie but to the tie itself. Let me disagree with your statements: Employees in ‘at will’ states can be fired for any reason. You will have to pay a fine or the unemployment charges if the labor department finds that you fire them without just cause. Insulting my boss is considered just cause. Criticizing his fashion taste is not. And I have many years litigating in the Florida Labor Department, so like I said previously, one thing is insulting your boss, another is criticizing his or her taste. And finally, it does not matter that you are in a contract or you work for an union, if you insult your boss, you will get the boot.

  6. hasbeen5 - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    The real concern here is not what O.G. says about dying dictators.

    The real concern is these inane off days in the middle of 3 game series.

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:01 PM

      ^ This.

      Although he could have deflected the Cuban community’s criticism by staying in Philly and insulting the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall.

      • Old Gator - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:42 PM

        Do you know, it hadn’t occurred to me that O.G. looks horrifying like….OG. Let’s please agree always to use those periods to make the distinction, shall we?

    • addictedzone - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:18 AM

      The off day in the middle of the three game series is quite important this year for the Marlins, as it allows Ozzie to fly back to Little Havana and apologize to the half crazed residents without missing a game.

  7. randygnyc - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    As I said earlier, sometimes apologizing and sincere contrition are not enough. The marlins main strategy of appealing to their Latino/Cuban neighbors to become fans, has already been undermined. I don’t his remarks as forgivable in the eyes of the offended. In fact, the Marlins only chance of mending fences will be to fire Ozzie. At this point, I think that is a very probable outcome. (full disclosure- I like Ozzie, so this will be a shame, but ultimately, earned)

    • papito1421 - Apr 9, 2012 at 9:45 PM

      You are wrong. You think because he said something about the Cubans the rest of the Latin Americans living in Miami will stop attending the games? When you people are going to understand that there is people from another 19 Hispanic nations in Miami and that this is not Cuba in exile. Mr. Guillen was hired by the Marlins to manage the team. He is entitled to his opinion like anyone else. If you don’t share his opinions you’re going to boycot him? Wow, the Cubans in Miami really amaze me. They escaped a tyrant in the island to become tyrants on their own right 90 miles away.

  8. ta192 - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    I expected Ozzie to put his foot in it sooner or later, just not THIS soon…
    As for WHAT he said…the Cubano community here probably ought to make Fidel’s birthday a holiday. After all, it’s only Fidel’s longevity and obstinacy that provides Cubans with a (dry) foot up on all the other Latin American emigrants when it comes to entering this country legally without the paperwork or waiting period. I’ve often wondered, aloud even, what would happen if FC crapped out, and the new government said, “We are now a democratic country, elections for everyone.”. How would that affect the immigration policy? Would Cubans then be treated the same as, say, Haitians, when they came ashore in south FL?

  9. iluvwikileaks - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Ozzie, you don’t owe these cockroaches an apology.

    • Old Gator - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:22 PM

      Anyone ever tell you you’re pathetic? You almost – almost – make me ashamed to be a leftist.

      • iluvwikileaks - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        You are no leftist. You’re an asshole.

      • Old Gator - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:34 PM

        And if there were an Asshole Liberation Front, you’d probably be the head of its provisional wing.

      • js20011041 - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:47 PM

        This entire exchange is basically:

        “Well, the jerkstore called, and they’re running out of you.”

        “What’s the difference, you’re their all time best seller.”

      • Old Gator - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:36 PM

        Don’t be such a killjoy.

  10. banditrocks - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Ozzie was mis understood, he thought they were asking him about Starlin Castro Cub shortstop …

  11. daisycutter1 - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Oh shit, now the local pols are giving news conferences at local restaurants and such.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/09/2739214/miami-cuban-exile-group-calls.html

    • Gordon - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

      It’s starting to look like he might be toast.

      BTW – Were the pols out in full force to admit they got hoodwinked into paying for the new stadium? If I were a Florida taxpayer, I’d be screaming about that, not another goofy Ozzie comment.

      • Old Gator - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:35 PM

        And my pet sharks are beginning to circle nervously in the swimming pool. Ah, the smell of blood in the water. All in the finest tradition of Macondo tinpot demagoguery. I wrote to Craig this morning that he could expect the usual political suspects to weigh in today.

        How much was that contract with Slobbering Ozzie that Scrooge McLoria is going to be on the hook for?

        Ah well. Time to put in that call to Wally Backman. Come on, Scrooge. You know you want him.

        Daisycutter: ever been up to the Luna Star Cafe, across from MOCA on NE 125th Street? That’s where the elite disaffecteds of Macondo gather for idiosyncratic beer, cappuccino, weird pastas and anachronistic music. We should meet there to hoist a tankard of something or other to our fallen payaso.

      • daisycutter1 - Apr 9, 2012 at 10:17 PM

        Yup, they’re all weighing in…local pols, state pols, you name it. Interestingly, Regalado (for the non-locals, he’s the mayor of the City of Miami, the municipality where the stadium is located) says he accepts Guillen’s apology.

        As for the Luna Star Cafe, I have not been there but checking out some reviews and the like it sounds like my kind of place. Maybe a Miami meet-up for the Hardball posters?

  12. miguel3557 - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Yes, we should all be required to support the political views of ex-Cubans in the Miami area who fled Cuba when Castro drove out Ruben Fulgencio Batista Zaldívar, the US-supported dictator of Cuba. We should all be required to agree with those ex–Cubans that, even though Cubans have far better health care for average citizens than we do, Castro is a monster. We must all subscribe to the idea that there is some moral distinction between how human rights are disrespected by Cuba and China, which accounts for why China is our great trading partner while Americans are forbidden to to engage in commerce with Cuba or Cubans.

    For most of the 19th and 20th Centuries, the United States hegemony over Latin America caused more havoc and destruction, sent more troops, and installed and defended more dictators than any other country in the world. After America imposed one ruthless dictator after another throughout Latin America, dictators that committed atrocities against their own people, we must now all decry the leftist dictatorships of Castro, Chavez and Bolivia’s Morales. Castro threw one of Batista, and Communists took over Cuba.

    As a bilingual American who has lived in Central America, it might surprise people in the United States that many Latin Americans like Guillen, a Venezuelan by birth, don’t believe Castro is the monster that ex-Cuban anti-Castroites would have us believe. The same is true for the constant vilification of Hugo Chavez, who has reduced the rate of poverty and built quality institutions of education in Venezuela, and has been elected repeatedly by at least 58% of the voters.

    Regardless of whether Guillen loves Castro as a survivor or whether he loves Castro as someone who didn’t kowtow to the United States or for any other reason, the bottom-line questions is: Does every professional athlete or coach have to subscribe to official political dogma or propaganda in order to work in America? Why are sports politicized? If you love to see a well-turned double play, or a jump shot swish even though the defender’s hand in the shooter’s face, or a finger-tip catch with both feet down in the corner of the end zone, why should it matter what the political beliefs of the players are? Even though the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment, is aimed at governmental acts, not those of private citizens, isn’t respect for diverse opinions a hallmark of America’s identity as a democracy? You remember, “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Why are US sports fans so intolerant and politically naive?

  13. jmmsr1 - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Isn’t Ozzie a US citizen? How many Cuban mierda heads are US citizens? Oh, wait a minute Elian was saved by the dolphins – give me a break!!

  14. mogogo1 - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    If it takes this little for him to wear out his welcome, the Marlins never should never have hired him because stuff like this was bound to happen. Ozzie’s entertaining because he says crazy stuff. Kind of an un-PC version of Yogi Berra. It’s only maddening if you actually believe he’s put his thoughts together enough to formulate a real opinion and isn’t just blabbing away. I don’t think he’s smart enough to really have believed what he said. Reading the apology in the linked article, his whole “I respect Obama, Chavez, and everybody else because I respect people” talk was just laughable.

  15. miguel3557 - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    I forgot to say that, as someone who’s worked hard to become bilingual, I am familiar with the linguistic obstacles encountered by many people who were raised to speak Spanish and learned English as a second language. Guillen, like many Latinos brimming with ego, is much less able to express himself eloquently in English than in Spanish, but he doesn’t want to acknowledge or admit his limitations.

    His hubris as an English speaker often dooms him to making asinine and sometimes laughable statements from which he must later back away. Somewhat unsurprisingly, his limitations don’t seem to affect his ability to manage a baseball team. Or does it?

  16. zot1953 - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    Who cares what a baseball manager says really. The Cubans in Miami raise a stink every time there’s talk about normalizing relations with Cuba. They say we can’t do business with Cuba because the Communists will just line their pockets with all the new found cash, while the people would get little or nothing. I wonder if it bothers them shopping at Wal-Mart?

  17. fdugrad - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:40 AM

    Number one: How can any owner or organization hire someone this out of control to MANAGE a fairly large group of young men making millions of dollars from guaranteed contracts? How does he DISCIPLINE anyone when he has no SELF-discipline?! Number two: I don’t think he can walk these comments back, regardless how he spins it. He is going to lose his job over these remarks

  18. davidly - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:13 AM

    I love Ozzie!

  19. davidly - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    I love the American Presidents and the CIA!

  20. bjtmeyer - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    If Ozzie loves Castro so much, why isn’t he living in Cuba?

  21. john638 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Is this the same Guillen who wanted an interpreter in the dugout for the spanish speaking players? Is this the same Guillen who admits to telling his pitchers to throw at the batter’s head because he says, “that’s how baseball is played.”? Baseball doesn’t need guys like him. Pay him off, send him back to his double-wide to fry something.

  22. fupduk2 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Are the people complaining the same dregs that Castro floated over a few years ago. There doesn’t seem to be many nice people in Miami. I have met very few. Most are assholes. Just my observation from my visits.

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