Skip to content

Ozzie’s Guillen’s Motorpsycho Nightmare

Apr 9, 2012, 8:23 AM EDT

St Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins Getty Images

There’s a Bob Dylan song called “Motorpsycho Nightmare” in which the narrator finds himself in a sticky situation with a crazy farmer’s daughter. To get out of it he needs the farmer to get mad at him and chase him out of the house. So he does the easiest thing to make that happen in early 1960s America:

Well, I couldn’t leave
Unless the old man chased me out
’Cause I’d already promised
That I’d milk his cows
I had to say something
To strike him very weird
So I yelled out
“I like Fidel Castro and his beard”
Rita looked offended
But she got out of the way
As he came charging down the stairs
Sayin’, “What’s that I heard you say?”

The farmer then threw a Reader’s Digest at him, took a swing at him and chased him out of the house calling him a “commie rat.”

I offer this only to suggest that, perhaps Ozzie Guillen doesn’t mean any of this stuff he said about Fidel Castro. Maybe he’s just living the plot to that song and he’s looking to escape something. Ozzie! Use the “Motorpsycho Nightmare” defense!

Probably doesn’t matter now, though. The original comments and the apology Guillen offered — he explains them in greater detail here — are now secondary to the narrative. All the oxygen of this thing is now consumed by official statements, displays of outrage and fun stuff like this:

A group of Cuban-American demonstrators plans to boycott the Miami Marlins as a result of manager Ozzie Guillen’s comment that he respects Fidel Castro. Vigilia Mambisa, headed by Miguel Saavedra, said it plans to begin a caravan of cars at SW 36th Avenue and 8th Street Tuesday that will culminate in front of the ballpark.

Context lacking from the article: that Vigilia Mambisa appears to be a somewhat marginal and extreme group that has been tied to violence in the past.  Doesn’t matter! Someone has said they are boycotting and that sort of thing is always treated as a big deal even if it’s … not.

As are comments that don’t adhere to the mainstream sentiment about Fidel Castro when uttered in or around Miami.

Not that I’m suggesting that Guillen’s comments were smart. Far from it. There are fewer more idiotic things a public figure in Miami can do in life than to say anything about Castro other than “I hope he dies in the street like a dog.”  It’s near-suicidal, in fact.  The lesson of “Motorpsycho Nightmare” is that if the narrator didn’t have freedom of speech and the right to say crazy things like that, he’d be in big trouble. But freedom of speech has nothing to do with this. It’s just bad sense to attempt to say something like this, and Guillen should have known that.

But really: he didn’t say anything that a reasonable person could construe as actually complimentary about Castro, did he? He said this:

“I love Fidel Castro. I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that mother****** is still here.”

That’s Guillen trying to say something funny. One could say that and fully believe that Castro is a monster. He’s talking about his ability to avoid being knocked off by the mob and the CIA and nothing more. To think that it’s an actual endorsement of Castro takes a special kind of sensitivity. Especially when one recalls how critical Guillen has been of Hugo Chavez in the past.

But none of that matters. Partially because, as noted, that special kind of sensitivity exists regarding this subject in Miami, even if it’s for understandable reasons. And partially because this story is now totally out of Guillen’s control.

Now the Outrage Industrial Complex has taken over.  Groups like Vigilia Mambisa, who will use this a means of getting some easy press. Organizations like the Miami Marlins who, out of sheer fear, will run for cover rather than do what they probably should do: roll their eyes at Ozzie’s Guillen’s bad judgment and then move along with their day.

Latest Posts
  1. John Lackey impresses in return to Cardinals’ rotation

    Sep 20, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT

    8eacda0dc18fd4679845c6bf8f6157e4-1 Getty Images

    John Lackey had his most recent turn in the Cardinals’ rotation skipped due to a “dead arm,” but he was impressive in his return last night.

  2. Michael Cuddyer drove in a career-high seven runs last night

    Sep 20, 2014, 10:09 AM EDT

    Michael Cuddyer Getty Getty Images

    Michael Cuddyer has had a really tough time staying healthy this season, but the impending free agent is making up for lost time right now.

  3. VIDEO: Fan catches Lucas Duda home run ball in his bucket of popcorn

    Sep 20, 2014, 9:31 AM EDT

    fan popcorn

    A fan sacrificed his popcorn to catch a home run ball last night at Turner Field.

  4. Settling the Score: Friday’s results

    Sep 20, 2014, 8:57 AM EDT

    52a2981688df59976e21e02bd42d5156 AP

    A quick recap of a busy Friday around MLB, including the A’s getting back in the win column.

  5. Phillies minor leaguer suspended 50 games for a drug of abuse

    Sep 19, 2014, 11:45 PM EDT

    phillies logo Getty Images

    A Phillies pitching prospect violated the minor league drug policy and was suspended 50 games, beginning at the start of the 2015 season.

  6. Video: Russell Martin hits go-ahead three-run homer to send Pirates to a win

    Sep 19, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT

    Russell Martin Russell Martin

    Russell Martin hit a timely three-run home run to send the Pirates to a late win over the Brewers on Friday night, extending their lead for the second NL Wild Card slot.

  7. David Ortiz broke a Ted Williams record with his 100th RBI

    Sep 19, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT

    Division Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox - Game Two Getty Images

    David Ortiz found yet another reason to hear his name uttered in the same breath as Ted Williams.

  8. Jacoby Ellsbury exits Friday’s game with a strained right hamstring

    Sep 19, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT

    Jacoby Ellsbury, Dioner Navarro Jacoby Ellsbury, Dioner Navarro

    Jacoby Ellsbury suffered a strained right hamstring in the fourth inning on Friday night against the Blue Jays. He’ll undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

  9. Mike Scioscia is considering using a three-man rotation in the ALDS

    Sep 19, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT

    mike-scioscia-angels Getty Images

    The Angels’ rotation is thin beyond Matt Shoemaker, Jered Weaver, and C.J. Wilson, so manager Mike Scioscia may do the obvious thing and utilize a three-man rotation in the ALDS.

  10. Juan Lagares may not return to finish out the regular season

    Sep 19, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

    New York Mets v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

    There isn’t much time left in the regular season, which may mean Mets fans won’t see Juan Lagares patrol the outfield until spring training in 2015.

  11. Twins shut down closer Glen Perkins with nerve irritation

    Sep 19, 2014, 8:02 PM EDT

    Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins Getty Images

    Perkins, who had a 2.44 ERA as recently as August 25, finishes the season with a 3.65 ERA and 66/11 K/BB ratio in 62 innings while saving 34 games.

  12. Shawn Kelley took offense to Jose Bautista’s antics after hitting game-tying homer last night

    Sep 19, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT

    Jose Bautista Jose Bautista

    Jose Bautista offended Yankees reliever Shawn Kelley with his celebratory behavior after hitting a game-tying two-run home run in the eighth inning of last night’s game.

  13. Hyun-Jin Ryu hopes to resume throwing over the weekend

    Sep 19, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Hyun-Jin Ryu Hyun-Jin Ryu

    Hyun-Jin Ryu didn’t throw as expected on Friday, but hopes to do so before the weekend is over. He’s hoping to return to the Dodgers in time for the playoffs.

  14. Clayton Kershaw wins his 20th game of the season

    Sep 19, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    Clayton Kershaw AP

    Los Angeles is 22-4 with Kershaw on the mound this season.

  15. Alex Avila has felt “disoriented” when swinging a bat lately

    Sep 19, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

    alex avila getty Getty Images

    Alex Avila felt disoriented while swinging a bat over the last two days, so he remains out of the Tigers’ lineup and it’s even worth questioning if he’ll be ready for the post-season — assuming the Tigers get there.

  16. Nationals expected to activate Ryan Zimmerman this weekend

    Sep 19, 2014, 5:50 PM EDT

    Ryan Zimmerman AP AP

    Ryan Zimmerman has been out since mid-July with a hamstring injury.

  17. If you love chaos, root for Team Entropy

    Sep 19, 2014, 4:31 PM EDT

    Chaos Theory

    Basically, we want everyone in the NL to finish with 88 wins.

  18. Paul Konerko returns to play through a broken hand

    Sep 19, 2014, 4:19 PM EDT

    Paul Konerko Getty Images

    Konerko has hit just .220 with five homers and a .616 OPS in 74 games.

  19. Derek Jeter will be presented with a bronze cap tonight

    Sep 19, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Bronze cap

    What do you get the man who has everything? A bronzed version of the stuff he already has!

Featured video

Patience finally paying off for Royals fans
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3155)
  2. G. Stanton (2300)
  3. C. Kershaw (2219)
  4. D. Ortiz (2197)
  5. N. Arenado (2180)
  1. J. Hamilton (2158)
  2. A. Rizzo (2138)
  3. M. Trout (2044)
  4. A. Pujols (1846)
  5. H. Ryu (1764)