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A “very embarrassed” Ozzie Guillen apologizes for “betraying the Latin community”

Apr 10, 2012, 11:02 AM EDT

Ozzie Guillen Presser

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, minutes after his five-game suspension was handed down, faced the media and the music in the wake of his comments about Fidel Castro.

Guillen began the press conference speaking in Spanish, clearly aware of the audience most critical of his comments.  His eyes were red, and on occasion watery. He choked up while speaking. He looks like a man who hasn’t slept well.

The following summary of his comments come courtesy of Bob Nightengale of USA Today who translated Guillen’s comments and tweeted them:

He said he was sorry he hurt the city and the community. He said it was not intentional but that he did it and that he would like to apologize. He said he felt like he “betrayed the Latin community” and that he was there to say he was sorry with his “heart in his hands.”  he says he is embarrassed and that the past few days have been hard on him and his family. He said he’s “I’m here on my knees apologizing to all communities.”

When asked if he really loves Fidel Castro, he said that his answer was misinterpreted when he spoke to Time magazine. He says he meant to say that he was surprised that Castro stayed in power so long, not that he loved or respected him for it.

When asked if his suspension was fair, he said “I can’t control that,” and that he respects the situation and can’t complain about it because he’s not in any position to complain.  He said that he was sad he couldn’t be with the team right now, because the team is playing well.

When asked if he could repair relations with the Cuban community in Miami, he said “I am willing to do everything in my power to help the community,” and that he planned on being in Miami for a long time. He later added that this was not a one-moment-in-time kind of apology. He would not forget it, and that he would show through his actions that he is sincerely sorry.

He later said “I let the ballclub down.” He said he was hired to manage, not talk about politics. He will address his team in Philadelphia tomorrow prior to his suspension kicking in.

*Screen capture of Guillen from WSVN, Channel 7, Miami’s live stream of the press conference.

134 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. spar2cuss - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    I understand the disappointment with his declaring a love for Castro – but – I would better understand a 5 week suspension only if he declared his love for el presidente 0h blay mah.

  2. frankblank1 - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Wal, that oughta larn ol’ Oz. Next time, he’ll say he loves and admires – for their purity of soul – the pre-castro rulers of Cuba: Batista, a mass murdering dictator, the Mafia, a mass murdering criminal organization, and the American military, defender of the rights of sugar companies.

    • scastro87 - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      Shorter frankblank: If you don’t like Castro, you loved Batista!

  3. dmc64 - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    So what else is new; Ozzie Guillen always was a loud-mouthed jerk; I don’t see that changing any time soon; and why should major league baseball care what this nitwit has to say about Fidel Castro.

  4. leitrim - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    We all lost today because of weak managment and the media –this guys free speech was suspended because the media and the Cuban folks in Miami did not like it –how sad. How many Cubans have been killed going to war–how does their medical care measure up to ours–they dont have free speech –nor does this guy. Give credit where credit is due. The folks in Miami were for the most part well educated when they fled furing the 60s–what did they do for those they left behind but make democracy weaker for the American people –shame on them and the media

    • chuckleberry1974 - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      I think you don’t know how to read. Ozzie’s free speech wasn’t and hasn’t been trampled on or suspended. He said it without being thrown into jail as a dissident or political prisoner. He wasn’t scooped up in the middle of the night by the government and held without due process. He was suspended by his employer for embarrassing himself, his team, and for insensitivity to his community. That, sir, is not a suspension of his freedom of speech, nor will it get him locked up. It was a message to him that he is a public figure and role model.

    • chuckleberry1974 - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      Oh, and not that I’m defending Castro or his brutal regime, but their healthcare is known throughout the world as being first-rate. Not their system, but rather their quality. Students from all over the world, particularly Latin America, go study in Cuba and return to their countries.

  5. dmc64 - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    And Ozzie, reeling in the dough, as he does as a major league baseball manager, would be donating about 90%, if not more, to the Cuban State, were he situated within Fidel’s realm. Not to besmearch Fidel; as socialist dicators go, one has to admit, that Fidel is relatively benign; nevertheless Cuba is a despotic tyrannical dictatorship. There is nothing good about that.

  6. i10east - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    “I sincerely apologize to all that were offended with my recent comments; Look, all I got is my word, and my balls!!!”

  7. dolson1014 - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Florida Sobers Up, Not Sure What Happened Last Night in today’s News From the End of the World:

  8. vallewho - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    I’m from Latin America and I find this whole thing laughable. You have a guy that comes from Venezuela (dictator/human rights issues etc.), taking about (supposedly admiring?) Cuba (dictator/human rights issues etc.), now living/working in the US (freedoms etc.) taking heat and getting punished for what he said. Just another day in the Banana Republic of Miami.

  9. beadarg - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    To me this is absolutely ridiculous. He did not say anything derogatory about anyone. He loves Castro…so what. The entire US policy about Cuba is so hypocritical and stupid. No other country does this, and we do this because of what? The Cubans that live in Miami? Really ridiculous…China is imprisoning and killing their political dissidents by thousands, stealing our technology, but we have no problems with that. Whoever suspended this guy, should get the “Idiot of the Year” award.

  10. jmmsr1 - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    When the Castro regime collapses (and it will) – how many cuban mierda heads will return to their beloved island? Not many I suspect. Poor bastards no where to go – wait a minute here comes Elian and his dolphins to save the day. Yeech – give me a break.

  11. chetboyle - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Did I take a wrong turn at Albuquerque and end up at Huffington Post?

  12. omniusprime - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Where is Ozzie Guillen’s right of free speech? Sorry but the Cuban community in the US needs to get a clue that Bautista was as crooked as they come and they seem to have forgotten this inconvenient fact. A real shame that Idiot Ike Eisenhower didn’t back Fidel Castro when he wanted our help to overthrow a corrupt dictator, so Fidel turned to Nikita Kruschev. Because of our clueless phony cold war against Castro to appease a bunch of corrupt Miami Cubans it’s China who will now clean up in Cuba economically instead of our country.

    Respect Ozzie Guillen’s right of free speech and stop this nonsensical phony war against Castro’s Cuba!

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