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Ozzie Guillen suspended for five games

Apr 10, 2012, 10:20 AM EDT

St Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins Getty Images

The Miami Marlins just announced that Ozzie Guillen has been suspended for five games, effective immediately.  This came about 20 minutes before his press conference began. A statement accompanied the suspension. After announcing it, it reads:

“The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen. The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship.

One gets the sense that this is a preliminary penalty. Designed to try to head off the situation before it gets out of hand.  If it settles people down, that’ll be it. If not, more discipline, I suspect. Or termination.

Either way, the statement is a good one, I believe. And, given that this is primarily a local issue, it is probably better that the Marlins are doing this than MLB, eve if I think all of this response is disproportionate in light of both the nature of Guillen’s comments and the fact that he has already issued what I think was a sincere apology.

101 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. backdraft440 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    This loser should be fired! It will teach him to shut his loud mouth

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:53 AM

      Do you have a job? Does your boss know you post on the internet rather than work? Does your boss agree with your postings on the internet?

      The slippery slope you are on would be funny if it wasn’t so treacherous.

    • jdgpro - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM

      Castro killed more Cubans than Bin Laden killed Americans. How long would Joe Girardi be managing if he said Bin Laden got a bad rap?

      • Old Gator - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        Castro had fifty years. Bin Laden had an hour or two. Not comparable. Also, Bin Laden is dead now – and Castro, much to the bitterness and frustration of the exile community, is still very much alive, as is his brother. It’s harder to heal when the scabs keep getting torn off. And of course, Joe Girardi isn’t a bigmouth, didn’t say anything inflammatory about political issues, so the whole question is kinda hypothetical and won’t hold up.

    • papito1421 - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      Cuban mafia 1 – freedom of expression 0…

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Would MLB even have any standing to suspend him for this? I still don’t understand how someone saying an idiotic comment is worth a suspension, when multiple people in MLB get busted for DUIs which kill thousands a year and get off with nothing.

    Strange world we live in…

    • hittfamily - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      I agree. I made a point earlier of highlighting their anti-trust exemption. If Wal-Mart somehow managed to get one, would they be allowed to suspend/fire people based on their political beliefs, because essentially, that is what MLB has done.

  3. percydovetonsils - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Right-wing political correctness.

    • deathmonkey41 - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      RIght wing? You have the wrong wing, dude.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:23 PM

        Hahaha! Yeah…he is definately confusing his wings.
        Percy: Pssst…this is LEFT WING political correctness.

      • Old Gator - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM

        Oh yes, it’s all those left wing Cubans who are out for Ozzie’s hide – though what they’d do with it if they had it is beyond me.

        Anyway, dyslexia can be treated. You should look into it.

  4. Jonny 5 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    I guess that’s about right. They had to do something to placate the local “Freedom- loving” protesters.

    • geneparmasean - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Yeah, those silly “freedom loving protesters.” And to think there’s such a wonderful alternative to freedom only ninety miles away! Silly Cubans and their silly disdain for a genocidal dictator.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM

        Silly posters who can’t seem to grasp how freedom of speech is a two way street. Hemming and hawing about Ozzie on the internet is a right, gddammit, and not a privilege.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      Except for that whole “Freedom of Speech” thing anyway…

    • cur68 - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      Gee wizz, J5, at this rate you (and I suppose everyone else on here, too) should watch what you say on this open message board. Its not like you can speed away, what with needing all that brushing up on your rolling blading skillz and all.

      Word to all: If It Could Happen To Ozzie It Could Happen To YOU.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:13 PM

        I’ll probably be selling those things. My days of rollerblading are probably in my past.

      • Old Gator - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM

        What things – the Fidel bobbleheads with the cigar tips that actually glow when the head wiggles?

  5. runyetirun - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Had this been MLB issuing the punishment instead of Miami, it would have been the best day of Roger Goodell’s life. Suddenly he’d look sane and reasonable.

  6. Tim OShenko - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Wow, make a wise-crack about Fidel avoiding assassination, get a suspension (or worse). Land Of The Free, my ass.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM

      The Land of the Free still exists! …if you’re not on someone else’s property, using a company’s resources, on government property, breathing the same air as Congress, etc.

  7. drewsylvania - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    If MLB is consistent, they’ll rescind the suspension. They’ve set a large precedent for damning people for all eternity for baseball-related “crimes” (e.g. Pete Rose), while simultaneously ignoring actual crimes (DUIs, bar fights, rapes).

    But they won’t–and we’ll all get to lambaste them for it.

  8. Gordon - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    He’s not going to survive this. This is the beginning of the end.

    • jdgpro - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      He’s one bonehead pitching move from unemployment.

    • rooney24 - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      No it isn’t. The team knew they were getting a guy that talks with no filter and says whatever pops in his head. As long as the team wins, this will be forgotten.

  9. dondada10 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    And ultimately, the apology was more sincere than the original comment ever was. I think Ozzie was just talking out of his ass (same with the “drunk on road trips” comment) and he touched a massive nerve in his home market.

    • bigdicktater - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      This creep doesn’t have to be drunk to talk out his ass. Didn ‘t he say “This is for Venezuela!” after the White Sox won the Series? He’s an admirer of Hugo Chavez. Remember who just hosted Ahmadinejad and declared the U.S. was their common enemy?

      Ozzie is supremely hypocritical to earn millions pursuing a career here and apparently hating every one of us for all those years. Resign and go home to Caracas, asswipe.

      • chuckleberry1974 - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM

        Hey Dick,

        Ozzie Guillen is a US citizen now and has gone on record saying he loves Venezuela, not Chavez. He criticizes him regularly, and even publicly criticized Sean Penn for defending Chavez.

      • Francisco (FC) - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        Far bet it for to defend Oz but he’s criticized Chavez in recent years, so I don’t think he’s an admirer (currently anyway)

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:27 PM

        Tater: I am not would you would consider an Ozzie apologist by any means.
        But the dude is on record numerous times stating his disdain for Hugo.
        The dude is also a US citizen.

  10. sonoco - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Guillen is essentially being suspended for being too stupid to know how strident the anti-Castro Cuban exiles in South Florida truly are.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      My opinion as well Sonoco. Probably not a bad idea either.
      If nothing else…they quickly address his first major dumbass attack as the Marlins Manager.

  11. runyetirun - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Breaking News: Residents of Miami discover that Cubs have player named Castro, demand city of Chicago be annexed to Canada.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      That demand has both good points and bad ones. On balance, we would take Chicago.

      • Alex K - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        Chicago would be no lower than the 3rd best city in Canada. It would be crazy for them to not accept it.

      • Old Gator - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:18 AM

        Plus, it would give Canada some excellent pizza to go with its sublime smoked meat sandwiches. Whether this would equalize the culinary deficit into which poutine has plunged our neighbors to the north would remain to be assessed.

  12. El Bravo - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    This better be the end of this. If anyone actually believes Ozzie adores Fidel, they are f@cking idiots. Excuse the language, but pay a little attention people. This is nearly starting to look a lot like when Fox News went all crazy over Common being a thug, gangster-rapping cop-killer who dared visit the White House. Give me a f@cking break.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      Heyward: I am confused. Are you saying Common isn’t a “thug, gangster-rapping cop-killer?”

      • Alex K - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        Yes, yes he is. Common is none of those things.

  13. drewsylvania - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Such is life in this country when you have people being bleeped over every day, by big business and the feds, and instead they’re screaming about THIS.

  14. cjh88 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    This is insane.

    If the Bruins had suspended Tim Thomas for speaking poorly of the President and refusing to visit the White House with the rest of the team there would have been outrage on both sides.

    If anything, what Ozzie did/said was much more tame that what Thomas said/did.


    • drewsylvania - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      This is Florida for you. This country would be a lot more rational if they and Texas would just secede.

      • skids003 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:58 AM

        No actually if California would go back to Mexico, we’d be better off.

      • cjh88 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        I wonder if they people complaining about his comment have any issues with wearing Marlins jerseys, hats, shirts, etc, that are made in China.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        So you like Wisconsin? Home of the union bustin’ and gay bashin’ governor who ride the Koch Bros gravy train. Or Missouri? Home of the Rush Limbaugh bust in the state’s very own Hall of Fame?

        Every state is a home for darkness and ignorance.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        Skids, the impression you have that California is full of fruit and nutty left wingers is funny considering the sheer amount of Republican governors who have run that state.

        That echo chamber you’re in is the source of your tinnitus.

      • indaburg - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:28 AM

        Please don’t lump all of Florida in this mess. Miami is basically its own country, as Old Gator can attest. Cuban-Americans are in a class of their own.

      • skids003 - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM

        Koufax, where did I say California was full of all those things you say I said? Your the one who said it, not me. I know you’re a lib, you people like to put words and talking points(yours) into other people’s mouths. Go find another cause or something.

      • CJ - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        indaburg is right, you can basically divide Florida into three different countries, that’s how different they are (I4 + south), (I4 + north), and Miami.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        Skids, you and I have read each other across these boards, and you and I both know we stand on opposite ends of the political spectrum. If I misunderstood your comment, then feel free to explain to me how returning California to Mexico will make America better off. Because all I saw was a generalization regarding your pet peeve of “liberals” and “left wingers”.

        That being said, will America be better off if Arizona was returned to Mexico? Or if New Mexico was returned to Old Mexico? Come on.

      • derklempner - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        If Florida had an earthquake, broke off into the Gulf of Mexico/Carribbean, all that we’d hear from Cuba is, “We knew they’d come back some day.”

        And Haiti would add, “Cripes, here we go again…”

  15. sanzarq - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Ozzie’s original comment was a poorly conceived wisecrack, as he tried to be his usual outrageous self. It was ridiculous & he apologized for it. Now the team suspends him? Even more RIDICULOUS!!

  16. Chris K - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    The difference here is that statements like this (that involve a controversial subject for a large population of the community/market) will cost MLB and the Marlins money. This is a great move in going through the motions and following the path of least revenue loss. Teams aren’t out to make stands on issues, they’re out to make money.

  17. frankenderek - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    How can you suspend someone based on personal opinion? I thought our speech was protected? Look at Westboro Baptist Church. All the Cubans need to STFU and remember that if they’re in America, they h ave to abide by our laws, and our constitution states that we have freedom of speech.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      Someone says this every single time….your speech is protected in the sense that you can’t be prosecuted for the things you say. However, businesses have carte blanche to alter your employment however they wish (within certain parameters).

      Which is what happens when your government is slutting around with businesses and doesn’t give a crap about the general population.

      • nesuperfan - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        drewsylvania, they can alter your employment, absent a contract. That is not the case here.

        I would probably sue. There are limits to what MLB can do, and I think they may have hit one of them.

      • davidpom50 - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM


        I GUARANTEE Ozzie has a conduct clause in his contract. I don’t think he should’ve been suspended, but he would absolutely lose a lawsuit.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        I would probably sue. There are limits to what MLB can do, and I think they may have hit one of them.

        Most employers like this have a morality clause or something that handles embarrassing your employer. Guillen, or you, wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

    • hittfamily - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

      How are they not abiding by “our” laws? Protesting? Voicing their opinion?

      Who is “our” also? All “these people” are here legally.

      You sound like a racist to me.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      I thought our speech was protected?

      Because read the amendment(s) and realize who you are protected from regarding free speech.

    • nesuperfan - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      davidpom50, I am sure you are right, but what defines conduct? That is usually VERY arbitrary, and just because some people hate Castro, does not mean that he has violated that clause. So your statement that he would “absolutely lose a lawsuit” is tenuous at best.

  18. drewsylvania - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Do MLB managers have a union?

  19. sdelmonte - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Utter nonsense all around. But as a fan of a team competing with the Marlins, I can’t be too upset by this.

  20. dotdashx4 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    I think Cuban-American community should buy rifles, give up their entitlement to stay in this country, and go fight Castro if he is such a problem for them. Nothing worse than a bunch of entitled whingers selling out their own people to ask the US to intercede and establish a client state in Cuba. If you want Castro gone then get to fighting, don’t ask someone else to do it for you.

  21. szwhtsup123 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Does this guy pay attention to anything? You can live in Nebraska and know you better watch what you say about anything reagarding Castro or Cuba in Miami. I find it hard to believe he would be so ignorant or so clueless about the new city he would be coaching in. This guy is going to coach this team to a championship?

  22. drewsylvania - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Not sure why I’m standing up for Ozzie here….he’s an unbelievable ass, and the entire Miami organization is rotten from top to bottom.

  23. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Luke Scott played his home games a few miles from DC last year, while questioning the authenticity of the birth certificate of the President of the United States and questioning, in fact, the President’s eligibility to hold the position and his intentions in doing so. We all thought he was a quirky redneck, but he received no punishment.

    This is not even necessary in a Billy Budd sort of way, as Ozzie did not violate any rule. This is MLB capitulating to a mob mentality. What happens if a player comes out as gay if he plays for a team in a square state? What if MLB caved in when the KKK insisted that Jackie Robinson had no right to play with those white boys?

    • sonoco - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      It’s the Marlins trying to keep fans flowing through the gates of their shiny new ballpark built smack in the middle of Miami’s “Little Havana” neighborhood.

      I guess the Marlins could take a righteous free speech stance and not sanction Ozzie and then ruin their relationship with the local fan base forever . . . or they could attempt to placate their new neighbors and and try to move on.

      Ozzie is not a policy maker so I agree that Cuban exiles should lighten up and not take his comments so seriously, but it’s not going to happen . . . and the Marlins absolutely had to do something.

  24. rayburns - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    This has happened before in MLB. Remember Marge Schott was banned from day-to-day operations based upon her comments praising Hitler. To many in the Miami area, Castro is their Hitler, so the response is not unprecedented.

  25. racksie - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Sure, suspend the guy. He’s Ozzie Guillen. You get what you paid for.

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