if you don't want a manager that runs his mouth, don't hire ozzie guillen.
spoiler alert: i linked this
if you don't want a manager that runs his mouth, don't hire ozzie guillen.
Castro isn't universally reviled in Latin America. This is a dubious thing to suspend him for, IMO.
that's true. keep in mind, however, that he is universally reviled in miami.
but yeah, what did they think they were getting in ozzie guillen?
My problem with this is that it's a slipperly slope. There are Venezuelans in MLB who have expressed support for Chavez. Do you suspend them? I'm not saying I like Castro or Chavez - I just think you get into very muddy water when you start suspending people for their politics (though I don't think Guilen's comment had anything to do with ideology).
It's not suspending people for politics. There were (are?) threats of boycotting Marlins games as a result of OG's comments. This is all business. Sidenote: really, really glad he's gone.
Exactly. Supporting Castro is not good for business in Miami. This isn't that complicated.
Should the NBA suspend the coach of the Utah Jazz if he says that he'd vote for Obama over Romney? It wouldn't be popular in Salt Lake City.
See below... it's not MLB it's the Marlins. The NBA wouldn't step in in your scenario. However, I'd expect the Jazz would step in if the coach said "I think Mormonism is a cooky, made-up religion."
It's not the content of the statement that matters to the Marlins, it's that the statement has the potential to reduce ticket sales.
Saying that you support Obama over Romney* might hurt ticket sales too. I hear what you and others are saying, though.
*Which I neither endorse nor un-endorse nor re-endorse.
Honestly, if the Jazz felt a coaches statement on presidential politics would hurt ticket sales enough that a suspension was in order to fix the damage, they would do it. It doesn't matter if you or I agree with the decision, though that would be part of the calculation. If the cost-benefits associated with such a suspension favored a suspension for so mild a statement as "I prefer Obama over Romney," you bet your ass they'd do it.
Coaches are paid to coach, represent the team and ultimately earn money for the team's owners. If any action by the coach, from shitty strategy, to a drunk driving arrest, to controversial statements that are offensive to a key demographic, causes revenues to decrease, he faces a loss in job security. This isn't difficult to understand. Don't confuse the content of the action (or really the action itself) with the end result. If you cost your employer money you will face consequences.
You're comparing apple seeds to oranges here. The enmity between Cuban Americans and Castro goes way beyond your Utah analogy. We're talking about a ruler who drove them out of their homeland and into this country.
Completely agree... screw Ozzie. Just for those comments I would never go to a Marlins game. I know the Venezuelan community in S. FL (I am Venezuelan) is completely outraged by this. Freaking idiot, loves the commies but lives of the US system. Hope he never comes back and I will certainly root against him as long as he remains around.
You're right. Muddy, murky waters here. Remember Mahmoud Abdul-Raud aka Chris Jackson? That suspenion was also a bunch of nonsense. I dislike Ozzie, but he shouldn't be suspended for this.
Hitler wasn't universally reviled, either. There were some people who liked or agreed with him about eugenics. I'm not saying Castro and Hitler are the same; that's an analogy that was made on ESPN. But either way, the point is that it doesn't take everyone hating Castro to make Guillen's comments inappropriate.
Should MLB suspend Atlanta's manager if he says that he likes a Democrat? It wouldn't be popular in Georgia to say that.
Democrats in Georgia don't slaughter 30,000 people in 40 years. Your argument is offensive to those people who died in an oppresive regime, or while trying to escape.
Would you be suspended for saying that you approve of the way the PRC does things? Mao killed a hell of a lot of people, and any number of minorities continue to be oppressed.
That depends on if a lot of Chinese companies advertise through your broadcasts/stadium.
It isn't offensive to say you like the PRC b/c the PRC is good for business in the U.S. The PRC also killed many more people than Castro...I'm really just saying that I think the idea that MLB cares about human rights is silly.
But it's not the MLB that suspended him. He was suspended by his employer, the Florida Marlins.
The point that no team or MLB is a real crusader for human rights stands, though. This is just P.R., which is fine, but that's all it is.
I agree with you 100%. The suspension is actually bogus in my mind. I wonder if he would have been suspended had he said he supported any US President that tolerated slavery and racial segregation?
It depends on the context. If he said he supported a US president because that particular president supported segregation/slavery, then yeah, I bet he would be suspended. Or worse.
You are a public face of an organization. As that public face anything you say that can be deemed offensive by your target audience could find you getting suspended. I'm not saying it's right, it's just dollars and cents. You are confusing the argument by thinking that it is politics. It isn't, it was Ozzie saying something offensive to an audience that the Marlins are trying to encourage to come watch baseball.
It's not MLB, it's the Marlins. They're suspending him because he said something that was very bad for business. The content, whether it's political or not, doesn't really matter other than the fact that it hurt the bottom line. When most people make statements that could seriously hurt their company's bottom line, they get fired. He should (and probably does) consider himself lucky.
Imagine if the Tigers hired a new manager next season and in the first week he starts saying stuff like American cars are pieces of crap and he wouldn't be caught dead driving one. There would be repurcussions from the team, while there might not be if he coached anywhere else. It's the same for Guillen. Saying something guaranteed to inflame Cuban emigrees is a really big deal in Miami. If he were managing anywhere else, he probably would just have gotten a little bad publicity.
The commenters above me have done a good job of countering your point.
Mixing politics and sports is dangerous for individuals and organizations. But to my mind, organizations have the higher responsibility than individuals, and should follow the Bruins lead after the Tim Thomas/White House affair: His actions/speech are puzzling, but his opinions are his own. If it becomes a distraction for the team, the two parties should quietly part ways... it's not press conference material.
Players and coaches are going to say ridiculous things - they should be personally accountable to fans, but official sanction for speech that is contentious, but not plainly inappropriate* is a bad precedent.
*in the manner of Nazis. Nothing's worse than Nazis.
That is like saying Hitler wasn't universally reviled in Europe. Yes there are people who support him. But I can assure you that the vast majority of people in Miami do not. Their stadium is in Little Havana. They were trying to market this team more to the Latin American people in south Florida. What he said, while I think I understand where he's coming from, was idiotic. I live in south Florida and lived in Miami until recently. People are really hurt by this. City Council members are calling for him to be fired. It was about the worst thing he could have done considering where he is. Just stupid. 5 games is about right, but I don't think it will be enough for a lot of people.
Hitler =/= Castro. I don't like Castro, but I also have a hard time feeling too bad for the casino, brothel, and plantation owners who fled Cuba and now make a veritable culture out of crying over their lost wealth.
That's not even the issue. A lot of the Cuban people I know really were oppressed in Cuba. A man I know was a political prisoner who was in jail for 18 months. He only got out after going on a hunger strike of 50+ days or something like that. They thought he was going to die, so they let him go. A lot of the Castro supporters you see on tv are high school kids who are forced to stand there with signs. They control the media (unfortunately like a lot of countries) so you'll never see everything. People have died for opposing him. Hitler and Castro may not be the same, but he's their Hitler. Ozzie can say what he wants. He just has to understand that there are consequences.
I just get sick (getting away with a lot of politics here) with those Cuban ex-pats who would put themselves in the same category of the people you describe b/c they lost their really good means of exploiting people.
Also, I just don't think the Hitler comparison holds up. The fact that it's even used, I think, shows what a slippery slope this all is.
You're right. A lot of people do exploit the experiences (both real and otherwise). But remember that for those who did lose loved ones it is exactly the same. One of my mom's friends was killed in a plant explosion. The news reported it as "Only one person was killed, though several were injured." For them, it wasn't only one person. A lot of people who left Cuba were poor and were oppressed. They did lose a lot, including their families and it is a big deal. I just think he should know better. Most of my Cuban friends are saying that he made a mistake and he owned up to it. Move on.
The problem - to the extent that there is a problem - is that it's pretty hard to say you support any world leader and not have that world leader be someone who at some other people consider to have wrongfully caused the deaths of others.
I don't have a problem with the Marlins suspending him - or even firing him - as such. I just want it to be recognized as a business decision, not part of some greater, coherent defense of the dispossessed.
One: Every single country controls the media.
Two: America holds prisoners (political or otherwise) as well.
Three: Any comparsion of Castro to Hitler is so off base I don't know where to start.
Four: Americans have also died opposing the American government.
The conundrum that is media. This is a nice post.
Very well put. I would also add that some socialist and communist nations have done quite well once they get past America trying to knock the legs out from the regime in the early stages. Hell Reagan (his policies) killed far more Central Americans than Catsro ever did Cubans.
I like living here and am not complaining, but the truth is the truth.
" I would also add that some socialist and communist nations have done quite well"... really? Like Western/Northern Europe and....... uhhhhhh...... yeah...... Cambodia?
Why read WSJ? Read the Huffington Post if you want someone to prove how bad America really is.
Forget about the ~120,000 "undesirable" Cubans who were expelled to southern Florida in 1980? Or the tens of thousands who have fled on boats and rafts during his rule? I'm willing to bet that a significant portion of those who protest against Castro are the more recent variety who certainly don't meet the "evil capitalist" criteria, chances are those people passed away years ago and it is their relatives who are keeping up the fight.
You sir have no idea what you are talking about. Wait until you lose your home due to a appresive regime. And tell the "Hitler = / = ' to one of the many people who have had family members killed or who have not been able to see their family. One and the same.
He directly murded about 12 million people and set in motion WWII, so no, not one in the same...This isn't to say that Castro hasn't done many very bad things. He has, and many people have suffered unjustly. But Hitler? No.
I feel like the suspension is more of a PR response than 'fitting' the punishment.....
Absolutely. It's a complete PR thing. The Orioles went down and played an exhibition game in Cuba and Angelos said he would never sign Cuban players. That was an actual sign of support for the Castro regime, unlike Guillen's spouting off. There were no suspensions then.
Why did Angelos say that? I missed the story, but what was his reasoning? I don't really see that being as offensive as what Guillen said, but maybe I'm wrong... And either way, I don't think the Orioles depend on as much fan support from Latin Americans.
Sure, a trial lawyer is going to come off sounding a lot less offensive than a hothead former baseball player, that doesn't mean his position is any less damaging. The Marlins did what they did solely because it was good PR.
Suspending him is absolute bullshit. What he said was not PC in Miami, but he didn't do anything wrong by it. He expressed an opinion, one that is controversial, but nothing more. He didn't denigrate anyone or cause anyone harm. I think I agree with aaamichfan that this is all just a ploy to market MLB in Latin America.
He didn't denigrate anyone? He said he loved and respected a dictator, someone who has been pretty cruel to Cubans. So much so that some of them try to float across the ocean on poorly made dinghies, risking getting shot or eaten by sharks. To me that's denigrating the people who have suffered under his rule. Not to mention the fact that Guillen sort of insulted the USA by saying Castro was able to avoid being overthrown/killed despite American efforts. Obviously, that's the less insulting part of the comment, but to say he's not denigrating anyone is incorrect, in my opinion.
Hi, I'm America. I take great offense to Ozzie pointing out that I was not competent enough to murder a foreign leader. I'm outraged, I is. Also, derp, derp, derp. I'm America.
Except that America didn't suspend him. The Miami Marlins did.
I am fully aware of who suspended him. My comment was more directed to what Magnus said about Ozzie offending Americans because he pointed out that we couldn't kill a foreign leader. Poor Americans, boy are our faces red.
Tim Hardaway Sr's comments on the LGBTQ community were denigrating. Ozzie Guillen saying he admired a politician is not denigrating. Guillen never said "I hate all Cubans in exile because they are just naturally ugly and stupid and won't go to heaven because of this." Sure, his comments were insensitive considering the poltical and social climate in South Florida, but they were not offensive or denigrating and suspending him for these comments is bullshit. Had he recused himself for 5 games I would have rolled my eyes but not cared. Having his employer suspend him is a whiole different problem, though.
I love Fidel. He's a good, solid guy. No sarcasm. I really love the dude. He's great.
This post will be deleted.
Not everyone in the world hates Castro. Why can't a MLB manager say that he's one of them?
He CAN say it. He has every right to. The club just has to decide if they want to continue fielding a team after they lose over half their corporate sponsorship in south Florida.
I'd be much more sympathetic if the Marlins just fired him. It's their team. For the league to suspend him for five games, though, is meddling in a place where it doesn't belong.
"The Miami Marlins have suspended manager Ozzie Guillen for five games for comments he made in which he expressed admiration for Cuban leader Fidel Castro."
Wasn't the league. Still not right, but at least it was his actual employer.
I missed that. Fair enough.
FWIW, and others have stated as well, MLB did not suspend him. The 5-game suspension was handed down by the Marlins:
The Miami Marlins have suspended manager Ozzie Guillen for five games for comments he made in which he expressed admiration for Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
That's not to say the MLB won't do something about it, though:
Major League Baseball was reviewing the situation, a source told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.
being in the Miami market. Guillen's brand of running-of-the-mouth should be reserved for WWE villains. Yes, Ozzie we know you're outspoken but I'm not sure how this helps your ballclub. The "we played like st" stuff may motivate them but this other commentary is just the worst kind of bad judgement.
Being of middle eastern descent I see Castro a lot like Khomeini. Lots of Iranians like Khomeini while others despise him. There are two sides to every story. This was more of a PR move than anything. The media does a terrible job of portraying both sides of every story
...and geopolitics jumps front and center of the sports world. DAMNIT OZZIE.
PLEASE keep this discussion civil. I beg of thee.
I'll leave with one of my favorite Simpson's quotes.
Homer: Please, please, kids, stop fighting. Maybe Lisa's right about America being the land of opportunity, and maybe Adil's got a point about the machinery of capitalism being oiled with the blood of the workers.
an unpopular political opinion is stupid. It's obviously their right to do so. But it is stupid.
Yes, it is a bit silly but it is interresting to note that stating this opinion in America may get you suspended for 5 games, stating this type of opinion in Cuba can get you and your family killed.
Ozzie coaches baseball. We put way too much emphasis on the beliefs of people who are payed to play a sport or coach players of sports. Why Ozzie is even quoted on anything non-baseball related is beyond me. Same goes for Tebow and religious beliefs. Why should we care? The best response to this sort of thing is a big yawn.
When someone who's paid to pay attention to this stuff says something, then I'll take note.
Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
I think there are differences in this situation, however. One difference is that Smith and Carlos saw themselves oppressed individuals speaking up for themselves against oppression. Ozzie is just being Ozzie--saying stupid stuff without thinking. I will listen to the voices of the oppressed, regardless of their situation. Coaches who have an opinion about world leaders--not so much.
Ahh, but he is paid to pay attention to this stuff. He is a public face. His statement was offensive to a group of people and could cost the organization serious dollars. The lesson here is that you never bite the hand that feeds you.
That doesn't mean public figures should become bland automatons.
Public figures need to be aware that they are in public. He can say what he said in his living room 1000 times a day with no consequences. He has just proven that he can't say that to Time Magazine in during an interview. It is just a result of our culture being connected more now than we ever have.
I am not a huge fan of coach speak, but there is something to be said for keeping it bland.
Ozzie's sin wasn't saying something that would offend people. His sin was saying something that we have decided falls outside the acceptable realm of political opinion. Playing "God Bless America" at sporting events offends a non-zero proportion of the population, but very few people suggest it should be stopped because it risks offending people.
He said something that would cost his team money. He isn't being punished for being politically incorrect, he's being punished because the Florida Marlins need the support of local businesses and residents. He did say something that offended people. It was going to cost the team money. The team suspended him. That's pretty simple.
It's just also stupid.
Oh, I agree. Americans are pretty big hypocrites in the grand scheme of things.
He's paid to help win games. If he does that, this will all be forgotten. His statement was offensive because people paid attention to it. I agree, however, that this is the lesson--not to bite the hand that feeds.
Who cares if he respects Castro? Castro is a leader of men -albeit a ruthless dictator. People like Che and Che worked with Castro, right? I don't understand what the big deal is. Hell Hitler was a monster, but he turned Germany into a superpower in short order so in that aspect he could be respected as well. All Guillen was saying is that he respects Castro's staying power. I don't see why that is so shocking. Castro has lasted a long time against all odds.
I am not personally offended by his comment and it appears that you aren't either. That doesn't mean that there weren't people who were.
Francis Suarez, chairman of the Miami city commission, said Guillen should be fired. Joe Martinez, chairman of the Miami-Dade County board of commissioners, said Guillen should resign.
...it can be difficult to differentiate outrage from hispandering. I hope these two are expressing genuine outrage, and not just being opportunistic.
He didn't just say he respects him. He said he loves him.
Have to say I agree with his dudeness on this one. Castro is a dictator but Ozzie didn't say all that much that was inflammatory. Hes said much worse in the past. I don't get why Cuba is such a hot topic (not in Miami, but nationally), especially considering what other dictators and governments we have diplomatic relationships with, especially in LatAm. Our track record isn't the greatest in our own hemisphere.
/off my soapbox
that Petrino is a hot topic outside of Little Rock. Too much media, too many people searching for something to be outraged about. Next week, neither one will be a topic outside the respective local areas.
I think we can both agree he was speaking to the staying power of Castro. Love, respect, whatever... he was talking about the staying power of the man which is a completely valid point and a respectable quality in a person. Hell I have hated plenty of people in the office, but you have to tip your cap to those who are hated by most yet stay for far longer than their talents should allow.
It brings me to a quote from Blow "But I force a smile, knowing that my ambition far exceeded my talent. There are no more white horses or pretty ladies at my door."
Love him or hate him Castro has endured. That is an admirable quality.
The Marlins deserve what they got when they hired him. He has been saying stupid things for years. He is lucky he did this now when firing him would have been potentially damaging to a team many seem to think can make a real run at the NL pennant. If he had said this in the middle of a lousy season he would have been canned. Yes, he is free to say whatever he pleases, and the Marlins are free to tell him that as a representative of the team he has to curtail that freedom.
This isn't all about politics, it is about being a terrible salesman. Imagine if the Director of say, National Geographic, stated that they admired and respected BP. Nothing out of line or specifically controversial, but such a statement certainly wouldn't garner donations or support for National Geographic. Same thing with Ozzie, he isn't being suspended for what he said, but the bottom line impact of what he said.
pleasant relationship with Castro.
I've spent time in Cuba, studied that country a lot. Without getting all political one can definitely say that US politics here play into Guillen's having to walk back something he had a God-given AMERICAN constitutional right to say.
Anyone who cares to think for themselves on the issue rather than just repeat what they've been told should have to contend with what I had to, working through my own pre-judgements: Cuba may be poor, but it's a lot less poor than almost any other poor place in the Caribbean (outside your tourist hotel), and I have seen them: Santo Domingo and Kingston, for starters. Poor farmers from other Caribbean countries--who I work with--marvel at how clean the place is and how everyone is eating. The Cuban people want Fidel to bugger off and let them finally run the country, but they don't want to give up their health system, which is one of the world's best. Every time I've had an emergency in the Caribbean (3x now), I've been treated by a Cuban doctor.
Finally, don't let anyone tell you that there's no freedom there--people bad-mouth Castro all day long; that's just different from brutal dictator, no matter how you slice it; they know from brutal dictators--they had one before Castro, and he was closely connected to the US mafia. If they wanted to overthrow Castro they could have long ago. And don't let anyone tell you nothing changes there: the biggest gripe of many Cubans is how the plan changes every five minutes. They've tried everything, including giving back about a third of the country to private owners (mostly to start small farms and rural businesses) over the last five years.
Miami is changing, too. The fact that Guillen said these things may end up proving more important than that he was censured for it.
Just sometimes helps to toss a few facts onto the bonfire. After all, it was my Michigan professors who set me on a track of thinking for myself.
Check out the piece by Dave Zirin I just posted, more about Miami.
Finally, don't let anyone tell you that there's no freedom there--people bad-mouth Castro all day long;
Do they have the freedom to criticize him in the press?
How in the hell has this thread lasted more than 2 and a half hours? Did Brian forget to name a number 2 on the depth chart?
by the thinking person's sportswriter/critic Dave Zirin on all of this.http://www.thenation.com/blog/167303/big-trouble-little-havana-perilous-politics-ozzie-guillen
(well gee, that is, since we're talking about politics, which I thought was verboten in this forum...)
I'd like to thank this thread for making me reappreciate the politics ban on this blog. Miss you, politics ban.